This is absolutely amazing. It could have been a disaster!
But instead, I’m sitting here, with a calm and grateful glow, writing to share that, despite the fact that my laptop, the single most important piece of technological equipment through which I run my entire company, is swiftly heading for retirement, at possibly the most inconvenient time considering this month’s goals. Yet I am calm and grateful.
So how did I get to be like the ‘Money Calm Bull’, or a ‘Laptop Calm Sarit’ if you will? Let my honour roll of gratitude crystallise it for you:
I’m grateful that I noticed ‘signs of ageing’ in my laptop last week, and that my initial human reaction was “This could be a disaster!”. I’m grateful that it wasn’t “This will definitely be a disaster! I’m finished! My business is cooked! I’ll never meet my goals and I will have to spend any income I generate on a new laptop! What’s the point?”. I’m grateful that I have learnt about the stress response, and how it relegates our higher cognitive processes in favour of the simpler fight or flight related ones, so thinking clearly during a stressful situation requires a conscious activation of the parasympathetic nervous system – i.e keep calm to carry on! I’m also grateful for all the hardware and software inside my laptop that have worked unconditionally for so long, busily processing and producing words, music, images, workshops, and my entire service throughout lockdown!
I’m grateful that all this enabled me to take proactive measures to ensure that I wouldn’t be left high and dry when my laptop did eventually decide that its mission on earth was complete.
I’m grateful for the knowledge that charities like Work Avenue exist, with a laptop library. It’s one thing having a peaceful mind about a potential disaster, but you also need to take responsibility and action for things over which you do have control. I’m grateful that because of this wonderful charity, and all its people providing support and services, I am not under urgent pressure to increase the income goals I had set for myself in order to pay for a replacement laptop.
I’m grateful to have learnt that it’s natural to get stressed when unexpected things throw spanners into our beloved works and vaporise all notions of smooth operations and success. I’m grateful that I have become self-aware and self-kind enough to accept that I am human, and there is a pandemic on, and that there are times that gratitude is a beautiful bridge to calm, but there are also times when things are just too damn big and I need to cry them out.
I am grateful for the self-awareness I have developed through mindfulness and meditation, helping me tune in to negative thought patterns and work on replacing them with more nourishing ones, so that when my laptop froze during a Kind Co-working session I was co-hosting, my first thought was “Don’t panic, it’s OK”, instead of the screeching sound of my stress response activating automatically.
I’m grateful for the spiritual practices that I do every morning, that I now accept as a valid part of my working life, because they align me with the divine energy with which I wish to serve – an overflowing cup of nourishing, mindful, kind strength and wisdom that others may feel too stressed to be able to activate within themselves. I’m grateful to have learnt that only by filling my own energy with the nourishment I need every day, can I truly live my values and serve from that same quality of energy.
I’m grateful for having embedded Gratitude into my mindset. A mindset, that even in its youthful stage, supported me in staying balanced enough to succeed in completing my degree after dropping out 23 years earlier with depression.
I’m grateful for the fact that I have been given the chance to take this time to grow my business garden with all my heart and soul. I’m grateful that I have been able to spend time discovering what my unique gifts are and how they can serve the world, especially in a time of crisis – in case you haven’t guessed, one of my gifts is to be a bridge to wellbeing through practices such as digging in to a Gratitude Goldmine.
I’m grateful that, due to my attitude of gratitude, I can now see this ‘laptop mishap’ as a little prod from the Universe to believe in myself even more and to obliterate my ordinarily modest income goals!
I’m grateful to Magnus Wood, who guided me that the best way to ‘do’ LinkedIn is to find the thing you want to talk about the most, and talk about it. Very apt, considering that Magnus runs the Kindness Consultancy – gratitude is a form of kindness, just as kindness can be a form of gratitude (paid forward or inherent).
After months of experimentally posting about my various passions, I have concluded that for me, the thing I want to talk about most is Gratitude. Even talking about it generates good energy. As Naomi Williams said, “It is impossible to feel depressed and grateful at the same moment.” Gratitude actually blocks toxic emotions. I could hyperlink to several scientific studies, sure, but instead I will share my personal experience. Today could have been a very stressful day, but when my laptop froze during the live session, I did not follow suit. After the initial but brief human reaction, I flew into a calming practice and the divine energy kicked in. There followed a flow of thoughts about how I am so lucky to even be on the right path, to be living my purpose and my values, to be serving with all my heart, and learning how to run a business my way, and of course this was strongly supported by the knowledge that I was able to borrow a stand-in laptop. I think I even remember chuckling a little.
If you are looking for a Gratitude Writer for your publication or organisation, or you are interested in learning about Gratitude as a stress management and wellbeing tool for your organisation, please email me for details of my new 4 week course for organisations, The Power of Gratitude.
Sarit Gafan, Chief Nourishment Officer at Highest Good Wellbeing