An Attitude of Gratitude

Recipe for Spirit

Yesterday we attended a memorial for a hockey buddy of my husband’s; James was 50 years old, larger-than-life – a man that was vibrant, successful, loved and admired by many.  He collapsed in the locker room right after playing hockey, while sitting on the bench and drinking a beer, two of the things he loved most in life.
James’ passing was a wake-up call for Jeff and me; A poignant reminder of how tenuous life can be and that we can’t take for granted that it will go on indefinitely.   We have been gifted with a new perspective that no matter what challenges we have been facing, we have so much to be grateful for, right here, right now.
A quote that has inspired me over the years comes from The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.  Years ago I transcribed these words and keep it somewhere that I can refer to it when I step outside of “the now.”  You can find some free downloads of Tolle’s books and meditations at this site.

“Are you worried?  Do you have many “what if” thoughts?  You are identifying with your mind,   which is projecting itself into an   imaginary situation and creating fear.  There is no way you can cope with such a situation, because it doesn’t exist.  It’s a mental phantom.  You can stop this health and life-corroding insanity, simply by acknowledging the present moment.

Become aware of your breathing.  Feel the air flowing in and out of your body.  Feel your inner energy field.  All that you ever have to deal with, cope with, in real life – as opposed to imaginary mind projections – is this moment.

Once aware of your breathing, here’s an exercise I do to keep myself rooted in the present moment:   Take a mental inventory of all of the current blessings in your life.  If you are in good health, start with that, because that’s a gift that we all take for granted.  Be grateful for everything, large and small, that makes up the wonder that is You!   (It is likely that the “false, unhappy self” as Tolle calls our negative ego, will try to pipe in with all the things you don’t have or everything that’s wrong with your life – but you don’t have to go there.)

State that list of things you can be grateful for out loud, make it comprehensive — and  I guarantee you that your mood will shift.

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  1. that is a wake up call. deeply sorry for the loss. it is also a reminder to take good care of our bodies for the time we are here on this earth. all things i never thought about earlier in life. now i am very aware that what we do now effects us later in life. i heard wonderful stories about jeff’s dear friend. what a loss. it makes us ponder our own mortality. i agree, trying to stay present in the moment and being grateful for what we have is so important. namaste. ~kim

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