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Riding the Edge of Awareness

As I committed myself last week to becoming more aware of what I was grateful for in my life, I noticed that I also became much more aware of when I was not feeling grateful. To be more specific, when I was feeling irritable, judgmental, or just plain overwhelmed with the amount of stuff to do. Some people might say that having all these other feelings means that my commitment to feeling grateful was not successful. However what I realized is that when I open the door to feeling more of life, all of life pours in. Meaning, when I expand my perceptual lens to include gratitude, many other experiences are going to arrive as well.

In other words, last week when I tried to keep out the other stuff (i.e., pretended I wasn’t feeling irritable) the gratitude diminished as well. When I let myself have the whole package – holding what I was grateful for right alongside that irritability for instance – they both flowed in and out much more easily. Nothing got stuck and ruined my day.

So I checked this phenomenon out with some of my closest allies, my Healing From the Core Presenter group, as we spoke together today on a conference call. Sure enough, they were having the full range of feelings as well. In fact, they used some of my exact words to describe what they were feeling. I felt much better by the end of the call, realizing that we are all experiencing life in similar ways.

A Rumi poem comes to mind as I reflect on all of this. I will be exploring more on this in the coming weeks. My hope is that it will help all of us experience more joy, love and gratitude as we move through this holiday season.

THE GUEST HOUSE

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

– Jelaluddin Rumi,
translation by Coleman Barks

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