Discovering the Price in Priceless: The Art and Cost of Gratefulness
In the last few days I have experienced life at a depth I have sought for many years. The question I used to ask myself when misfortune would strike was “What did I do to deserve this?” You know, the “Why me’s?” At that time I did not know why major and minor mishaps, though not habitual or wanted, seemed to find me. The circumstances of yesteryear were incredibly different than recent events.
I still ask myself “what did I do to deserve this,” but this question does not come from a spirit of lack but from a spirit of complete and utter abundance and yet, my circumstances haven’t changed one bit and in many ways I have regressed. There is one very significant difference and it is a difference manifested by a choice.
In retrospect I can very clearly see how I was sabotaging my own best interest. I can say that I am now attempting to invigorate a life solely by the slightest shift in my thinking. The shift is in the way I approach the present moment. The shift is in my attitude for every result that comes my way. The shift is how I relate to every individual I meet. The shift is in my attitude toward me, my present circumstance and the people who walk, or for some reason are pushed into my life. The shift - is simply a spirit of gratefulness.
No other change in my life has meant so much and though my circumstances have not improved, financially or otherwise, I am beginning to see how a spirit of gratefulness leads to a spirit of abundance which, in turn, causes me to be even more grateful.
My mentor once challenged me to create a book of positive aspects about a job I currently hold but with which I am not totally enamored. In my mind, I scoffed slightly at the idea but because I trust and value his judgment on such topics I followed his advice. Lo and behold, not a week later, my perspective began to change enough for me to see value in what I was doing and my perspective about the position changed and my performance improved as well.
I began, through the exercise of creating the book of positive aspects, to be grateful for every one of the little things that my position offered that it overshadowed the elements about the job I didn’t particularly care for. The spirit of gratefulness was changing my perception by providing a feeling or worth and value buried deep inside.
Most of my adult life I believed, because of my acceptance of previous conditioning, that everything came with a price, a kind of cost of doing business. I guess there is much truth in this conditioning statement since I also accept Newton’s Third Law of Motion; “for each action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” The price here, however, was unexpected and clearly more than I could handle since it is one of those miraculous events in your life that so touches your soul that one becomes overwhelmed with the benefits.
When you are grateful for what you have, for what you do, for what happens to you and in so many other areas of life, the return on the investment of time, hope and faith – the price – is simply priceless!
That’s right! In my humble opinion you cannot buy the outcome of gratefulness and discovering the price is priceless. Don’t believe me? Good! Try it for yourself. Please be forewarned, you may never be the same again.
Here’s a link to get you started!
May the peace that transcends all understanding be upon you!
A Good Day - Brother David Steidl-Rast
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