I’ve been writing about change for 20 years now; how we need to “change the world” – change the way we do things. After several years of writing & (environmental) activism aimed at changing the world, I had that “Aha!” realization that Buddhists have long spoken of.
If we want peace in the world, we must first find peace within.
This is harder than it sounds, of course. Things always are, hmm?
Well. Life has conspired to keep teaching me useful lessons. Parenthood, marriage & Relationships 101 just keep the lessons coming. It never ends.
The biggest & best one in my life has been about the powerful magic of gratitude. I’ve written about this elsewhere, & it keeps coming up over & over in what I write; sorry to be such a broken record about this, but it’s such a key lesson, I seem to need to keep on & on about it.
I think a lot of us focus on fear-based feelings an awful lot of the time. We obsess about what we don’t have, have lost, wish we had, can’t have. On jealousy & resentment & victimhood.
“Oh poor me.”
Since what we focus on expands, that stuff fills us right up. It recycles itself endlessly, too, hmm?
Me, I prefer to fill up on the love-based side of the life equation. Gratitude – joy – energy – passion.
And, since what we focus on expands, I tend to be a pretty joyful person a lot of the time.
Now, it so happens I’m in a bit of a personal…shall we say, challenging…patch right now. Some of the tough stuff – loss, loneliness, pain – is very much present at the moment.
So it’s more work than usual, staying joyful & positive.
Gratitude isn’t the only “everyday magic” I call on – I also use daily walking – frequent singing – hanging out with friends – & meaningful work – & writing! – to keep my spirits up.
For sure, though, gratitude is the one that transformed my life, back 12 or so years ago now.
I think there are quite a few things that can help us transform ourselves (& then, hopefully, the world!). Given the current state of the world, I’d say there is a pretty clear need for transformations of many kinds, wouldn’t you? Counselling & books & various sorts of workshops & experiences can be enormously helpful for individual-level transformation – & I’ve made use of many of those too, over the years.(1)
But I’m utterly convinced that gratitude is the very best place for any of us to start.
p.s. I've done quite a few postings about gratitude. They're all listed on the one called 'Gratitude Postings: A list & an insight.' You can link to all of them from that page.
(1) You’ll find information on "4 Great Opportunities for Personal Growth” under the ‘Recommended’ tab on this blog. You’ll also find some really helpful books to read – 2 different lists' worth of good books (one is more for personal-level transformation,the other more, shall we say, globally oriented).