"In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy." Brother David Steindl-Rast

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Kilter

Today I am grateful for time, conversation, and a meal together with our immediate family. I am also grateful for the sense of balance my life has more than it ever used to.

Here we are on the final day of 2014. Another year to reflect on. Was it a good year or a year that felt off KILTER for you? Off kilter-out of harmony, lacking balance, awry, confused, muddled, out of step, out of whack. Why would anyone want to be off kilter? Why do most of us struggle with balance, at least some of the time?

Focus or lack thereof. That is what either keeps us on track or derails us. When I focus on the good in my life, on what I am able to do, I proceed into my day and life unfolds relatively smoothly. When I focus too much energy on fears, worries, what I want but don't have; that is when the slippery slope of off kilter reigns.

The mindfulness that comes with regular gratitude practice brings me the right kind of focus. My good friend Dorothy gave me a gratitude journal two years ago for Christmas. I have written at least two things I am grateful for and several prayer requests for others in this journal every day since January 1, 2013. The journal also had daily quotes in it, a number of which I wrote about on this blog. The journal is now full and I start a new, empty one tomorrow. Thanks Dorothy for the gift that kept giving for two years.

The quote from December 31 in this journal, author unknown, reads:

Count your gains instead of your losses,
Count your joys instead of your woes,
Count your friends instead of your foes,
Count your courage instead of your fears,
Count your health instead of your wealth,
Count on God instead of yourself.

A wonderful recipe to bring balance to life and avoid getting off kilter. And the last line reminds me that just about all I have control over are my own attitude and actions. I need help from a higher source of power to better guide those attitudes and actions. Gratitude practice puts me in touch with reliable power sources.

What will I choose to count today?

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