Hermes’ Shoes

Repost of sorts.

Today I find myself walking with Hermes’ shoes on. Bits of fairy dust seem to have caught in my hair like shards of light in a forest of tight mountain pines. 3 hours into my day, I discovered I was full of gratitude. Where did it come from? I would like to find this spiriting again. I can’t help but admit, being thankful must be good for me.

People talk about gratitude to the fellow traveller of life as if it were pill, or morning chore to get over before play. But today, it came to me like a music-gram at my door. And there it is, the opening of the door.

Today my kids reminded me that no matter how much we get in life, (the little cherubs!) we will always want more. Coming out of Barnes and Noble post cookies and purchases, they were still listing off their desires. Us adults are not so different, we just package our orders differently. However, wanting more and ingratitude are different and not necessarily related. We agree with Nathaniel Hawthorne in “The Birth-Mark,” that we can have gratitude despite it.

“My poor Aylmer!” murmured she.

“Poor? Nay, richest, happiest, most favored!” exclaimed he. “My peerless bride, it is successful! You are perfect!”

“My poor Aylmer,” she repeated, with a more than human tenderness, “you have aimed loftily; you have done nobly. Do not repent that with so high and pure a feeling, you have rejected the best the earth could offer. Aylmer, dearest Aylmer, I am dying!”

So how do we “open the door” to gratitude amidst the wanting? Open your door any way you can, my friend.  I’ll watch and hope to learn from you.  Today mine opened without me even realizing the part I played.  Thinking back now, I remember that last night I asked my husband to pray for me. I believe that was the way I opened the door. It was a friendly thing to do.

Self Care Tip – Cultivate being thankful. Be a friend to yourself.

Questions:  How do you open the door to gratitude in your life?  How do you want more without losing gratitude?  Please tell us your story.

Be Aware

Cover of "The Psychology of Gratitude (Se...

Cover via Amazon

We’re sitting at the piano practicing.  She is smart, reading for a year already, beautiful in a way that scares me at times, has advantages that surround her just because.  She isn’t thinking of these things though.  She thinks about the things she is not.  She says, “I can’t do that.  I don’t know how.”  She is not thankful just now about her opportunities.

I wondered, as I was sitting at the piano, if success and gratitude are collaborators.

Gratitude should not be conceived just in terms of a particular relationship. Gratitude is a philosophical emotion. It is, in a phrase, seeing the bigger picture.  …And so viewed, being grateful for one’s whole life is not a “grateful to whom?” question so much as it is a matter of being aware of one’s whole life, being reflective in a way that most of us are not, most of the time.

-Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough, The Psychology of Gratitude

Seems like a little much to expect out of a 5 year-old?  Maybe, maybe not.  But it definitely is if her parent isn’t practicing awareness, reflection, gratitude.

We will have more success in our life’s ambitions if we practice gratitude.  This much I will do and maybe, my little girl will learn to see herself differently too.

Self Care Tip #30 – Be aware.  Be a friend to yourself.