As the harvest season gives way to the holiday season, abundance is in evidence all around me. Even though I don’t live on a farm and I do live in a tropical climate, I still feel the overflowing cornucopia of the Earth’s northern hemisphere rhythm of completing productivity and slowing into repose for the winter. Each year at this time, I feel into the fullness of the gifts that the time of harvest has brought to fruition as I slow my own rhythms into their own seasonal repose.
Thanksgiving brought its own gift of remembrance and gratitude. As we feasted upon the harvest’s bounty, we had an opportunity to celebrate that which we are grateful for, to give thanks. That can be a fun and easy thing to do, when things are shiny and bright in our lives. But what about when things don’t feel good? Is there a place for gratitude when things are dark and scary?
I believe the answer is YES! How many times have I looked in hindsight at the difficult, challenging, and unhappy experiences in my life and realized what gems they held and how much I gained from them? What if I didn’t have to wait for hindsight to feel gratitude? What if I could choose to welcome it all, and trust that not only will it serve me, but that I created every aspect of it? I invoked immense gratitude right from the start of my breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, and that turned out to be a very positive, life-affirming experience.
We live in a world of polarity, and we simply cannot live in the light all the time. We can pretend to, and many people do. Know anyone who seems to be happy all the time? Does it feel real? Are you projecting happy all the time? What’s underneath that, really?
What would it take to embrace the more difficult experiences and to find gratitude for them? Let’s do an experiment! I’ll call it the Gratitude Experiment. From now until the end of 2013, or for how ever many days you want to play, I propose that we invoke gratitude for every experience we have, no matter how sad, angry, or unhappy they seem to be. I’m not saying it will be easy, and it may require reminders (a note that says “open this when unhappy” that reminds us to invoke gratitude?). It may feel fake or out of place or downright ridiculous, but I invite you to give it a chance. You don’t have to make yourself feel it, simply invoke the energy of it and see what happens.
I welcome any feedback, comments, or insights you have as you take part in the experiment!
Love & blessings, Amrita