“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”
— G.K. Chesterton
One of the things that I’ve written a lot about over the years has been my morning practice of breaking out my journal and writing. I follow a process that I learned from Mark Divine and Unbeatable Mind, and it starts with writing down what you are grateful for. I’ll try to think of three things, although sometimes only one comes to mind and I’ll move on. I do this first thing in my day – I grab my journal and walk into my office and sit down on the floor and think about gratitude. It frames the rest of my day in this positive light, and I can absolutely tell if I don’t do it, my mind starts racing around instead to all the different things I have to do today, all the stressors and worries start floating up. I encourage you to take this simple 5 minute step to begin a productive, positive day.
Today, I wrote about being grateful for such a good start to our outdoor classes this week. They’ve been super fun! And then I thought about why they have been successful, why I have enjoyed seeing everyone’s smiling faces these mornings and evenings.
I am grateful for our health. I write this a lot in my journal, because in my family just like in yours, we all go through periods of health issues, injuries, or just generally scary times. This has a lot to do with finding the silver lining when it seems like things are rough, but also with reinforcing the things we have been doing, and should keep doing, to stay as healthy as possible.
For our collective CFKI community’s health, I am thankful that as I see many of my friends again for the first time in a long while, I see a fit, confident athlete, ready to work. Not a person that seems to have been ravaged by sickness, injury, or pandemic stress. We have generally come out of this quarantine situation in a very positive way, and I’m proud of you all and grateful for our good fortune.
Which leads me to our next collective quality I am eternally grateful for — our resilience. Not that I am surprised by this, because it has happened so many times within our community, but I am so grateful for the fact that in the face of great uncertainty and fear, we have supported each other and stayed positive. It has happened when individual members battled disease and needed our emotional and financial support. It has happened after the tornado that ripped away many of our homes and possessions. We always lift each other up. This time, even though we all individually needed support, we looked away from ourselves and looked toward each other and thought, “who needs my support right now?” The resilience that you all showed individually reinforced the strong bond that we all share, and we’re all still here ready to keep fighting through this. As Rudyard Kipling wrote in The Jungle Book, “The strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.”
With this health and resilience comes an opportunity that I am grateful for — our opportunity to be good role models for others in our families, our broader communities we are a part of, and indeed our country. Let’s continue to support each other, and show love and support to everyone around the world that needs it just as much as we do now, so that the idea that we can actually become more of a global community out of this crisis comes to fruition. I can’t even watch the news anymore because of the divisiveness and tribalism being shown by our leaders, and other political leaders across the world. But they will not always be in power, and we can show our young leaders that the days of scarcity and “we’re going to solve this for ourselves and leave others out” is not the way to move forward.
So, in the end, I am grateful. And I encourage you all to focus on what you are grateful for as well, first thing in the morning and then throughout the day let it help frame your mindset and your decisions. Let your friends and family know why you are grateful for them, and ask what you can do to support them. The fate of humanity might just depend on it!