Friday, February 10

An Attitude of Gratitude {Featuring Ronni from Anywhere Is}

Hey friends!  My friend Ronni from Anywhere-Is has a powerful message on gratitude to share with you while I'm away {hopefully surviving three toddlers!} in Texas.  Enjoy!

Venturing Out
When I was a little girl, I was pretty happy. You know how they say ignorance is bliss? Yeah. It was like that. My parents spoiled my sister and me (seriously, every Christmas was insane!), and I loved school. If I lacked anything, I didn't know it (well, except for the Merry-Go-Round stroller and the Sit-N-Spin, but never mind those!), and I had everything I needed. We had a house in the city, and this house had a huge yard. Strawberry patches, plum trees, and a grape vine was something to take for granted. Giant pine trees with benches to cool off under. Gardens. Grass to play in forever. I didn't know that stuff was special, or a luxury. We lived upstairs from my grandfather, who I called Puddin'. Life was good, but in the typical unaware fashion of children (as it should be), I didn't know just how great it was.

It was after Puddin' passed away that things began to change. Suddenly, my family was struggling. A lot. Sometimes the lights or water would get cut off. Trips to Sears for large new school wardrobes no longer happened. When I was 16, I got a job working in an affluent suburb and began noticing just how different my life was from these kids who didn't work because they had to, but worked because they had nothing better to do on any given day. These kids lived in big houses, rode horses, and drove their own cars. They went to really nice schools with all the bells and whistles I'd only read about in novels or saw on TV. I was in an inner city school (which I hated) with a bunch of cynical and bitter classmates who, except for a few, just didn't get me. I was a nerd and a misfit.

I hated me. I hated life. I hated everything. And I escaped into fantasy worlds all the time.

One thing I've noticed is that a lot of people I know from Cleveland tend to have this downer type of attitude. There is always something to complain about. Always something to be depressed about. And I can't blame them, really. Cleveland's just now starting to get back on its feet after many years of decline. But it's challenging to rebuild what's been allowed to crumble. That attitude is deeply ingrained in my being, and I really have to work hard at being thankful for everything I have. When there is an abundance of love, friends, food, money, fortune, and blessings, it's so easy to find things to be thankful for. But when things are not going so well? Ah, that's where the challenge begins. And even when I am happy? It's still too easy for me to find something to mutter about!

Namaste
It was when I began taking yoga that I started to learn about the Attitude of Gratitude. You see, a lot of people think yoga is just stretching and relaxing. I am here to assure you it is not. Depending on the type you practice, you will sweat! But that's beside the point. The point is that yoga is more than just a physical thing. It's also a challenge to look inside yourself, to find that inner light, polish it, and let it shine. But if you're not thankful, then you're only shining up gunk. I've learned that when I face my day with a list of things to be thankful for, more blessings rain down on me. It's a silly thing really. I am not a hard core believer in the Law of Attraction, but it just seems that happiness begets more happiness. Being genuinely glad at the abundance that I have just gives me more things to be glad about.

Still, it's all too easy for me to fall into complaining. I really have to be intentional with being grateful for all the blessings I have. I need to go out of my way to focus on all the good things and stop whining about stupid things, especially things I have no control over (like traffic lights and sales tax). I mean, I definitely have no problem with venting and clearing the air, but there has to be a point where I move past that so I can experience grace. It's a much nicer feeling than negativity. I think I need to be even more intentional with feeling thankful. I know someone who tries to post five positive things about each day on her blog. She's been doing it for many years. I could keep a gratitude journal. I could write a list. Many possibilities. It can't be anything but good for me.

New Coat
"When we practice an attitude of gratitude, we are practicing feeling loved." 

Thank you so much Ronni, for sharing your personal journey and insight on gratitude.  I love that you keep a journal of things you are grateful for…what a powerful way to constantly be reminded of all that you have!

To visit Ronni & connect with her more, visit Anywhere-Is.

4 comments:

  1. Ronni is one of my favorite bloggers because she is honest and open. She doesn't sugarcoat things and she puts her real self out there. That can be rare in the blogging community. I heart Ronni!

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  2. Plus, she's just too damn cute!

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  3. <3 I heart you, too! :D

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Thank you so much for your lovely comments! I don't always have time to respond to each one, but I do read them! XO