Springingtiger's Blog


Gratefully Alarmed

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I was reading interviews with the new Strictly Come Dancing contestants the Radio Times earlier. Daisy Lowe’s interview was interrupted by an alarm going off. She explained that she has an alarm set for every day to remind her to be grateful for the doors that have opened for her. I love the idea of setting am alarm to remind oneself to be grateful.

I don’t set an alarm because the practice of gratitude is an integral pert of my morning journalling. However for anyone not following a daily journalling process, in fact for everyone, a daily practice of gratitude is an excellent idea. Deliberately looking at one’s life to find things for which to be grateful puts the whole day into a positive perspective.

It is very easy to focus on the negative things in our lives, loss of job, loss of income, aching joints, the cost of food and heating, yadi yada…Faced with a catalogue of problems there is a temptation to see the world and life in a very gloomy light. However when we look at our lives we have much for which to be grateful, I have my wife and our long and amusing marriage, family, my daughter, grandchildren, a brother who invited me to base myself in his house during the Asylum in Leicester. If I cast my focus further afield I can be grateful for my free bus pass and all sorts of age related concessions. At the very least I can be grateful for being alive. Richard Wilkins says that every day he reaches out to his sides with his elbows and as long as they are not encountering the wood of his coffin he is grateful because there is always the possibility of a great day.

Most of us forget to take time to ‘count our blessings’, we probably don’t even take the advice to count our blessings seriously. In my experience taking time to be grateful in the morning provides hope for the day and a reason for living. Being grateful at the end of the day gives me cause to look forward to waking tomorrow. I once posted on Facebook that I didn’t want to wake up tomorrow morning. I didn’t mean I wanted to die, just that I wanted to remain in bed asleep rather than get up and go to work. The reaction from my friends on Facebook was quite wonderful in the concern they showed for me. Although I suppose I should be grateful for worrying them I am not. Since I started deliberately practising gratitude every day my bouts of depression have become infrequent and rarely take a proper hold any more and that makes a huge difference to the way I live my life. Of all the components of my daily journalling and all the spiritual practices and personal development exercises I have practised over the years I have found none as simple or powerful as the daily practice of gratitude. It works for me and for that I am grateful.

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