Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Gratitude to Start Your Day, with or without a partner

Day and Night One
Gratitude: Aloud, and On Paper, and Aloud
Then, at night: Sharing your gratitudes

On June 20, 2015, I walked down the street on which I lived, to meet a woman I knew and admired and liked for a lunch and “study” session. I was writing a book on radical listening. She was smart and kind and I wanted her input. Her name was Carol Williams then.
It’s Carol Elms now.

We talked for the agreed upon hour. Then we “played” one of the games in that book, an unfinished predecessor to this one. This game will appear, in many guises and forms, in this book. It’s a great game. It could change your life.

The game was to talk for five minutes each, by timer, in turns.
We talked, while the other listened. 
For one hour, for two hours, for three.
And then we kept adding on, so that an hour and a half lunch “meeting” turned into a twelve hour non-date, that was the best date in the world, because at the end of it, we were pretty close to certain that we’d found a life partner of far, far higher caliber than we’d dared to wish for.
And how did we get to know so much, so fast?
We talked, one at a time, while the other listened.
We watched (twice) Brene Brown’s TED talk on vulnerability.
We walked down the road and shared an oyster dinner. (None of this planned, mind you, all the delight and surprise of one new and easy thing after another)
We shared Bible verses.
One of Carol’s that really turned me on, as a lover of being present, and the quietness that bring about, was from Palms: Be still and know I am God.
One of mine was from Philippians: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
Short version: 
Be happy. 
Let your gentleness be evident.
The Lord is near.
Don’t be anxious about anything
Always give thanks, first
and then
Ask for what your deepest self wants.

Be grateful first.
Then ask.

And so, now, this is how we start our book, and how everyone COULD start their days.
With gratitude.
Later, we’ll get into the importance of asking, from your deep real and highest self, for your heart and soul’s desire.
And always: start with thanks and gratitude.
Everyday is thanksgiving.
Let’s start now.

Because the brain and heart can either be in fear or gratitude.
Not both.
People, you and me, cannot be in fear and love at the same time.
People, you and me, cannot be in fear and happily open to new and wonderful possibilities coming into our lives.

Let’s start, now.

Day One: Let’s Practice

In the day, in day one please play these three games:

Day One, Game One: Say aloud three gratitudes.
Like now.
Just speak, or shout, or whisper them out.

Day One, Game Two: Write down, on a piece of paper, three gratitudes.
They can be the same.
They can be new.
Just write, in handwriting, on a piece of paper.
If you are somewhere with no paper, write them with your finger on your leg or in the air.

Sooner or later, and better sooner, get yourself a GRATITUDE JOURNAL.
Write in it, twice a day, morning and night. 
Or more.

Day One, Game Three: Stand up, right now, and say aloud, three gratitudes.
They can be the same.
They can be new.
Just stand up and feel the taller, more physical you, saying three gratitudes.

Okay, that’s pretty easy, right?
Like many things, DOING IT, is a lot less hard than GETTING AROUND TO DOING IT.
So, if you have read the above and think/ feel/ imagine you are going to getting around to doing it.
Pat yourself on the shoulder for being a normal fool.


Later, it’s time to play a little bit of the game that Carol and I played. It’s time to talk in turns. It’s time to practice talking to each other without being in the “planning” mode, and without being in the “issues” realm. Later we’ll talk in the goals and dreams mode, and for now: this is the way to start: Gratitude.

Night One, Game One: Write gratitudes together. 
With your good/bad/ lousy partner.
Sit across from each other.
Have an agreement to spend ten minutes together.

Have a gratitude journal.
Each write five gratitudes in each other’s company.
Smiling at each other as you write is permitted.

Night One, Game Two: Then, share the “good stuff” : taking TURNS sharing gratitudes.

Staying in these chair, but NOT READING WHAT YOU WROTE, take turns telling each other three gratitudes at a time.
Look each other in the eye as you speak, which is why reading is a no, no.
Go slowly.
Don’t be perfect.
Just say three gratitudes.
Then listen to three gratitudes.
Then say.
Then listen.

You may say the same ones.
And… no comments.

Do this two times back and forth, or more, if you are on a roll, and do save room for one last sharing while you are standing in front of each other.
Night one, Game Three: Stand, look each other in the eye, say three gratitudes in turns
Face each other
Look each other in the eye
Take turns saying three gratitudes
Take a couple of turns

That’s it

Unless you don’t have a partner.

Alternatives, if you don’t have a partner:
Call up a friend and ask if they’d like to sit and write gratitudes.
And then share gratitudes without reading.
And then stand and share gratitudes.

Or, if a person isn’t around. Or if you’d like to experience this sort of relationship: imagine you are saying the gratitudes to some Higher Power or God or Spirit or Life.
Something/ anything bigger than you.

That’s all.
That’s easy once you do it.
Don’t be shy.
God/ Higher Power/ Something Bigger than You, isn’t in any mood to have you be perfect. She/ He/ It is happy for the chance for you to say these gratitudes.
You are happy for a chance to say these gratitudes.
The world and the universe is happy when you are grateful.

This is good.
You are good.


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