Today while engaged in the routine cleaning of the house a great opportunity presented itself to me - the opportunity to practise being grateful. Rather than mindlessly doing my chores in my normal, half hearted way I found myself slowing down and being mindful of all the thing that I had to be grateful. Rather than being a little (or a lot!) resentful of the fact that I had to do the cleaning in the first place I began to find that I was expressing gratitude for the simple fact that I had a house to attend to.
As I moved my familiar ornaments and pictures in order dust and polish my furniture I found that my heart was opening to the memories of so many people whose presence in my life had enriched it in so many ways.
There was the plant bought for me by my friend Edna, the photo frame my niece bought for me on my wedding day, the little african bowl that was given to me as a thank you present by my neighbours daughter, the painting of Durham cathedral and the associations of home, prayer and sanctuary which it offers me, the mother's day cards lovingly picked and given to me by my two daughters, the family photographs scattered around the place.
Rather than just simply letting myself be reminded of these people and places today I made time to stand in stillness for a while and to feel from the heart the energy of their presence in my life and to offer a silent "Thank you" to them. This doesn't have to take too long - a few seconds can be enough to make a difference.
By actually savouring and enjoying the routine task of cleaning rather than rushing through it in order to get on to the next, possibly more pleasurable task, today I actually found that my chores had uplifted me rather than drained me.
Taking time to be appreciative ( to remind ourselves of the preciousness of life) is definitely beneficial to us and a practise worth cultivating.
Who knows perhaps we may be able to find it within us to become grateful and appreciative for the simple fact that we are alive and living.For surely we don't have to wait for things to materialise for us before we say "Thank you" for them. We can after all simply say "Thank you" for the generous gift of life itself.
The opinions I express here are my own. However I offer them with the word 'syat' next to them. 'Syat' is a word used by the Jain Tribe in India which means 'To the best of my knowledge SO FAR.' In the spirit of openness I invite comments from anyone whether you agree with my point of view or not. In this way we can all learn and grow together. Thank you.