Joining in Week 11 for Debra’s 52 Weeks To Simplfy Your Life challenge…
“The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness” – The Dalai Lama
I wasn’t quite sure how to tackle this week’s challenge on gratitude and kindness. I didn’t want to necessarily talk about what I’m grateful for because a list just touches the surface. I wanted to dig deeper and reflect on my journey so far, on the learnings of thanksgivings.
I know that over the years, I’ve established one rule that places me back to the roots of gratitude – it’s always about the small things.
In my late 20’s to early 30’s, I was hung up on my career and living the high life in the fast-paced city of Tokyo. The chase to do well, to even outperform others, was always top of the agenda. Without realising it, I was starting up some very selfish, self-centred habits. Yet, there was always a lingering dissatisfaction with life. Being so fixated on climbing that corporate ladder, I found myself unhappy with other, far more important, aspects of life – family, friendship, love, health and a sense of spirituality.
It was a painful, unrelenting circle. The more I aimed for those unrealistic upper echelons of company ranks, the less important it was for me to properly align the important life fundamentals. The days would be spent working harder, but never being truly grateful or giving gratitude for much else other than a nice, big, fat pay cheque.
Needless to say, I didn’t like myself very much.
A myriad of life-changing experiences and heartaches have taught me that being grateful starts with the little things. I’ve discovered that the big ticket items are too apparent. Of course they’re all still important and they’re all included in a prayer of thanks at night.
But recently, I’ve started to look for little nuggets of gold. And the more of them I find, the more appear.
Finding a car spot in a chaotic shopping mall during the Christmas rush; Having skin prick test results show that your little boy is one tiny step closer to growing out of his egg and nut allergies; A 9 month pregnant friend who’s told that she no longer has placenta previa; I’m learning to embrace the tender moments with a quick “Amen”.
Being grateful for the small stuff helps an average day become memorable.
Of course, there will be future trials and hardships that will make the search for gold even harder. I just need to remember that it only needs to start with something small.