belonging here

The tendency for most of us each day is to focus on life’s problems. More often than not, we find ourselves lamenting the prickly patch of our long-term relationship rather than stopping to appreciate its strengths; the moments of incredible boredom at work seem to outweigh the interesting aspects. We’re wired with what’s called negativity bias- an evolutionary instinct to look out for threats so that we can escape them unharmed.

But we can learn to work with negativity bias. That doesn’t mean that I think that we can all just flip the gratitude switch on. For better or worse, that’s not how life works- and in fact, gratitude is definitely not automatic for me. To this day, even speaking as someone who encourages the practice, I have found myself thinking at times that gratitude can seem like a glorified form of denial, a way of papering over problems by posting inspirational quotes to social media, by labeling everything in life “a blessing.”

But each time that dismissive instinct kicks in, I encourage myself to remember that being grateful doesn’t mean I have to keep a gratitude jar that counts my blessings. It just means I can reset my thoughts, just like in meditation, and choose instead to gently settle my attention on something positive. We don’t erase the pain- it’s still there- but we can broaden our perspective by opening to our pain and also opening to things other than the suffering we feel.

~Sharon Salzberg

temper the impulse to leave….

inquiry for today~ may you leave the tender pieces quiet until tomorrow….

fire starter

There are stars you

haven’t seen

and loves you haven’t loved

there’s light you haven’t felt

and sunrises yet to dawn

there are dreams

you haven’t dreamt

and days you haven’t lived

and nights you won’t forget

and flowers yet to grow

and there is more to you

that you have yet to

know ..

~Gaby Comprés

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