“Real change rarely comes in the absence of crisis.” – Ben Stewart
I recently returned home from a 2-month sabbatical. During my last day in Tulum before returning to the States, my mind complained, “back to reality tomorrow.” Here’s the problem with that thought: this is ALL reality. The ocean views, the traffic, the decadent foods, the grind, the failed relationships, the frustration, the joy, the anxiety, the bliss – these are ALL parts of the human experience.
What’s more, it’s not the physical location that makes us feel joyous and blissed out, it’s the mind state we allow ourselves to tap into through the enjoyable experience!
So… how do we tap into these elevated states when we return from the Ocean to the Office?
GRATITUDE! Through a consistent gratitude practice, we can tap into elevated states of bliss and joy. And not just for the enjoyable experiences, but for the suffering also! This is where the Magic resides.
Tapping into a state of gratitude for the Serene in addition to the Suffering allows us to cultivate a “vacation mindset” at any time.
There is an Art to Suffering and when we can effectively recognize the gifts of suffering for me/we/us/all, gratitude ensues, and peace is presented. Here are a few personal examples:
- I’m grateful for the difficult conversations I get to have with coworkers and close friends because they improve our relationship and enhance our communication skills. The experience of short-term discomfort allows us to avoid long-term dysfunction.
- I’m grateful for the rain outside because it enhances my appreciation for the transient sunshine.
- I’m grateful for the end of a relationship this year because it led to an immense amount of growth and deepened the connection I have with my family.
This is the work – tapping into kindness and compassion and identifying opportunity during the enjoyable AND difficult times. Adversity is our greatest teacher. How can you be grateful for a difficult experience you went through this year?
Remaining aware, equanimous, and in a state of relentless gratitude equips us with the love and balance required to enjoy the full spectrum of human emotions.
Happy holidays, friends!