BY SIMONE SMITH
“You have to remember that one day will be your day. You can’t quit. “ –Author Unknown
Readers; how are you feeling this week? I hope that you continue to be inspired by all that is happening around you. I innerstand that at times, life is not inspiring; you would be surprised at where you can find inspiration. I have just started using this word innerstand; to innerstand is to have a full grasp of what is going on inside of you. It is to consciously go through life aware of why you are making the decisions that you are. Many of us are going through life unconsciously living; we are making decisions and acting instinctively. This is normal; but eventually this can become a problem. Having an innerstanding allows you to bring all of those thoughts, emotions and beliefs into your consciousness; it allows you to have control over your thoughts; those thoughts that can at times drive you crazy. This week we are going to work on bringing some of those thoughts to the forefront. I have a new goal city of Toronto; I want to help all members of the community have a better innerstanding of themselves. I want to remind you that this is not easy work. This work is emotionally, physically and mentally draining; but like anytime else, this hard work is going to pay off. I promise you this.
Let us start this week by working on expressing gratitude. I am a student and follower of Dr. Paul TP Wong. He has decided to live his life by helping others and providing them with the tools they need to get through life. The last few months I have been using exerts from his Summer Institute, 2013 Lecture 5: The Double Vision Strategy for Becoming Unstuck. For those who are interested, you can find more of Dr. Paul Wong’s ideas and philosophies at www.meaning.ca. What is gratitude? Merriam Webster defines gratitude as the quality of being thankful; it is the readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. It is surprising to me at how many individuals I come across who are not grateful for what they have. They are too focused on the negative things that are occurring in their lives; this focus on the negative continues to bring negative in their lives, but many do not see this. I am going to get back to this point in the next few articles, but I want readers to understand that what you focus on amplifies. This is why it is so important to focus on the great things that are happening in your life. This is what gratitude is; focusing on what is great in your life and watching that amplify.
Let us go into how to start doing this. The first thing is to start expressing gratitude as a spiritual exercise rather than an instrument for happiness. Spiritual exercises are executed just like regular exercise, consistency brings the best results. It is building your spiritual consciousness; building your spiritual mind to focus on great things. Start by identifying three things that you are thankful for in a recent setback or difficulty. Being grateful during hard times is one of the greatest things that you can do. Why you ask? If you can be grateful when things are rough, what you are grateful for will begin to become your focus. Remember what I said earlier; whatever you focus on will be amplified. All those great things happening, aside from the negative, will come into the forefront of your living experience. Take the time to express gratitude daily for the blessings you have received. It can be as simple as getting through the day and not getting into a car accident. Driving on these streets in Toronto is dangerous; I am grateful for everyday that I make it home safe and in one piece. Take some time to reflect for one minute before eating on reasons you are thankful for food. There are millions around this world that do not have access to food. There are families here in Toronto who are not fortunate enough to be eating a hot meal every night. We lose sight of our blessings because we don’t realize that even though we are going through hard times, there is someone out there who is suffering more than we are.
Again, this thing called life is not easy, but there are ways to navigate through it and make it tolerable for yourself and the people you love. Homework time; for the next two weeks, regardless of the bad that is occurring in your life, I want you to focus on all the great things that you have. Take stock in the fact that you are beautifully and wonderfully made; your experience is your own, and you have to make the best of it.
Stand strong people of Toronto! Stand strong!