Nithya suggested a specific practice and in doing so he lit the lamp of gratitude in me – How could I be the master of the destiny that I wish to create? He invited me to imagine a day (six months into the future), when my home would be a place of sunshine and laughter. I wrote a passage and asked Nithya to review it. He liked it and offered some advice: what we can articulate and emotionalize, we can actualize.
As I started writing the passage, I became aware of the fact that I have the opportunity to be grateful for everything around me – from the beating of my heart to the dear shelter that my home provides. I have food when I am hungry, and money to buy fancy objects that I like; I have a dear family whose love and nurture have brought me where I am.
The second wave of awareness came when Becky reached out to ask me to write a blogpost. I took a few days to decide, but those few days were a reminder that I can be even more conscious than I have been so far. Every minor event is an opportunity for gratitude: a flower in full bloom, the eagle flying in circles that I have the chance to see from my 7th floor balcony, the “random” note from Becky prompting me to write about this.
A few days back, as I looked at my journey of the past months, I wondered, am I really as grateful as I can be? Have I stopped complaining and comparing?
Then it hit me, my very own flash of insight: the fact that I can be MORE grateful and that there is a distance to cover in the path of gratefulness is what makes the journey worthwhile. It’s not the state of BEING grateful but the fact that there are more and more things to be grateful for and that walking this path is what keeps me anchored to the present moment, able to admire it for how perfect it is, regardless of comparisons, preconditions and appearances.
About five years ago, my ten year old daughter wanted a bicycle. We promised her that she would have it. She kept reminding us and we kept validating her. In the process, her expectations reached a peak. We finally gave it a date, saying – we will buy the bike the day you submit your final paper.
The date arrived and in the evening she beamed as she welcomed the bicycle into her outstretched arms. After about two full hours riding it, a little more relaxed now, she said, “I just don’t feel any excitement now that I have the bicycle.” Waiting, praying, hoping and imagining had been more interesting.
As a reader, what are you grateful for – the journey to gratefulness or being grateful? Or maybe just grateful for having this very thought?