A Gratitude Journal

by Simon Goland, November 20, 2012

I have been keeping this journal for some time now, and even though I don’t do it daily, it came to mind today. Perhaps because my BGI students are having their Thanksgiving week this week. Whatever the reason, I have been thinking about gratitude and its importance in one’s life, to keep us present, awake and aware, and with an open heart.

When one enters a room where fresh bread was just baked, the aroma is palpable and irresistible. Yet, after a few minutes, our brain “processed” it and we stop noticing the smell. In order to enjoy this deliciousness again (and again), we need to step out of the room and reenter, re-sensitizing our nose and brain to the smell all over again. It is the same with gratitude and its impact.

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” – Cicero

Day 1 (the day numbers here are simply for the purpose of keeping a sequence)
Grateful to have Susie as my guide to the New Delhi metro and all things India during these first few days. Grateful to have the opportunity to have a fancy lunch at the famous Imperial Hotel in New Delhi, where I felt treated like a royalty. Grateful to have her come with me and try on a jacket I thought of getting for Alison. Grateful for the Sikh man who welcomed us to the Golden Temple and showed us around the feeding area in the temple, acting as our free and kind guide, with his many fascinating stories about their culture and tradition.

Day 5
Grateful to have the two students from SOIL take me to Delhi, visit places, and treat me like a guest, not even letting me pay for anything. Grateful for Alison taking Tobi for a hike and spending time with him. Grateful for her love and care for me. Grateful for the opportunity to have a full and rich life, doing things that I love and am passionate about. Grateful for the quiet moments. Grateful for the way I can feel the balance and the duality of all life, being here in India and then getting back home to the beauty of Canada.

“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” – Epictetus

Day 9 (still India)
Grateful for a quieter pace of the day, with room to breathe and slow down and catch up on the various little pending things. Grateful for the fascinating books on India by Mark Tully which I just started. Grateful for the opportunity to pursue connections with various people I met over the past few days. Grateful for the anticipation of exploring the area once I am done teaching. Grateful for the Universe and how she adjusts my workload, cancelling workshops and meetings that I was not looking forward to. Grateful for the convenience of my little MacBook Air when traveling. Grateful for the quiet late evening moments, when the world quiets down and I know that it was a good day.

Day 12
Grateful for finally arriving close to home, completing the adventure of cancelled flights and short sleeps. Grateful for Alison waiting for me at the airport. Grateful for a fast and comfortable VW Jetta. Grateful for the BGI community. Grateful for Alison helping me explore my deep pains of childhood and the barriers to love they have created. Grateful for Tobi’s solid love, playfulness, and presence. Grateful for the welcoming energy of my home.

“The greatest wisdom is in simplicity. Love, respect, tolerance, sharing, gratitude, forgiveness. It’s not complex or elaborate. The real knowledge is free. It’s encoded in your DNA. All you need is within you. Great teachers have said that from the beginning. Find your heart, and you will find your way.” ― Carlos Barrios, Mayan elder and Ajq’ij of the Eagle Clan

Day 42

Grateful for a good night sleep, and for feeling better.  Grateful for Marise taking Tobi while I will be in Israel. Grateful for Tobi and his steady love. Grateful for my Playback Theatre friends and for the opportunity to keep playing and practicing and learning from and with them.

Day 79
Grateful for the upcoming Right Livelihood Quest on Whidbey Island. Grateful for the quiet beauty of snow on Seymour Mountain. Grateful for Tobi’s loving presence. Grateful for my open heart. Grateful for the opportunity for a new coaching client and the seriously high executive fees. Grateful for the beautiful interview for the Right Livelihood Quest stories.

Day 117
Grateful for a focused day of flow and completion of tasks. Grateful for the emerging opportunity to take the Right Livelihood Quest to the jungle of South America. Grateful for a fabulous rehearsal and play with Playback Theatre. Grateful for a day well spent.

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” ― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

And finally, there is a beautiful, inspiring, and touching podcast from Stuart McLean of the CBC Vinyl Cafe. It is a story of a man, of life, of history, of love, of gratitude, and of a human spirit. This is Remembrance Day – David Kilberg story.