“Suffer what there is to suffer. Enjoy what there is to enjoy. Regard both suffering and joy as part of life and continue on…”
In an earlier part of my life, when I was a Nichiren Shoshu Buddhist, the quote above from the religion’s founder always remained with me.
I reflect on that today as I got a piece of good news on the professional side of my life that I had been silently stressing over for months. I had so much pent inside of me that I cried for a few moments after opening my email. I felt such an elation, but then also remembered that just last week, I was complaining and upset, what if I didn’t get the outcome I wanted? Maybe I’m not good enough, etc.
That’s when I remembered the quote above, and that life is always up and down.
The key is to be steady in the face of that reality, and create a daily practice of gratitude so that you regularly experience a state of joy instead of extreme swings of highs and depression.
Creating a Daily Meditation Around Being Thankful
It’s kind of fashionable now to talk about this kind of practice, but many of us have been doing this a long time, either as morning prayers or meditation.
The wonderful thing is no matter what we’re going through, there is always something to be grateful for:
- The miracle of being alive and having another day to spend with people you love
- The new day is a fresh opportunity to serve and be a source of light in the world as an example to others
- Having a roof over your head (even if you are struggling to keep it there!)
- Being fully or even partially able-bodied
- Having a significant other and/or children (your own or others you care about and for)
- Having at least one good friend or family member you can talk to
- Having your health (or if it is compromised, what parts of you still function and work well :-))
- Still having new ideas
- Still having hopes and dreams
- Helping people through the work (paid or volunteer) that you do
- The things in your immediate environment that sustain you (e.g. for me it’s tons of books!)
- And so much more…
I mean, there are so many things to be thankful for and appreciate each day when you really think about it.
My Daily Gratitude Prayer
I wake up each morning and express gratitude to the universe in the following way:
I am thankful for the morning light, my life, and my strength.
I am thankful for the love in my life, my partner, my children, my family, and friends.
I am thankful for my health and abilities.
I am thankful for my home, the food we eat, the clothes we wear.
I am thankful for the means of communication and transportation.
I am thankful for my experiences that make me who I am.
I am thankful for the conscious awareness of my power, life energy, and growth.
I am thankful for the abundance that fills my life and allows me to share it with others.
Be Thankful More Often
I used to do this once a day, but I listened to a “faith-based training” teleseminar by Sean Mize today, and he talked about the importance of expressing gratitude for at least five or six things at least three times a day. By doing so, you instill a spirit of thankfulness and gratefulness in your daily life, and your business will grow and change as your perspective changes.
I plan to implement this from today onwards and will track the changes.
What are five things you are grateful for? Will you start a daily practice of gratitude?