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Day at a time, Reasons to be cheerful, 09/05/2020

10 May 2020

A Day at a Time – A Daily Blog of Life in Lockdown

When the sun is shining it is easy to feel gratitude. However, when we experience periods of stress and challenge in life, we forget the very things that resource us. We become over-whelmed by the stress or pain we are experiencing. It is at these times we need family or friends to remind us or books that inspire and encourage us to find peace in the midst of it all.

The Qi Gong practice I did today and talking to a good friend who is in a great deal of pain, got me thinking about this. However much we are suffering there is always something to be grateful for and sometimes it is helpful or even necessary to make the practice of gratitude a daily commitment. In a mindfulness course I led for people living with cancer I introduced the 10 finger gratitude practice that I have mentioned in the blog before. The following week of the course, several participants reported back that it had been transformational for them, their experience of living with cancer had changed. Life wasn’t all about the cancer anymore, they had created room again for the pleasant moments of their lives. It is not that these moments weren’t there before but sometimes it is necessary to remind ourselves of them by intentionally bringing our attention to them. With any significant challenge in life we can be consumed by it and closed off within our own suffering … isolated. Having practices at hand that help us open out again and resource ourselves makes all the difference.

A while back I was having a number of painful investigations including nerve conduction tests which are electric shocks to the nerves to see if they are working. On returning home I said, “I must have been a torturer in a previous life”. My son immediately retorted with “well mum, you wouldn’t have dad and I and this lovely house if you had”. Humour and a reminder of things to be grateful for and I was back out of my bubble!

There is plenty of scientific evidence that backs up the ability of gratitude to impact positively on our lives; changing mood, motivation and the way we think. Remembering that we always have a choice about how we respond to challenges that come our way and developing practices like gratitude we start seeing a change in the way we view the world, in our attitude to crises.

Walking through the village yesterday, on our way home from a dog walk, we saw all the bunting criss-crossing the lanes and the Union Jacks flying and people sitting outside their houses with delicious looking (and tasting) afternoon teas or a nice glass of something in hand. The V.E. Day celebrations – an expression of gratitude to all those who got us through. In the future, I wonder how we will celebrate and give thanks to the many people who are now, in so many different ways, bringing us through this period of history. And will the positives that we are seeing and experiencing emerge from the crisis be shaping that future; the way we live our lives and relate to each other and the planet?

Reasons to be cheerful 1, 2, 3!

Hint: Take in the good

Practice:   Appreciation and gratitude

  • As you go about your day, when you notice something pleasant or beautiful take the time …. pause to fully appreciate it
  • Notice what is a happening in your body and mind as you do so – the physical sensations, feelings and thoughts that arise
  • Allow it to become an experience and to nourish you
  • Later in the day or before sleep bring to mind the pleasant experiences of the day
  • Feel the gratitude and let it permeate through you once more

For a good article follow this link:- https://www.rickhanson.net/how-gratitude-can-change-your-life/