One of our group leaders was bringing us present with a moment of mindfulness at the start of the session. She reminded us how nice it was to be together - in a warm, dry indoor circle while the rain and wind continued its barrage outside.
I suddenly felt such gratitude to be sitting in a warm room with other seekers. The feeling rushed through me like warm water or electricity, my scalped tingled, my heart contracted and my limbs surged with sensation.
I knew there was nothing to do but be with the sensations - and smile. This is the magic of gratitude. Soaking in these sensations, I suddenly had an image pop into my head, of me wearing bracelets and anklets made out of concrete. I was walking through a field with cinder blocks around my ankles and wrists - which meant I was stomping and crashing and having to bang my fists with all my might in order to move my arms.
I realized that this is how I had been making my way through my days, punching through difficulty with willpower, noticing everything that was difficult, feeling confined and powerless and yet using all my energy at the same time.
Suddenly, in my mind’s eye, the cement blocks turned into garlands of greenery and flowers, and I was dancing through that field instead of bashing my way. That was gratitude working its magic.
Freedom and beauty and grace all came alive in my body. What if I danced through my days with garlands and gratitude?
And that has made all of the difference: I am enjoying my family; I am appreciating the beauty of my surroundings; I am feeling moved by my work.
I am smiling and I am full of love. And the lines of Rumi come to mind:
Dance, when you're broken open...Dance when you're perfectly free.
What might the magic of gratitude offer you?