Attitude of Gratitude from the Heartland
For the first time this year I took our wee dog Jess for a walk. Yes, I have felt bad that she missed out while we were on holiday with family.
Usually, we love to trek at sunrise when no one is around but this morning we started off later than normal.
On our walk I was happily countering the predictable attacks from the mynah birds protecting their young in the trees (even though we were still on ground level) and the numerous ants out early collecting food before the sun started to bake them when, sure enough, we encountered a trio of boisterous interactive canines with their owner.
On previous occasions there have been a couple of unpleasant experiences for Jess so we are wary when meeting more than one canine, especially when they are off leash.
My first thought was ‘Oh no! Here we go!’- (anticipating a lot of barking and anxiety). Jess started to get agitated and pull against the leash.
However, I must have been in the 'zone' and the attitude of gratitude grabbed hold of my thoughts. I realised in a single moment that I presupposed the worst outcome and quite likely nothing untoward would happen. (I wondered if this was the metacognition mentioned by Dr Dispenza in yesterday’s post).
For the past few days, on my 30 day journey, I was starting to consciously make choices about my attitude and behaviour.
Mostly, I am a private person and like my own company but, I also hold a lot of beliefs about people doing the ‘right thing’. In my past, at times, I had little patience for those who see things differently to me.
In this moment I felt OK- actually, I felt that I had to overcome making a big deal judgement about another person's beliefs based on what I perceived to be real. You see, the council has a by-law that all dogs should be on a leash in a public walking area and I could have been self-righteous and cited this as I walked by. I chose to bide my time and remain calm.
In the distance the owner started to clip the leash to each of her three dogs. Jess and I waited (a safe distance away) until all was ready. Then we pulled ourselves together and walked past in a confident, restrained manner. There was no doggie interaction and we, the owners, greeted each other kindly and carried on our way.
Jess and I continued home feeling quite chuffed with the outcome.
I have no way of knowing whether a person I meet today feels the way I do about life or what they are expecting from the world around them.
Yet I realise that I can make a choice to make the day less stressful for me by showing kindness in the way I interact to them- even if it is just to say 'Hello'. Perhaps there is more to the attitude of gratitude than what is obvious. There is win-win on both sides.
Today I am grateful that I live in a country where I have freedom to make choices.
I can choose to be generous, kind and thankful for the diversity of people around me.
I am grateful for the freedom of choice.
What are you grateful for today?