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Stop. Smile. Breathe. Be Grateful

November 27, 2014

In the tradition of Thanksgiving I thought I would send a note out to the world about the things I am grateful for.

In day-to-day living it is very easy to forget gratitude.  We are faced with negatives through the media, the facts of life seem a bit stressful and our work worlds (or lack of them) and relationships can overwhelm or confuse us.

This is called living.  This is what having feelings is all about.  It is all in how we react to them that makes the difference regarding how a moment, a day, a relationship, a situation or a life ends up being.

This is the first thing I am grateful for.  I remember regularly that the things that challenge me spiritually, physically, mentally or otherwise are but stimuli.  My reaction (or non-reaction) to them is what makes the difference.  If my world is filled with an overwhelming amount of information or perceived “demands” on my time it is vital I remember that they can be meaningless without my response.  The greatest percentage of what happens around me is not worth the reaction I could potentially give it.  Any reaction is my responsibility and will end up being my cross to bear within my own head (and with whomever or whatever I may react to as well.)

God, I am grateful for having learned that is not necessary.

I am grateful for being a part of the solution.  Although reaction can be problematic I am not of the mind that ignorance, denial or avoidance are paths that provide happiness either.  When I am in a position that might require the reaction I am making sure I understand and craft in a positive way, I am building a strong action towards a solid solution.  I love the lesson to concentrate on the solution vs the problem.  It has saved me on so many occasions.

I am grateful for the important people in my life.  My intentions towards those I love, admire, share or spend time with is honorable.  I no longer allow anger or resentment to be a driver towards how I think or what I decide to do or say.  The people in my life will know how important they are by my behavior and actions towards and around them.  My presentation of self has changed in order to meet new people and expand my horizons with people that could enhance my time here.

I am grateful for an open mind.  It  has allowed me to grow in so many ways I would have never considered.  To learn that the judgment I sometimes feel is normal,  but not correct (fear as motivation) has allowed me to to look at others behaviors without requiring I drag myself down to the way others may think.  I do not condone negative behavior, but I do not feel joining in as a ‘retaliation’ is going to solve how I feel.

I am grateful for my opportunities.  Everything I have done, am doing or will do moving forward is a lesson.  I am privileged to be in this classroom.  Each and every step is meant to be a possibility for growth and knowledge.  All of my growth and knowledge is leading me towards better life experiences and a fulfilling journey in the world I inhabit.  Not every day is going to be perfect, but even the days that give me pause are likely to provide me steps into better thinking, more opportunity and richer, more complete relationships.

I am grateful for my talents.  One of the hardest things I have had to learn was the acceptance of the many things I am capable of.  We are often our own worst critics.  I have success because I have humility.  I have humility because I have learned that I am only as good as I allow myself to be.  There is nothing I cannot do if I allow myself the belief in myself and the walk through fear to take action.  With this I am armed for happiness and then more happiness.  I am given the means by which I can handle the world as it is revealed to me.

Finally, I am grateful for the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, which over 23.5 years ago gave me my life back.  I am grateful for the willingness to have embraced this change and all the changes that followed it.  I am grateful for the shift in my thinking that allowed me to understand the true nature of giving and service, tolerance and forgiveness.  I am thrilled that I learned as a result of this program to look at myself differently in order to be able to look at others with easier, softer eyes.

I am thankful today because I am blessed with intelligence, love and family.  I am surrounded by talent, trust and beauty.  This is not something I will soon forget, but in the moments that I do I have means, methods and people to remind me and put me back on my better path.

To those who read my blog, and to the world at large I wish you a happy Thanksgiving and the wish that gratitude become a part of daily thinking.  With it the hope is enormous, without it we have only the evening news.

Stop. Smile. Breathe.

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