Finding gratitude in the mess
Why does life need to get messy in the first place?
Well lets just start off by saying a “neat” life is relatively boring. Now I’m not talking about a de-cluttered home or general cleanliness (as I’m a big fan of both). I’m talking about a well-managed, controlled life. A life where little movement or change is allowed and where stability and safety is prioritized over living a juicy, energized life.
Now its great when our life feels wonderful, when we feel good, and there is ease and flow. Yes, its great, and its also not very growthful. Its seems that we are all striving to get to that place of everything being easy and good, but as soon as we arrive there life gives us another “obstacle” or challenge. Thank God!
The tendency is to resist this as we don’t want anything to rock the “perfection” we’ve created and so long strived for, so we try to keep this rhythm going. Sometimes we even succeed in not rocking the boat, we don’t allow any “mess” in our life and therefore our life remains easy. However with time things get more and more static, frozen almost in this particular way of being, and with that a mundane stability becomes our existence. That which we once strived for becomes flat. We are comfortable now, and things are relatively easy, but with this comes a neutrality. Have you ever been in a neutral relationship? Its definitely stable and comfortable, but how exciting is it?
Growth is the purpose of our existence. Without it we are simple achieving material goods and physical success. Even when we think we are “creating” something in life, no matter what it is, we are really simply in the process of expanding and deepening into more of our true nature or soul.
Using gratitude to grow
Where’s your focus
So where does gratitude fit into the picture and how can we use it to grow. Gratitude is both the most difficult and easiest state to activate within yourself. When things are going great and just how you want them to be going, gratitude is effortless and easy. However when things are not going how you want them too gratitude can feel like an uphill battle.
When we view that things suck or are not going how we want them to be going we tend to focus on what is not going our way. Like attracts like, so our state of dis-ease escalates as we continue to feel that life is somehow working against us. We are moving further and further away from that which we want by focusing on what is not working.
Instead we must stop, pause, take a breath and recognize where our focus is at. We must see that what is currently presenting itself is not our desire and we must turn around our perspective and find gratitude. You can do this by searching for and finding something that can generate a true state of gratitude in your being. You will notice how incredibly hard this will be at first to really shift your focus. Focusing on what is not working is like a drug and we are so addicted to it, especially when we are in the throws of a difficult situation.
This is our challenge, our learning, to see if we can stretch ourselves more to feel gratitude and find love even in the midst of distress. What this ultimately allows us to do is to see clear again, to step into presence of what is really going on, instead of the wild story our mind has created. From here we drop into rawness and realness of what is. Now we can make the “right” choice of how to respond to a situation or take a needed action. This in not a rational process where the mind “figures out” the right course, instead your heart is in charge, leading the way.
Dr. Amanda Hessel, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Tomato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado