by Wendy Strgar July 21, 2011
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” – Cicero
I began the summer of gratitude challenge to learn how to experience the world through the magical filter of thanksgiving. As I have consciously stopped the insidious habit of taking the details of my life for granted and focused on them as gifts, I have become both more joyful and more able to actually receive the goodness that is right in front of me. It was such a powerful shift that I planned the summer of gratitude contest, which invited readers to share their own stories of gratitude.
The responses have made me more grateful still. Tender stories of near death experiences or even the lessons of loss have instilled brought me to tears. Realizing how little time we really have to love and appreciate the people who matter to us was a source of deep gratitude for many. I often use this technique to wake myself up to a grateful way of seeing. It only takes a quick mental prod for me to imagine that this might be the last moment I have to tell someone how much they mean to me.
Other stories reflected on the fragility of life and how exquisite the world is even in the midst of tragedy. I had never realized how much beauty and tenderness we hold for each other as we live through traumatic experiences. It may actually be one of the times when we are most fully human and able to be grateful for our time here. Trauma cuts away all of the superfluous and judgments. We lean into life with our hearts open and all you can be is grateful.
Still other stories were about the glory of the mundane…. sunsets, flowers in bloom, dogs on a walk, marriages intact, children healthy. Opening our eyes to the wonder of the lives we are living day in and day out changes everything. Some people commented that expressing gratitude shouldn’t be a contest, but rather a celebration. Truly after reading the responses, it seems true that it is impossible to choose a winner. Still, it feels easy to offer gifts for these stories and so we are awarding the first of many gratitude packages randomly in hopes that the momentum of the responses builds.
Adding gratitude to the world is cleansing, like the way the air smells after a warm summer rain. So pour it on. Notice the goodness around you and share it. Everyone wins.
by Wendy Strgar May 22, 2018
There is no time like long summer nights to cultivate our uniquely, profoundly human capacity for pleasure, especially sexual pleasure. Our pleasure response transforms our relationship to each other and even to life itself. Focusing on pleasure not only changes how we see our opportunities for intimate connection, but also invites us into a deeper relationship with our erotic soul.
by Wendy Strgar May 17, 2018
It becomes hard to trust your own thinking when nothing seems to be working. The space between how I thought it would go and how it is going seems to widen in front of my eyes. Maybe most difficult of all is how often the undesirable outcomes around us spill over into our relationships, both at home and at work. An errant comment too easily turns into an argument. I become blind to my impact on people around me, caught up in the unresolved problems surrounding me. During times like these, we often underestimate the power of the choices we make and how it can create a path back towards what’s working or down the slippery slope of self-destruction, which my husband affectionately calls “flirting with the gutter.”
Here is my short list to making it better when it isn’t working at all. Each one helps you do the next one, so start at the beginning and work your way down.
by Wendy Strgar May 03, 2018