A number of years ago I heard a story told by a well-known motivational teacher. This story, as simple as it was, stuck with me all these years. It seems this speaker was late and in a hurry to get to the airport from his hotel. While he was looking over his plane tickets and other papers in the elevator, the doors opened to a floor midway down to the lobby. Shuffling the papers in his hands, he impatiently muttered, “For heaven’s sake, get in here!” Then he looked up and felt his face flush a bright red. His new elevator passenger was tapping the floor with his cane. The man was blind! Embarrassed now, our teacher cleared his throat, and in more gentle tones asked, “How are you, sir?” The blind man softly replied, “Grateful. I’m just grateful.”
Recently, Katrina and I were engaged in some business transactions in which the other party was putting us under uncomfortable time pressure and other demands. We felt their demands were unreasonable, yet we knew better than to succumb to those tactics. I must admit I didn’t like what I was feeling. I know the sensation when the body releases the stress hormone cortisol. This was a big red flag that told us both to take a deep breath and step away from the negotiations. We knew that being rushed or forced would only create anxiety, and, in the long term, would be a mistake.
This was no longer a win-win situation.
We felt grateful to step away from it all.
I find it interesting that when a desire is pinned on a certain outcome and one becomes emotionally invested in that outcome, it becomes a prescription for disaster. I had to pull my expectations off the table and change that desire into a mild preference. That released a lot of potential stress and prevented worried nights. However, the greatest stress relief came from Katrina and I taking a walk hand in hand and appreciating just how blessed we are. We’re grateful… just grateful!
In fact, this act of daily counting our blessings has really placed the spotlight on what’s truly important in our lives. We enjoy great love for each other. We have excellent health. We live in a rural paradise. We have no pressing financial concerns, and we have the freedom to do as we please every day. And because we both realize that we have no guarantee or promise of tomorrow, each day becomes that much more precious. We’re grateful… just grateful.
Here are a few things we do every day to count those blessings. First, each meal is blessed. We silently hold hands and generate a sense of intense appreciation for the food before us. This has nothing to do with any religion as such, but everything to do with how the food will be digested and its nutritional benefits. In the afternoon, Katrina and I sit on the couch, hold hands, and each in turn tell of the day’s special blessings. Then we bless all the people in our lives and all the people we’ve had contact with that day. Later, just prior to going to sleep, we each read what we recorded for the evening in our personal daily journals. Then we turn the lights out and go to sleep.
I just realized that even the act of writing this post for you comes from the heart’s natural drive to bless everything it contacts. Over the years, I’ve discovered the more I live a heart-centered life, the more blessings abound. It’s such a simple thing that everyone can do it. Why not make every day Thanksgiving? Then every day will be a cause for celebration! Love life and others, and you will be blessed beyond all measure. When the next person asks how you are, you can say, “Grateful… I’m just grateful!”
p.s. If you find my site uplifting and inspiring, then please stay tuned for an upcoming program I did with legendary strongman and motivator Bud Jeffries on “The Keys to Limitless Living.” I’m excited about its release in a few weeks. It will make the perfect holiday gift for you and those you love!