Clarity, hope, and courage
Each morning as I take my eight-year-old son to school, I ask him what he is thankful for. Some mornings I get this amazing answer like, “God” or “I’m thankful for you, mom” or “for a friend.” Sometimes it’s something like a computer game or a toy. His answers give me a glimpse of what is in his heart. What matters to him and what he is paying attention to. I love this morning practice of gratitude we share. It’s a simple yet powerful way to start the day and be reminded over and over again that life is fragile and precious.
I clearly remember the value of focusing on gratitude when I was faced with serious health challenges. I clung to this prayer called “Gratitude for the Body” that starts like this: “Dear God, as I rise up, I thank you for the opportunity to be on this earth. I thank you for my mind and body. I thank you for my life.” I prayed this prayer over and over as my body was not responding to the initial treatments, and when there was so much uncertainty about what the future would bring. It was during those times that I developed a deeper practice of gratitude that remains with me to this day. I’ve learned to relax and be fully awake to the present moment, and for that I’m really grateful. My prayer is for others to find a gratitude practice that gives them clarity, hope, and courage. Perhaps it’s no more complicated than pausing to take a deep breath, and then releasing it slowly. Or, perhaps it’s noticing the beauty of a changing season.
— Ewelina Bergert