Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Today is Gratitude Day!

Continuing my list of '100 Gratitudes', I am grateful for...

89. 'The Five People You Meet in Heaven' by Mitch Albom - I came across this book when I found it on the bookcase of a houseshare I was living in (it belonged to my flatmate). I had never heard of Mitch Albom nor his famous memoir 'Tuesdays with Morrie' (which I have since read too), but I was drawn to the premise of this book; that when we die our life is explained to us by five people who were in it. I loved the idea that our lives can affect others, without us even realising. It made me think about how connected we all are and that our lives are meaningful even if we consider them the opposite. It is impossible to go through life without influencing or inspiring other people, whether we do it intentionally or not. I like that. It's nice to know that something will always be left behind once we're gone; that in one way or another our lives make a mark on this earth.

90. Eckhart Tolle - both of Eckhart's books, 'The Power of Now' and 'A New Earth' have had a strong effect on me. Before reading them I never thought much about living in the present moment. I was just like everybody else who gets caught up regretting the past or worrying about the future. I still get sucked into that sometimes, but now at least I have the awareness to recognise when I'm getting bogged down in negative patterns and I can consciously bring myself into the now. It works! Eckhart is right - the present moment is all there is; the past is gone and tomorrow is yet to come. Where we can discover our power is in the present moment, in our awareness of what is happening right now. The now can remind us of the joys of life and the happiness we're capable of feeling if we only allow ourselves to let go. We don't need to keep striving for more or trying to prove our worth in this world - we're already worthy just by being alive. That's the wonder of life; each of us is as magnificent as the planet, the moon, the sun, the stars. If only the human race could recognise how amazing we are and respect our magnificence...maybe then love would prevail and suffering would end forever.

91. Elizabeth Gilbert - this is the second time I've written about Elizabeth Gilbert on Healing Scribe. In June last year I wrote a post about creativity after having been inspired by Elizabeth. I continue to be inspired by this wonderful writer, not only because of her writing success but for what she has brought to the world, and to me in particular. I'm grateful for what I feel is an artistic and spiritual affinity; Elizabeth is a writer trying to make sense of her world and using the written word to do so. All writers do this, of course, but for the way her words have changed me and helped me to grow Elizabeth deserves a special mention in my list.
Check out my earlier post -
Musings on Creativity, with a little help from Elizabeth Gilbert

92. Movie Yoga - my wonderful sister bought me the book 'Movie Yoga' by Tav Sparks for Christmas. The minute I started reading the book I thought 'I've found someone else who understands how powerful movies are!' It's not that I don't know other people who enjoy movies. Everybody I know does, actually. I've never met a single person who hates movies. But there is another level to my love of film. I think I've mentioned it here before, but I'll say it again - I've learnt a lot about life and about myself by watching movies. And that's what Movie Yoga is all about. Tav suggests that the way we relate to a particular film, the way it affects us, is a transformational experience that can help us get to know ourselves better. And here's an example from my recent movie watching - I saw The King's Speech and felt my heart pull when King George VI screams "Listen to me. Listen to me!...Because I have a voice!" Now my reaction to this wasn't just down to Colin's magnificent performance, oh no. I had an emotional response to these words because at times I've often felt that I don't allow myself a voice. I sometimes mumble, or I just keep my mouth shut, even if I want to speak up. Watching The King's Speech, with my new Movie Yoga knowledge in mind, I was able to recognise an emotional issue that has stunted me in my life (my fear that my voice isn't worthy of being heard) and I was able to work through it and try to heal it. All because I went to the cinema. Brilliant! Movie therapy - gotta love it!
Of course, writing about my fear here has been hard (years of thinking that whatever I have to say is unimportant), but I don't do it for sympathy. I do it to help me move past the issue, so I can let go. I do it so my voice can be heard.

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