What are you grateful for?
although this month's Being Game is "gratitude," something continues to haunt me in the midst of this dramatic year. sometimes i feel it more than others, but it's always there under the surface - a vague, persistent sense of guilt and overwhelm about what is happening in the world today. especially the nuclear situation in Fukushima, Japan. i recently saw a video about dolphins and got to thinking about all the thousands of species that will be affected, and more than likely already have been affected, by the radioactive water that continues to pour out of that reactor. not only does the radiation give cause for me and many others i know not to eat fish anymore because of the extreme risks to our health, but there is sure to be a profoundly devastating ripple effect in the already challenged species anywhere in the path of that poisoned water. i awoke this morning deeply saddened by the negative impact this situation is having and will continue to have for countless decades in ways we will probably never know. i awoke with a heaviness that has not been with me for quite some time, knowing that there is probably so much more i can do than to be a good "armchair activist" by posting, tweeting and blogging about all of this. i awoke asking myself, "what have i not done enough of? where have i gotten lazy? where am i out of integrity with my mission?" and, surprisingly, the answer that came was, "be grateful… be grateful for all you have, for all the love in your life, for all the choices you've made, for all the beauty around you, and remember to continue to be love no matter what." and, in that instant, i felt a wave of gratitude so powerful wash over me, i began to cry at all the miracles in my life… the fact that there are multitudes of ways to share love with others; that dolphins, whales and manatees are our sisters and brothers; that i am being given an opportunity to be and receive love like i never had before; that the world is ready to receive the love i have to give; that this year is a year of choices- big and small, life and death, sleeping and waking; that this is the moment in which i get to choose to see life as perfect while taking bold, decisive action to raise the bar for the awakening and transformation of humanity.
at the Work That Reconnects workshop i attended this last weekend with the incomparable and deeply inspiring Joanna Macy, she said that gratitude is the place to begin from, not the place to get to because of what we have. when we're grateful for being right where we are and being on the way to wherever we're going, it provides the curiosity and interest to deliver us into presence.
i know that our voices - whether standing alone or in a crowd of thousands - have the power to inspire, inform, ignite and contribute to others… but if we don't speak, then that will never happen. i know that gratitude is the key to turning all problems into possibilities… for when we let gratitude be our guide, miracles occur. i know that it's not always easy to be or even feel grateful when there is so much going on around us that seems bleak and insurmountable… but if we don't connect to and express our gratitude, then we cannot move beyond numbness and paralysis.
it's not too late to change - to shift from entitlement to gratitude, when we remember, as Ray Anderson, the founder of Interface Carpets and one of my greatest heroes, said, "We are each and every one of us part of the web of life itself… and we have a choice to make. During our brief- so brief- visit to this living blue-green planet - to help it or to hurt it. It's your choice." because, as Paul Hawken stated so eloquently, "At this crucial stage in human history, there is no inconsequential action- only consequential inaction."
so my question to you is, what are you grateful for? do you choose to let yourself get overwhelmed by what's going on today? or do you choose to look around you at your life, at all you have to be grateful for - even if it's simple things like running water, a place to lay your head at night or public transportation - and let your gratitude grow inside of you, like a fire, igniting your capacity to take loving, heartful action? and, finally, which action will have the most powerful, positive impact on the people and world around you?
i invite you to begin a daily practice of writing down at least 10 things for which you are grateful. or at least sharing them with someone you love. you can do it at night before bed or the next morning. but whatever you choose, i invite you to try it on for at least a month. join us this month in being and expressing gratitude… and watch what happens.