My first blog post was titled “Surrendering to Center”. In describing this, I wrote:
“What this means to me is that center happens. “Center” is that element of myself that I cannot avoid. it is me, the good, the bad, the ugly. Therefore, I happen. I happen everyday, whether I am alone, with my son, my friends, my coworkers. Surrendering to center means that I need to embrace my demons, make peace with them and thoroughly love me for who I am.”
I think that a basic building block of this is a good practice of gratitude. I say this because gratitude is in fact a practice. It is a practice because we need to in fact “practice” the art of gratitude even when we don’t have the ability to see the benefit or even if we don’t have the ability to see what significance of something in the immediate.
It’s not one that I’ve felt I’ve been too terribly good at. I am grateful for the obvious things, the things that we should all be grateful for, family, friends, love, a pay check, a place to train, a place to study, a place to express art. I’m not that great at being grateful for adverse things that pop up into my life. I don’t think that we should jump for joy when those big or small things come in our lives, but I feel that I can do a better job in accepting some of those obstacles and challenges that do come in.
Pema Chodran writes. By putting up with little cares, with minor annoyance, when the “shenpa” (annoyance) is light weight we train ourselves to work with great adversity. By putting up with learning to keep our nobility, to not spin off, to not reject our own energy when the challenge is fairly workable, we train for difficult times. This is how we prepare ourselves to work with any highly charged situations that may come our way in the near or distant future.
It’s exactly these “little cares” that I need to work on. I believe that I can get there with gratitude. With gratitude I can see that people are people and they are just doing the best they can. With gratitude I can see that when people know better they do better. I can address a situation but I don’t have to let it affect me. So, I think that today, 12/31/2011 will be a good time to reflect on this, to surrender to center yet again, and make gratitude my direction for the coming new year.