Walk Through the Gates of Gratitude and You’ll Find Joy
There’s no question the world is in a major crisis. In addition to the global issues that surfaced with the pandemic, we now have a war in Ukraine. Add a heavy dose of climate change and personal challenges and it’s.too.much. Still, I hold space for hope. Hope for a more equitable, peaceful society where love, not fear is the driving force for all things. I’m placing my bet on my fellow humans, for we continually share our time, talent and treasure to counter the world’s atrocities. During these times, it is easy to feel scattered, stressed, or guilty for living your life in the midst of chaos.
So, how do you center yourself to find peace and joy during these uncertain times?
Start with gratitude.
Having gratitude for the tiny moments — the morning coffee, the walk in the park, the kindness shown by a friend or a stranger — will ground you in the here and now. When you’re in the here and now, you worry less about the future. Finding gratitude for the present moment fills your cup up with the emotional energy you need to move forward.
Expressing gratitude doesn’t mean you can’t feel sadness, hurt or anger. It simply means, in spite of these things, there is still something you can be grateful for. My practice includes taking photos of the moments that bring me joy and posting them on Instagram. It reminds me that despite my mom’s terminal diagnosis, precious moments exist that make each day beautiful. I spend less time worrying about how awful it will feel to not have my mom present and more time soaking up the wonderful mom moments while she is still here.
To practice gratitude:
1. Limit your exposure to the news. Get the skinny, then turn it off.
2. Sit with yourself. Take 15 minutes to enjoy your morning coffee or evening tea without distraction.
3. Jot down what you’re grateful for. Create a list, snap a photo, or make a doodle. Keep it simple so it’s easy to do each day.
4. Walk through the gates of gratitude and you’ll find joy. Your list, photo, or doodle will remind you there’s something to celebrate each day.
After you feel centered, consider how you can extend peace and joy to others. Volunteering your time or donating to organizations are two ways to connect to our fellow humans on the other side of the globe. A hot meal, a safe place to stay, or a moment to focus on family instead of mere survival will help those seeking refuge find their center.
As a group, we have so much power. When we put our resources together, we can make a difference. We can find peace and joy for ourselves and spread it to others, even in the face of uncertainty.