Brand building through storytelling

There’s no day without a special moment–or three

While I was climbing out of the mental chasm known as depression, I adopted a new nightly ritual. I thanked whatever gods there be for the best moment of my day.

I got the idea from one of those cheery magazines that deal in 30-second solutions for the psychic suitcase full of problems you’ve been lugging around for 30 years.To my astonishment, it worked. No matter how empty I thought my day had been, I always thought of some small marvel–and then a couple more as the exercise shifted my attention from slights and disappointments to unexpected gifts like my son’s handmade Mother’s Day card or a friend’s invitation to lunch. Gratitude bloomed in my melancholic heart like a neglected plant brought from the darkest corner to the brightest. In the bed where I had worried and wept, I drifted off to sleep feeling lucky.

This was back in the mid-80s, when no one I knew kept a gratitude journal. I’d never heard of gratitude meditations. But that’s pretty much what I was doing. These days I practice gratitude sitting up, eyes closed and shoulders dropped as recommended by a meditation teacher. I’m a slacker when it comes to meditation but that’s okay. A few times a week is enough to my focus on the place of possibility–what is, not what might have been.

Some moments I’ve savored on the gratitude couch:

* Kindness to someone in need At my local supermarket, I spotted a vague-looking, 80-something woman being escorted by a son or nephew who advised, “Raspberries and blackberries are on special this week.” When he asked how many boxes she would like–and at $1.50 each, they were indeed a great buy–it was as if he were talking to a child. At first this appalled me, for I’ll be eighty in…well, let’s not go there. But then I felt glad that this woman had someone who cared enough to take her shopping and make sure that her cart contained all the berries she could eat.

* A shot of inspiration The most glamorous woman I saw one summer day in Yorkville, where the glam crowd throws their money around, was 80-ish, bald and bent into the shape of a question mark. Her outfit: red boots with high heels and brass buckles, fashionably rumpled jeans, beautifully cut, nubbly off-the-shoulder sweater (I wanted to snatch it), huge earrings, chunky necklace and bracelets. Rock on, sister!

* Knowing my book made a difference Who should turn up at a networking party but a virtual friend I’ve been wanting to meet for years? “Your book got me through my mother’s death,” she told me. She’d been sitting in a hospital, agonizing over the mortal illness of a difficult mother, with no outlet but Twitter. Many tweets later, as she got up to leave, she saw a friend running towards her with a copy of My Mother’s Daughter. That story made my day.

* No pain, lots of gain Heading home from a workout, I noticed something unusual: my arthritic foot wasn’t hurting. Lucky me! Until then I’d always focused on the pain, mentally racing toward a future in which I hobbled on a walker.

* One good thing about drizzle While meditating between two windows, I heard stereophonic raindrops, each plink announcing itself as if it mattered. And for a few minutes, each one did.

Posted by Rona

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