“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” -Marcus Tullius Cicero
Leaving the BlogWorld conference in Las Vegas and reflecting on what I learned, or maybe better put, what I continue to learn about life could be summed up in the feeling of gratitude. I didn’t walk away with any big aha moments from attending, but I did come to appreciate again, and in a new way, that it is doing the work that is the path. I came to the conference looking for some answers about online writing as a career path and saw clearly that the answers were as numerous and diverse as the people attending.
Everyone came to Internet writing/business with a different passion; most without a clear plan of where it would take them and each with a unique brand of wisdom that only the time and experience they collected along the way could have provided. There were a lot more companies with a variety of new and innovative tools to “monetize” the blog space than there were bloggers. There were so many new tools and platforms available to the craft, it would be easy to get distracted.
Distraction I think is a symptom of longing. When something feels like it is missing, we look outside and try to fill it. In the past I would have been at once excited, overwhelmed and discouraged about all the new technologies available and what I didn’t know. This time though I was curious, but not needy. In all the conversations I had about what I do and what I see myself creating in the future, what came through most directly was the gift of my work- how much I love to do what I do and how good I feel about my capacity to do it.
I know I need some of the technologies out there, but also know that they will come as long as I keep doing the work that is mine to do. Ever since my son’s accident, the feeling of gratitude that emerged in his miraculous second chance feels like it is permeating my life. Gratitude is the filter for everything I see, the place that I begin and come home to. Meister Eckhart wrote, “If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.”
Recognizing gratefulness as the center of your life changes the relationship you have to everything and everyone in it. It transforms need into willingness, and fear into grace. It lets what is be enough, just as it is. It helps you to sleep at night and wake up appreciating the fact that you get to do it all over again. Home always feels sweet when I arrive back from nights away; color that with a deeply grateful heart and it feels more like a holiday.