May anxiety never linger about you. May your outer dignity mirror an inner dignity of soul. Take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention. Be consoled in the secret symmetry of your soul. May you experience each day as a sacred gift, woven around the heart of wonder.
John O’Donohue, For Presence
If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate. Give in to it. ….
Whatever it is, don’t be afraid of its plenty.
Joy is not made to be a crumb.
Mary Oliver, Swan: Poems and Prose Poems
Years ago I had a Buddhist teacher in Thailand who would remind all his students that there was always something to be thankful for. He’d say, “Let’s rise and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we may have learned a little. And if we didn’t learn even a little, at least we didn’t get sick. And if we did get sick, at least we didn’t die. So let us all be thankful”.
Leo Buscaglia, Born for Love: Reflections on Loving.
Dialogue with the invisible can go on every minute,
and with surprising gaiety I am saying thank you as I
remember who I am, a woman learning to praise
something as small as dandelion petals floating on the
steaming surface of this bowl of vegetable soup,
my happy, savoring tongue.
Jeanne Lohmann, To Say Nothing But Thank You (extract)
Grace and gratitude share the same root word along with gravitas, and there is a strong interconnection among these three states. When people internalize and integrate their experience of grace, their character naturally deepens and they develop gravitas. In Latin, gravitas is similar to charisma, and is defined as a quality that draws us to those who embody dignity, integrity, wisdom, substance, and presence. Being conscious of where grace is present in our lives motivates our expression of gratitude and cultivates gravitas. Gratitude is the external expression. These moments are rare gifts in which we open to an expansive place within our nature, where all is ‘right with the world.
There is a simple practice we can do to cultivate forgiveness. First we acknowledge what we feel – shame, revenge, embarrassment, remorse. Then we forgive ourselves for being human. Then, in the spirit of not wallowing in the pain, we let go and make a fresh start. We don’t have to carry the burden with us anymore. We can acknowledge, forgive, and start anew. If we practice this way, little by little we’ll learn to abide with the feeling of regret for having hurt ourselves and others. We will also learn self-forgiveness. Eventually, at our own speed, we’ll even find our capacity to forgive those who have done us harm. We will discover forgiveness as a natural expression of the open heart, an expression of our basic goodness. This potential is inherent in every moment. Each moment is an opportunity to make a fresh start.