Sunday, January 25, 2009

Gratitude January 25, 2009

So many things to be grateful for all day long. It's getting hard to pick out which to mention!

I didn't expect that would be the challenging part about keeping a gratitude blog.

Tonight what first comes to mind is the group of friends who came over tonight for tea and to talk about a selection from Chapter 19 of the MN. Beverly, Christian, Louise, and Suzanne, thanks for coming over tonight.

To me our gathering is the perfect way to spend an evening. And Louise, thanks for the idea of doing a dharma talk on the fifth Tuesdays. I think that's worth thinking about.

At the meeting I shared about an unexpected effect of my New Year's resolution to end each day with a post about Gratitude:

Yesterday I did my laundry. When I opened the dryer door, I saw blue ink stains on my favorite shirt. The plastic barrel of the bottom of the pen fell to the tiled floor as I pulled out the rest of the clothes in dismay. A small coiled spring bounced away. I assessed the damage. The plaid boxer shorts escaped undamaged, but my two favorite shirts are ruined. My first reaction was ordinary: I cursed quietly and accused myself of carelessness.

To my surprise, my mind quickly abandoned its self-flagellations. I discovered my self-talk had become more useful. I could hear myself say, "I must remind myself to check all the pockets more carefully."

This more positive self talk did not result from any major effort to abandon negative self talk and replace it with positive self talk; instead, I felt surprised to be so nice to myself. It was like two surprises, one right after the other. The first surprise was the ink spots, the second surprise the compassionate self talk.

My theory is that the second surprise, the kinder and gentler me is the result of this gratitude blog.


Delwyn said...

That's lovely feedback Dan. Adopting a new mindset is a bit like learning to ride a bike, you might wobble a bit and even fall off now and then, but eventually it becomes almost automatic.

My 3 gratitude postings tonight on this official day of national gratitude would have to be:

my country of residence- Au
my country of origin - NZ
and my family.

Katherine said...

Ah. That's great, Dan! I made that resolution when I came to this house 15 years ago. Doesn't always happen, but I try hard. Kind self-talk. Feels good.

1. Warm weather, which makes me appreciate getting out on the river where it's cooler.
2. My friend phoning and saying how much she enjoyed our kayak trip yesterday.
3. My friend's generous loan of her trailer, without which it would be much more hassle getting the kayaks up to Maclaren Falls Park.

Alden said...

I love the resolution Dan, what an enormously positive way to deal with things - someone once said "We are who we think we are" which is a statement not just about positive thinking, but creating our own reality - giving and expressing gratitude surely helps create peace in our lives.

Mr. Kinder said...

Thank you, my friends! Learning to be kind to myself is an on-going project.

Mr. Kinder said...

Alden, you wrote a similar post about this kind of thinking when you were getting ready to haul your yacht. Great minds...

Mr. Kinder said...

It was December 22 and went like this:

I nearly called this post a 'comedy of errors'. The day didn't start well. I had been told to be in the river outside the yard at 9a.m. I was on the mooring getting ready to cast off the mooring lines when I get a call on my mobile from my son. "Dad the boatyard rang, they want you to call them." I call and can't get through. Call again and Karl answers but he can't hear me. I lock the boat, scull ashore and drive to the boatyard, "What's up I ask?" , "Just wanted to remind you to be here at 9.a.m", they reply.
I breathe deeply and muse to myself patiently that compared to the age of the universe and the majesty of countless stars in the heavens, this frustrating event shrinks into insignificance.