It’s November and for many that means it’s a month of gratitude.  On Facebook, I’ve been invited to be part of Month of Gratitude by two friends and a number of my friends post there every day.  So far, I have not joined the event nor have I posted anything for which I am grateful.

Don’t get me wrong, I feel gratitude every day.  I see reasons for gratitude everywhere I look but that was not always the case and when I try to explain the wonder and amazement that fill me with gratitude, I see confusion on many people’s faces.  The reason is that I really do see reasons for gratitude almost everywhere.

A co-worker said he was feeling a bit ill; I immediately felt grateful that I could share a recipe for thyme syrup with him.  That gratitude increased when he sent me a text later that day saying, “FYI you [sic] voodoo medicine is awesome!”  In turn, I felt gratitude for my friend, Dhruti, who gave me the recipe in the first place.

In 2009, I studied with Eric Walrabenstein.  He said something that I will never forget:  “A truly enlightened person sees the divine everywhere, even in the warm pile of dog shit he just stepped in with his bare foot and is now squishing between his toes.”  I studied with him again in 2010 and heard him say, “Keeping a gratitude journal is kindergarten stuff.”  He went on to explain that a truly enlightened person would be grateful for everything and not just the good things in life.  I knew what he meant and experienced it when, a few nights later, I pushed him into delivering a scathing critique of my teaching during the training session.  He was brutally honest and there were some wet eyes in the back of the room when he finished but I felt only gratitude as Eric verbally filleted my teaching.  To this day, I am thankful for that experience because it helps me to step up and be the teacher he knew I could be.

I have since heard from someone else who was present for all of these experiences as well.  She told me that last year she was diagnosed with cancer and that within less than 24 hours she found gratitude for her situation because of what Eric had said.  With that, I challenge you to be grateful . . . for everything.  A daily gratitude journal is a great way to start but remember, as Eric said, it is only kindergarten stuff.

Jai Bhagwan