Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Gratitude vs Fear

Let me start out by saying I love birds. Not like I'm into bird watching or anything, I just love watching them and hearing them. They fascinate me and I consider them to be nature's gift to me. And I'm a little envious, wishing I could fly like that.

Moment of Bliss

This morning, like most mornings, I poured a cup of coffee (decaf, of course) and went out onto my balcony to see the world. As I was standing there, a tiny hummingbird came to get breakfast at the feeder I put out. Talk about a fascinating bird, these guys are so small, I wonder how they survive! And how the heck do they get their little wings to move so fast I can't even see them - they're just a blur!

As I was quietly observing this cute little creature getting its fill of sweet nectar, I noticed that directly in my line of sight, off in the distance over the lake, was a majestic, glorious eagle soaring effortlessly on an updraft. I see these graceful giants often and wish I was closer to them. Eagles are so magnificent (to me, anyway) that watching one brings out an emotional response almost like, I don't know, maybe seeing my favorite singer or band live.

The total contrast between the tiny hummingbird, with a blur of wings as it finished and darted away, and the huge eagle flying endlessly in circles without moving its wings at all while it eyed the lake looking for its next meal, was absolutely astounding. This was a view of evolution at its very best! A true moment of bliss for me.

Thinking back to that moment, I realize I didn't even hear the sound of traffic that's always there. I wasn't thinking about my day, my problems or my stresses. I was totally focused on the gift of seeing these two birds living their lives. Simply.

Gratitude vs Fear

I was also experiencing a moment of gratitude that I'll try to carry with me through the day.

Are there those moments in your life that can take you completely out of your head? Moments when without even thinking about it you feel gratitude for life and the world around you? I hope so.

When you're feeling grateful for life, you don't feel stress and anxiety. Feeling and acknowledging your gratitude brings peace to you, a feeling of well-being. Learn to notice these moments and appreciate them.

Wallow in them when they present themselves to you. And practice remembering them throughout the day. Maybe go through your day describing them to others, this will keep them fresh in your mind and you'll feel that feeling all over again many times.

Remember that gratitude and fear don't co-exist very well. Beauty and anxiety don't get along. "Thank you" and "woe-is-me" can't share the same breath. Learn to notice the beauty of nature and focus on it, practice saying a silent (or not silent, if you want) "thank you" when you see, hear, touch, smell or taste something blissful and watch as your thinking starts to become more positive and your anxiety fades.

To Your recovery,