The Wisdom And The Art of Thankfulness
Happiness, is born from gratitude. Gratitude has also been linked to better health, sounder sleep, less anxiety and depression, higher long-term satisfaction with life and kinder behavior toward others, including romantic partners. David Steindl-Rast says “the one thing all humans have in common is that each of us wants to be happy. An inspiring lesson in slowing down, looking where you’re going, and above all, being grateful.
Instead of rushing through life, the scholar David Steindl-Rast asks us to see the opportunities that are available and open ourselves up to them. This isn’t an idle or even simply personal concern: gratefulness has broad social implications. “If you’re grateful, you’re not fearful, and if you’re not fearful, you’re not violent. If you’re grateful, you act out of a sense of enough and not out of a sense of scarcity and are willing to share.”
There is a difference between thankfulness and gratefulness. “In a moment of gratefulness, you do not discriminate. You fully accept the whole of this given universe, as you are fully one with the whole,” Steindl-Rast writes. “In the very next moment, when the fullness of gratitude overflows into thanksgiving, the oneness you were experiencing is breaking up. Now you are beginning to think in terms of giver, gift and receiver. Gratefulness turns into thankfulness. This is a different fullness. A moment ago you were fully aware; now you are thoughtful. Gratefulness is full awareness; thankfulness is thoughtfulness.”
Thoughtfulness is also connected to mindfulness. Mindfulness can be defined it as a particular way of paying attention. It is the mental faculty of purposefully bringing awareness to one’s experience. Leo Babauta offers tools for becoming more mindful. Like this: “Put the word ‘Breathe’ as a screensaver or desktop pic, or put it up as a note on your wall or fridge or on your desk. Then do it every time you see the word.”
Lastly, we shouldn’t be upset by things not going as planned. Surprises are the seed of gratefulness.
Become aware of surprises.
Relish surprise as life’s gift.
Surprise = Gratefulness = Happiness = Thankfulness = Thoughtfulness = Awareness = Surprises…
By age three, Life Skill Martial Arts students are taught that the key to Happiness is Thankfulness. If those lessons become habits, and habits become our lives, then our Kung Fu can become a bridge to a better life for all our Life Skill Martial Arts family members.