On gratitude and our beautiful new year

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” We attribute this koan to Mahatma Gandhi, though apparently he actually said this:

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him…. We need not wait to see what others do.”

Sometimes the truth is that it’s tough sledding in certain areas of our lives, while, if we’re paying attention, we may note that other areas are flowing beautifully, with helpful synchronicities abounding. In being the change we want to see anyway, meanwhile, no matter what, a mindset of gratitude is an essential tool! Gratitude is for us, our batteries charged by our ability and willingness to be awed by the beauty that sources our lives like a revivifying current, cool and clean, just below the surface of everything.

More of the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens

More of the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens

What does it really take, on the ground, in the thick of it all, to access gratitude’s comforts? How about recognizing and truly valuing what works and who cares, intrinsically, no beating of drums or breasts required? And specifically the people–and other beings–in our lives who value us, who encourage and care for us in myriad, often subtle ways.

Zuul in Vermont this fall, livin' the good life

Zuul in Vermont this fall, livin’ the good life

Like the upbeat ministrations of the girl at the market where Kevin and I shop, and the down-home kindness of our neighbor Bill, who took it upon himself to tend our trash bins during Kevin’s recovery from knee replacement surgery. And simple expressions of care like my busy son Colin pausing at the front door to say “thanks for a wonderful dinner, Mom”, and the crazy-love of friends like Zuul, my Aaron’s sidekick on global adventures and via Skype when she stays home.

Toward a beautiful 2013, a practice of gratitude will no doubt help us make it so, keepin’ it real, with our challenges and expectations slightly off center rather than right down front doing an it’s all about me and it’s gotta go like this dance. One more grand experiment on the journey. And Happy New Year to us all in it!

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