The Habit of Gratitude and Connectedness

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We take so many things for granted. I am reminded of this as this week, we had a huge blast of winds from Mother Nature. And we, as well as others, found ourselves electricity free. The first couple nights were awesome. The quiet, the camaraderie, the sounds of nature rather than the electronic gadgets we have. The soft candle light and take-out dinner. Gratitude that we have each other, and homes, plenty of food. Gratitude that we have a soft place, though cold at this point, to place our heads, and a roof over our heads. Most of all, the conversations. The silence had its own beauty. People I met were even making a choice to “cut the cord” to their TVs and other electronic devices as they felt so much more peaceful. Yet, within a few days, nerves were tense, conversations shorter and drives to places which still had power and wifi became more important.

That same weekend, my husband and I had the opportunity to attend a benefit for MS. Just as nerves were fraying, again, I was struck by how much I could be grateful for. Here was another sense of camaraderie. Yet this time it was connected with the desire to help others, and gratitude that we have the chance to be of service; just because we are blessed with their presence, and our lives are enriched by them. And plans were made to go on runs and biking for MS.

How often do we take the time to pause and value what’s right in front of us? The peace of quiet, of nature. The connections with those we love. The sense of purpose of helping heal the world, or at least our corner of it. How often do we turn-off our busy lives to lean back and value the life we have? The love we have. And the peace. The peace that we are safe and secure and lead a blessed life. How often do we listen, to actually turn-off our busy world with its distractions to go within and become centered and connect with nature, the Divine and our Creator?

I find it interesting and hopeful that in my experience when the chips are down, that is when we, and I mean humanity, are at our finest. We connect with our most Divine selves and are aware of our interconnections, our inner connections; we even open our homes and hearts to strangers.

Yet, this connection and inner peace often seems to come, and go. The first powerless days, we gathered and had conversation at the library while charging our phone, and taking turns. By day three, there was less talking and more use of the electronics. People started rushing while driving again, and were more resigned and withdrawn than having an open heart. And, our youth especially, were gathering in places that had wifi access, enticed by their fantasy worlds. And, after the snowfall, that snow was the new complaint. Even at the benefit, when it was done, plans were talked about, and I wonder how many of us will follow through, or if we will get distracted by our busy lives and are done connecting and being of service until next year.

How difficult it seems to mindfully, and for long periods of time, connect with our connectedness, our senses of gratitude, our sense of the Divine in each of us, our world. We seem to be wired for negativity, mistrust and avoidance. Negativity seems to be our default position.

Like any habit we want to change, it requires mindfulness, effort, vigilance and persistence. What about you, are you ready to change? Will you choose to put forth the effort and mindfulness, the vigilance and persistence it takes to find and maintain that connectedness, the gratitude that leads to joy, peace and the Divine? You can start by just reconnecting with your true self every morning and night, then connect mindfully every hour. Practice until being your true self, feeling the love, the gratitude and connectedness becomes your new habit. A habit you have chosen to practice and feed.

So, are you ready for a life of gratitude, peace and joy? A life of love and connectedness, of knowing your true, Divine self? Then go ahead! Practice until it becomes your new habit, your new way of living!


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