Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Five Minutes A Day

Barbara Lane, Ph. D

Can you be grateful for five minutes a day?
You need to do it so the angels can do their work.

We learned this from Barbara Lane, Ph.D., at the ARE ® retreat I was at earlier this month.
We should be able to manage this. How difficult can it be?

It’s easy to be ungrateful for five minutes; we’re usually just getting warmed up after five minutes. Ingratitude comes pretty easily.
Why not gratitude? Why aren’t we grateful?
Well, we’ve got it easy in Canada compared to many other countries. So we take all this ease for granted. When something is easy and available we don’t give it much thought. We’re spoiled.

Here’s an example. The water main in the street that runs in front of my house was old. So old that it broke every winter about the end of January. You could set your calendar by it.
Cursing the break was easy. We couldn’t get running water for several hours and on one occasion the taps were dry for two days.
In fairness the Town turned the water on for about an hour around 6 p.m. on the first day.
Ungrateful? Sure. No water for two days.

Now, let’s turn this over and tickle its tummy. What do we find?

We have potable water sent to the house. No drawing from a well and then lugging it back home.
Someone else went out in the cold and the snow, dug up the street, found the problem, and fixed it. I didn’t have to do anything. I didn’t even have to leave my house.
It happened several times until the water main was replaced two years ago. Another reason to be grateful although grumbling about tax increases leaps to the tongue quicker than a thank you.

Five minutes a day of grumbling is easy. Five minutes a day of gratitude takes work.

It shouldn’t.
We’ve got so much here and we complain that it’s not good enough.
Instead of whining, why not make a list of what you’ve got and say thanks for it?
I do this as part of my morning prayer cycle. Even if I just mention a few things, I am genuinely grateful every day.

A partial list:

1. Roof over my head.
2. Husband who loves me.
3. Beautiful day. Irrespective of the weather, all days are beautiful.
4. I thank the God/Goddess/ Universe all that is for all I have been given and all I have received.
5. Anything else that comes to mind while I’m standing outside.

I don’t know that this adds up to five minutes. I don’t think it does yet.

But I’m trying. I am grateful and it should be easy to spin that out a bit longer.
What are you grateful for? Have you thought about it?

Have you looked at what you have and listed it out? Or are you so concerned with getting more stuff that you don’t take stock of what you’ve already received?


Dawn said...

You can be my resident wise woman, Leah. You make me think about the things I should.

And I love your line "now let's turn this over and tickle it's tummy"! I'm sorry but I will steal it. I can not be trusted with extra succulent words!

Leah J. Utas said...

Steal away, Dawn, and don't be sorry. I'm thrilled.

Crabby McSlacker said...

What a great post!

Despite my Crabby nature, I actually do believe that spending some time in conscious gratitude each day is really worth doing. (I used to even have a little routine before I went to sleep every night; now it's more random. But i really do try to appreciate how lucky I am).