Take a Gratitude Pause

A quick glance at the news tells us what’s wrong with the world: political wars, violent acts, and natural disasters. These are not to be ignored. We live in a complicated world and to make a difference we must face hard truths. But if we focus solely on what's wrong, we become scared, frustrated, and hopeless.

There’s a negativity bias in our brains. We come by this honestly, through evolution. Negative news, which seems to “sell”, feeds directly into fearful, primal parts of our brain. Yet our more evolved brain allows for awareness, discernment, focus, and compassion. And it's important to recognize: where we regularly rest our attention becomes the habit of our mind. Our thoughts reinforce fear or love, greed or generosity, anger or peace.

We can choose to rest in love, generosity, and peace. Not as a way to ignore injustice in the world, but as a way to more skillfully act and contently live. When we look for the good and stay for 3 breaths, embodied, we build new awareness, and we begin to see more good. This brings more ease to daily life and provides renewed hope in the world.

Looking for the good can occur in small, ordinary ways: notice when someone smiles, pause after completing an important task, watch a sunset, accept a compliment, look for kind acts, or feel the sun's warmth on your face. It's okay to pause and take in the good. It's okay to slow down and enjoy life. 

We can pause right now: For whom and what am I grateful? What ordinary experiences bring me ease, laughter, love, support, and strength? Take a 3-breath pause with each answer. Take in the good.

 Mindfulness and Gratitude