It doesn’t take much effort to be grateful for the easy stuff…and we can forget even then.

It’s harder to be grateful for things that didn’t go the way we wanted them to go.

It’s harder to be grateful for the adversity itself and what the opportunity can teach us; a subtler more – dare I say evolved – experience of gratitude that for me that requires practice and effort. It takes work.

I have a solid practice of saying “thank you!” when I am happy with the results (I always say thank you when checks arrive in the mail ☺) and am a fledgling at saying it when I get stuck, am confused or frustrated, or get scared…and saying “Thank you for this opportunity…please show me how to use it and learn from it.”  

For the habit to germinate, I start with ‘Getting to Neutral’ – a practice of three deep breaths in and three slow and deliberate exhales to center myself – when I am confronted and beginning to react. It’s not possible for me to get the lesson when I am swimming in resentment or resistance. Getting to Neutral allows my system to settle and my brain to slow down and my heart to open. 

We can dismiss our reactive behaviors in the face of adversity as having had ‘no choice’ in the matter. And we know that isn’t so. We have a choice with all of our reactions, even in adversity. And my process of de-escalating my reaction to allow for peace to enter and then choose a reaction of gratitude and openness to learn is still inchoate. I drive in Boston, after all! And the practice itself brings results and greater ability to bounce back more quickly.

Try it. Or come up with your own. And please let me know how it’s working for you.

Now, go take a cleansing breath and then go sell something. 




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