In A Colossal Investment, I shared on meditation, into which I am returning for a deeper dive these days and going forward. As this Thanksgiving Weekend arrives, my intention is to meditate on Gratitude.
The Virtues Reflection Card identifies its practice as being grateful for our lives, perceiving the blessings, continually expressing Appreciation, reflecting on the good, finding value in challenge and adversity, living with a sense of abundance and “enoughness”, and engaging joy.
All of this is to say that Gratitude cannot simply be an “event”, a time and place. It is a countenance and gate, as we walk through our lives.
With that in mind and heart, I remember these words for which I am sincerely and deeply grateful. I have now memorized them, and adopted them as a “Code of Character” if you will, towards which I will strive. They are not about being perfect (for that is myth). For me, they are about perfecting.
That said, in the opening words, there is the idea of being “thankful in adversity”, Gratitude begins with that which we are truly thankful for and holding onto that. When I read these words around Thankfulness amidst adversity, two ideas bubble up,
First, amidst challenge, we can remind ourselves and center ourselves on whatever is “good” in our lives. We can use such as anchor, ballast, rudder and sail in navigating stormy waters. I will share more shortly. Second, we can see challenge and adversity in a new light. I will attempt here to demonstrate and manifest for you (and me) here and now.
I am thankful for my age. My 61 years young provides me experience and track record of trails, trials and triumphs from which to learn and grow. Truly. My truest Confidence is born of same. I am thankful for 40 years in leadership training and development, 26 years as a College Educator, and 31 years as an Entrepreneur. I am thankful for my willingness to learn, and question. I am thankful for my Optimism, not positivity. I see challenge and understand it to be challenge and am willing to put in the work. But, I know we will “get there”. I am thankful for my youthful spirit. I am thankful for my baldness, though not at first. I love this look and the hair maintenance thing is so much easier lol.
I am thankful for people (alive or not, real or not, human or not) who I admire. I am thankful for my modest home, The Greens… and my black beast of a Honda. I am thankful for good gas mileage and standard transmission. I am thankful for my joy in blogging and vlogging, my love of dancing, singing and cartooning. I am thankful for the tech in my life, and my joy in pen and paper. I am thankful for my books, and my back deck… and the moon at night. I am thankful for my #bestlittledogintheworld Panda, though I miss her greatly (now 37 weeks in since she took her leave). I am thankful for her Presence, still. I am thankful for being present at the passing of Panda, my mother and my father. I am thankful for them all. I am thankful for my recent diagnoses of Type 2 Diabetes. It has become a best friend keeping me finally honest on eating better, working out and shedding (at this point) 39 pounds and another 50+ to go… to get back to that dance instructor shape. Yes, I am thankful for studying and teaching dance. I am indeed thankful that Diabetes has brought to me a new lifestyle. I am thankful for my minor stroke of 2015 and what it continues to teach me. I am thankful for my love of teaching. I am thankful for Epic Engage. I am thankful for my home in The Pearl, born of this place but knowing that Newfoundland and Labrador is my neighborhood, Canada my village, and the world is my country. I am Terran, a world citizen. I am thankful. I am thankful for my Baha’i Faith which grounds me. I am thankful for walking trails and nature, and food in my cupboards. I am thankful for tastebuds that have found new and good foods to enjoy.
I am thankful for my belief in life and death, and their meaning. I am thankful for meaning. I am thankful for a childhood imagination that has travelled with me. I am thankful for Shinedown, and the power of music. I am thankful for my students, my mentors and my teachers. I am thankful for my struggles, my dropping the ball and learning. I am thankful for the relationships in my life… short or long, good or bad… they have taught me increasingly about me. I am thankful for me wanting to know me better. I am thankful for a “handful of friends who can’t be bought“. I am thankful that I always want to love what I do and do what I love. I am thankful for great books, and a world that has such Beauty.
I am thankful for Star Trek and the vision of Gene Roddenberry. I am thankful for Marvel. I am thankful for the nerd in me and my love for my Indianapolis Colts.
I am thankful for Zoom amidst 83 weeks of working and living remotely. I am thankful for my deep, Soulful desire to love and find that “one” despite my meanderings. I am thankful to be that Hopeful romantic. I am thankful for being more than OK in the process, loving my life wholly and Holy. I am thankful for who I am, and who I can be as I work on my own sense of Character. I am thankful for “The Barry Unit”; my life, my sister who I have not met yet and will not until I do my own departing for the Next Realm. I am thankful for family and friends and a Circle I love.
I am thankful for TUGtv and Digital Coffees… and a desire to learn Mandarin. I am thankful for a genuine desire to learn.
I am thankful for being that shy kid who went on to speak, teach, coach, mentor, facilitate, training and more. I am thankful for my beautiful time with Dale Carnegie Training (1987-2001), and The Virtues Project (2002-Present and Beyond). I am grateful for my work around temperament, Character and Unity. I am grateful for my core CAPS community (2004-Present and Beyond).
How About You?
This is an exercise I intend to meditate on and practice for life. I believe it matters for our health, happiness and heroism.
So, how about you? For what are you grateful? Get down and dirty and real… on the trails, trials and triumphs. Inventory your own. Start writing or typing or speaking and recording… and don’t stop ’til you squeeze the orange dry. Then, keep that list. Keep it forefront. Own it. Add to it as life proceeds. It matters. Gratitude is a treasure that allows us to invest in our lives ever increasingly. Thankfulness for trails, trials and triumphs alike is the motherlode of Strength, Commitment, Confidence, Compassion and so very much more.
Peace, purpose and prosperity.
“Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing. ― Abraham Lincoln