Allow me to start with a story.
Once there was a happy young woman living in Hawaii with a loving husband, two beautiful sons and assorted pets. One day she was bathing and discovered a lump in her breast. She wasn’t worried about it, though. She figured it was just a “swollen gland”. Finally, she did see a doctor who informed her had breast cancer. Thus began an amazing journey of physical, mental, and emotional challenges, which initially left her confused, fearful, depressed, angry, sad and just overall miserable. However, eventually the young woman began to embark on a path that ultimately provided tools have assisted her in moving through breast cancer, and other subsequent life altering situations, with more grace and ease. The creation of her “wisdom series” started with breast cancer and has continued to evolve over the past 21 years.
Okay, in case you haven’t guessed already, that young woman is me and I would like to share one essential “ingredient” with you now. In almost every one of my recipes, i sprinkle in some gratitude. I have found the element of gratitude greatly enhances the essence of my life.
So, what exactly is gratitude? According to “mother hubbard”: “it’s finding something positive in all situations and using every experience as an opportunity to be thankful”.
Of course, that is easy to do when the experience is a pleasant one. The challenge comes about when remembering to add the element of gratitude when faced with situations that are not pleasurable. However, the interesting thing about adding gratitude during difficult times is it does not take very much of this ingredient to alter a “recipe”; a little goes a long way!
Now you might be asking, “Where is my gratitude ingredient? How do i find it when my cupboard is bare or the shelves are full of ingredients like fear, anger, and sadness?” Here are a few simple steps to help you locate your gratitude ingredient:
- Move your attention to the present moment and step away from the “cupboard”. Stand back and acknowledge gratitude is on the shelf somewhere, it’s just hidden behind the some other stuff. Breathe deep and look around you.
- As you look around, what do you see? Do you see people that genuinely care about you? (Family? Friends? Medical staff?) Do you have books? Music? Computer games? A roof over your head? Can you see, feel, touch nature? (Tree branches blowing in the breeze, flowers, rain?)
- Acknowledge everything you have in your life that feels good as a blessing. You may find it helps to write these things down in a journal. On days when your gratitude ingredient is missing, it might be easier remember where you put it last when you review your journal.
- Finally, please know your recipes for wellness will become tastier the more you use the element of gratitude.
Try it. I think you will like it!
– Chris Hubbard