An Attitude of Gratitude

About this time every year~ when winter seems to go on and on and on~ my people have a Retreat. Let me be more specific…the program for which I work has a half day meeting where we have a speaker, great soup and time to reconnect with each other…before the dark days of winter, the isolation of itinerant teaching,  and paperwork, drives us all over the edge.

This year the theme was “Compassionate Communication”. Great I thought!  I can really use more strategies for my tool box right now with all three of my districts and school staff doing more with less.  So, eagerly I arrived and dove in…present and engaged. I was greatly blessed and convicted.

Carol Delmonico reminded us about being grateful, yes for the warm home and job and usual things we in the western world think of, but also for the very small things that keep us grounded in the moment. Can you think of any? The beauty of the snowflake, the warm glow of the fire, steam swirling from your cup of glorious tea, the laugh of your beloved.

So often in our busy lives we forget to give thanks for these small blessings, let alone remember them during the day which by doing so can carry us through our over booked and often stressed activities.

What is this? I thought this was about helping others.  “It is” He whispered. “Today don’t solve, don’t plan , don’t strive…Just Listen”

Balance is knowing when your cup is full and when it is moving toward empty…secretly I was thinking mine has definitely been moving toward empty. How can I meet the needs of anyone else (and with compassion OR gratitude) when I am running on empty myself? Balance and gratitude. Happiness and connecting to My Own needs. (gulp) Conviction. This woman has been reading my journal… and my mind!

This timely personal reminder applies to some recent big steps of courage and growth and stepping out which resulted in being off balance (aka being severely out of my comfort zone~ what Carol would graciously refer to as “changing course”), then picking myself up, realizing I survived, dusting myself off, reflecting  and learning. Making adjustments for the next growth step to be a bit more timely, much less rocky and much more successful. Normal life events which needed to occur that I might continue to cultivate ~and model~a field of gratefulness. To act in obedience, leaving the results to The One Who Knows. To expend energy controlling  only what I can control…and let go of the rest.

Compassionate Communication with myself. Reminding me to  really hear, acknowledge and embrace the hopes, the dreams, the stirrings, the longings, the grief, and even the fears. To be as gentle and patient with myself  as I am with my students, my children, my friends and my colleagues. Myself?  Ohhhh. Myself.

To cultivate an attitude of gratitude. To engage in life and relationships with joy, passion and purpose. To return to balance. To be gentle and compassionate and forgiving with yourself.  How are you doing?  Until next time…

Learn more at and the book Pay It Forward by Robert A Emmons, Ph.D


linking here: The Social Scene

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