The Dalai Lama once said that happiness is contentment. But how does one cultivate contentment? Gratitude is a good place to start. Whatever is true for you now, whatever challenges you are facing, you can always find dozens of things for which to be grateful. Can you see? Hear? Taste? Touch? Breathe? Feel an emotion? Speak? Start where you are. Every day thank whomever you thank for your blessings amidst the morass of chaos and confusion that may be your life right this minute.
Know, the only constant is change. Your situation, no matter how odious, is temporary. By paying attention to what is good, by reaching deeply into the moment by moment truth of each inhale and exhale, you move forward. Sometimes, literally, breath by breath.
Even the fiercest storm has moments of peace. Seek out these pauses and use them to regain your strength. You may have temporarily forgotten your power: the inner reserves you have built throughout your life, as you dealt with one challenge after another. Right now, remind yourself of hard times when you prevailed. How do I know you prevailed? Because you are still here, able to read my words and remember how capable you are. Strange as it may sound, you can be grateful for those trials and the strength they instilled in you.
Use this time of great emotional intensity to give yourself the gift of perspective. Be grateful for shifts in awareness, and the ability to accommodate to a new vision, even if it’s only for a split second.
There is a part of you that deeply knows this firestorm will end and new growth will come. Just a glimpse of clarity and gratitude can be enough to revitalize your natural optimism and faith in yourself.
Copyright Nicole S. Urdang