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We choose what we see. It is really about what we focus on.

When we are in times of stress and uncertainty, we can feel low and depressed. One tool to shift from this feeling, is gratitude. This is not to bypass, or deny the challenges that we face, because part of healing, and a sense of accomplishment, is facing into our challenges with honesty and bravery.

When in times of turmoil, we do not need to live in the perspective of, either/or, rather we can choose the perspective of, both/and. We can be amidst uncertainty, and we can still reach for the goodness that surrounds us. We can focus on all the manifestations of life here on earth.

My heart can be breaking, and at the same time, I can feel joy inside watching a sunset, hearing a bird sing, seeing the beautiful colours of the leaves that fall provides us on a vibrant canvas of reds, oranges and golds.

It doesn’t always have to be this or that.

If we can shift our mindset to include both/and, we open ourselves up to possibilities, to experiencing the fullness of choices. We can be going through a difficult time, and we can make a choice to bring some joy into our lives in some small way. Setting our intention to take notice of something beautiful.

We choose what we see. It is really about what we focus on.

Life holds both the light and the dark. Both are needed, and one cannot exist without the other. If we can hold both of them as equally important within our psyche and heart, we can become more accepting of the ebb and flow of life.

We have been conditioned to think that we just have to work hard enough, and we will arrive in happiness, set up camp and live happily ever after. And when something goes askew, we become unsettled, distraught, depressed. We feel we have fallen into an abyss of darkness.

But, if we can realize that life is both the dark and the light, both playing a significant role in our experience, we can feel an acceptance and move through life with more ease.

The light is not a destination, it is not the outcome, it is the integral, interconnected part of life, along with the dark.

When we resist the darkness, our journey through it becomes even more challenging. If we can learn to accept, we know that this too shall pass. As well as, when we are in the light, this too shall pass, and so it will be until the end of our journey on earth.

We do not necessarily give gratitude for the challenges, but for the lessons and growth we gain through working through the challenges.

When we reach for gratitude while in the darkness, we are bringing in some light. It may not take us entirely out of the darkness, but it will, give us moments of peace and clarity.

Gratitude shifts us from a feeling state of lack into a feeling state of joy and abundance.

Waking up in the morning, having gratitude for the day ahead you have been given.

Gratitude for the smell of coffee brewing, gratitude for the softness against your skin as you put on your favourite sweater, gratitude for the farmers that worked long tiresome days to grow the food that you eat.

Living in gratitude is being mindful, and being conscious of all that surrounds you that contributes to your experience of life. Stand with your feet on the ground and look up into the sky, see the moon and realize what an amazing planet we live on. Expand your awareness out to the universe and back, and give thanks for this earth that provides you with so much to see and experience.

Say thank you to the plants, to the animals, and strive to learn how connected we really are to each other. The gift of life is precious, take no moment for granted.

Start a gratitude journal, or begin a gratitude practice. It takes but a moment to bow and acknowledge the gifts around you.

Breathe in the fullness of life, the sights, the sounds, the tastes, the scents, the tactile experience contained on this earth ball spinning in the sky.

And have gratitude for the people in your life, and for the people that you share this earth with. Each one being a significant, unique expression of life.

And when bowing in gratitude, remember to bow to yourself, and know you are a significant piece/peace of the whole!

With gratitude.


By Linda Cooper


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