I’ve been rushing around lately. Rushing through life. Busily filling out page after page of bar application materials—scrambling to find forgotten facts of all the places I’ve lived since age eighteen. In the midst of completing my seemingly endless to-do list, I so easily grumble and lose sight of the many blessings I have in life.
Not only do I lose sight of my present blessings, but I get swept away worrying about the future. Will I pass the bar exam? Will I find a job? Where will I live? What do I want to do with my life?
When we are consumed by complaints and fear, we separate ourselves from our true purpose and paralyze the creativity within us. Trapped by our own Resistance*.
How can we avoid getting ensnared in such limiting thoughts?
By learning to cultivate a spirit of gratefulness, we can make the most out of our life and unlock our potential for creativity and wonder.
Remember, this is not just another day in your life. It is the one day that is given to you. Today. So, explore the world around you! Let yourself be surprised.
Take in all of your surroundings. Life is fleeting and there may never be another moment such as this.
Brother David Steindl-Rast, a Benedictine monk, has written extensively about gratefulness and suggests we make a point of connecting with people we encounter throughout our day. “Look at the faces of people whom you meet. Each one has an incredible story behind their face. A story that you could never fully fathom . . .”
By allowing ourselves to truly connect with our surroundings and the people with whom we cross paths, we open our hearts to an enormous amount of blessings and leave no room for thoughts of fear and complaints.
We can learn to be grateful now for things seen and as yet unseen. We can learn to be at peace in the midst of uncertainty. In this way, we can overcome our own Resistance and free the artist within.
How do you cultivate gratitude? Have you found yourself trapped by thoughts of fear or uncertainty? How have you overcome those thoughts?
*If you want to learn more about our inner Resistance and ways our minds sabotage our creativity, read The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield