Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude. Denis WaitleyWhen I give talks to schools about homelessness and working at a shelter, I always ask, "Who here wants to make a difference in the world?" Hands go up and we talk about what it means to make a difference.
I believe we all want to make a difference. Big or small, we all want to believe that what we do and who we are has a significance in the world around us. While we may not have the power to change the world, we can contribute in positive ways to the world around us, adding value to our environment by cherishing each moment as a gift of time to be filled with 'love, grace and gratitude'.
On Friday, a client walked into my office just as I was leaving for a meeting. "I don't need much time," he said as he closed the door and stood in front of me. "I just want to say thank you. I got the cheque. For my taxes. The money's in my account. I stopped by a travel agency to ask about a flight home for Christmas. She told me to come back in August 'cause the sales should be on by then." His eyes were bright. They glistened with tears. "If you hadn't kept pushing me, I wouldn't be here. Thank you."
My eyes were damp as well. I reached forward and gave him a hug. "Always remember. You didn't give up on you."
"Neither did you," he whispered.
I am blessed.
Much of this weekend I spent painting. We had a housewarming to go to Saturday night and I wanted to give the hosts something special. I hauled out my paints and canvas and set to work finishing a painting I'd started months ago.
I was grateful for the gift of time and space and supplies and the passion that always awakens when I paint. I love mixing colours. Creating tones on tones, varied hues of colours and textures that dance upon the canvas to create a perspective of the world that is uniquely mine. I love being part of the process of creating a piece of art.
Yesterday, I went out to my car and it wouldn't start. No amount of coaxing and cajoling would make the battery turn over and so I had to let go of my plans. Rather than going to the country, I came back inside and continued working on a painting I'd started earlier in the morning. Everyone was out. I had the house to myself -- except for my faithful sidekick Ellie. Amidst the flowing colours I found an inner peace that had been evading me with the awakening of my monkey mind chatter earlier in the day. When my youngest daughter Liseanne got home late in the afternoon, she invited me to go to yoga with her. Joy and tranquility descended. I spent time with my daughter and immersed myself in the serenity of meditation and movement. I connected to my spiritual nature flowing into the higher power all around me.
I am blessed.
Taking time to appreciate small significances in my day makes for big differences in my attitude.
With a grateful heart I am filled with joy. My mind eases into peacefulness as I move away from discord into harmony.
My attitude makes a difference. It is not of small significance. When the client walked into my office, I could have discarded his compliment with a, "It was nothing." My choice was to gratefully accept his acknowledgement by connecting his gratitude to mine. Together, we made a larger difference -- a difference that resonated in his life and in mine. A difference that resonates with each move we take throughout our day.
By making a difference in my attitude, I create a world of difference around me. In gratitude, I immerse myself in the beauty and love around me. In gratitude, I create space for others to make a difference in my life too.
I am grateful.
The question is: Are you counting the small significances in your life and adding them up to create big value in the world around you?