"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

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Generous Attention

Today I am grateful for the musicians and singers who provide me with beautiful music to listen to. I am also grateful for those who decorated the Mall of America for the holidays.

Our visit to the mall yesterday wasn't about shopping. It was about checking out the new addition and taking in the holiday decorations. There were beautiful trees, many strands of lights, giant ornaments.
There were also hundreds of other people, each with their own story and their own reasons for being at the Mall of America on a Saturday afternoon.

We didn't stay long, Sam, Darcy, and I. But I did my best to pay attention to the sights and sounds while I was there. That is what life is all about, what gratitude practice is at the core: paying attention.

I am not always very good at paying attention. I get busy in my head and miss things. I start thinking about a response when I should simply be listening. Some days, it seems I am racing headlong through a never-ending list of things to get done. Those are not good days for me. I get frustrated and exhausted. I lose hope and inspiration.

On the days I start with quiet reflection and carry that with me throughout the day, I pay better attention to what really matters. On the days I pause from time to time and consider the gifts in that present moment, I am energized and rejuvenated. Those are far better days for me and the people around me.

In less than ten words, Simone Weil sums it up:

"Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity."  

Today I will strive to give generous attention to the present and those residing there with me. 

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