Have you ever known someone that is constantly worrying? If is not one thing it is another. In fact I have known some who not only worry about bad things that could happen, but even when things are going really well they have to worry about when it is going to stop being good and maybe something bad will happen.
Interestingly worry is always about the future, the next minute, the next hour, what might happen or might not happen. The worrier always projects themselves into the future and imagine something bad happening.
Andre’ Dubus said, “It is not hard to live a day if you can live through a moment. What creates despair is the imagination, which pretends there is a future and insists on predicting millions of moments, thousands of days, and so drains you that you cannot live the moment at hand.”
Gratitude brings you back to the present moment, it reminds you that right now things are pretty good. It reminds you that so far you have received many things, and chances are you will continue to be supported on your journey through life. That support may come in ways that you never guessed or chosen for yourself.
Don’t all of us have so much to be thankful for? Today I am thankful that I get to see a group of students come in and with so much excitement test for their next rank. They and their parents make me smile and remind me of when my own children had special days.
I cannot tell you how many people I have talked to, who with all the things in their life that look like success are not very happy. How sad. We really are not on this earth that long to spend our time doing things we don not enjoy or being unhappy.
How do we get beyond that though? I am like most of you, not really so much about the use of chemical ways of feeling better, like some may tell us to try. Here is what I have found and this is certainly not a new idea or even my own.
Before starting your day ask yourself – “What do I feel grateful for about myself?” This is a way of reminding yourself about your resources, strengths and talents. At the end of the day ask yourself, “What did I do today that I feel good about?” Sometimes it is good to write these down, so we can go back and look at them and see how we have grown.
This will help us not to have tunnel vision on our problems which sometimes occurs when when feeling depressed or stressed. When we practice this we feel better, the world looks better, and we notice that others want to be around us more. Gratitude will bring peace, joy and happiness to your life.
This is the time of the year when all our students are taking part in the MSP testing in the schools. With that brings a fair amount of stress on the students and therefore on the families they are a part of everyday for the next couple of weeks.
This led me to think about the idea of how much joy is in our life? As I see adults go through their life, many times we are so busy climbing the ladder of success that we don’t take time to enjoy the journey. We begin teaching our young ones how to do that very early in their life too. As students, in what seems in younger and younger ways all the time, we teach them to plan and work hard, and as they have accomplishments we(they) see them as good because they lead to somewhere. The kids are constantly planning and working on going to high school, college, a good job, relationship, always with the next goal or challenge in mind, but none of them being relished or celebrated. But are they or we enjoying the journey? Probably not!
We are not machines and when we reduce ourselves to that, we become mechanical and the joy is gone from living. To increase the amount of joy in our kids / our lives focus our attention on all the wonderful things that happen in our day to day experiences. When we are appreciative of the people and the things around us we are filled with a sense of well being and joy.
Take a minute with yourself and kids each day to show gratitude. Make a short list in the morning or evening of things you are grateful for. If you have a hard time at first it is ok. As you focus on showing gratitude in your life, your joy will grow too.
“No matter what accomplishments you achieve somebody helped you.” Althea Gibson
No matter who we are or what we have done there has always been someone or several others who have helped in some way. It may have been as simple as an encouraging word, offering us an insight that got us unstuck on a problem, or a gift of another sort that allowed us to move forward. However given the society that we live in sometimes we forget that we can accomplish nothing without the help of others.
Help comes in so many different ways and lessons learned from unsuspecting teachers. I know that I have learned lessons from the animal world, observing them, reading about their habits have made me realize things that would be difficult to learn from another human. Our help may have come from a personal disability or from knowing someone who has gone through an experience that we have not experienced.
Every moment is a learning moment, and then we can honor our teachers by thinking about our own personal teachers. As we think about them it is appropriate to let them know if possible that you appreciate them even if it is by just speaking about that experience to others. Recounting the value of the teacher out loud to others really firms up the sense of gratitude and happiness for all that you have been given.
For my students, honor your teachers this month with us at BLS, by inviting them to our Teacher Appreciation Week. This is an opportunity for you to say, “Thank you for being my teacher.”
Over the next few days I will be writing some notes about gratitude and listing some of the things that I am grateful for on a day to day basis. It is very powerful for me to sit and think about what it is that I am grateful for. Especially this is true when I think of all that has been given to me and shared with me.
I am very grateful for my wife, and I am feeling that even more over the last few days. She has been visiting our daughter in California (29th birthday) and I have been here holding down the fort. The first day was very hard and I got very little done. So I am happy that she is on her way home in the morning and I will be very happy to have her around again.
I am also very thankful for all of our students and their parents. It just seems that we have attracted the very kind of people that I enjoy being around. I am thankful for that.
I am going to mention very quickly Mr. Tom Callos. Some of you have heard me speak of him. I will be telling you more about the impact he has had on my life as a person as well as an instructor.
Well there are a couple of ones from me. What are you grateful for? Please leave them in comment for me and come back often as you spend this month of April considering this.
Appreciation means: “I am thankful.” and “I think you are special!”
Older students, teens and adults:
Appreciation means expressing or showing respect and gratitude.