Monday 9th May 2011by chel
A list of all Common Miracles posts- to join in, please click on the newest post and blog along! To read more about how the project works, please read below…
Here’s an invitation for ALL of you (….please read to see what I mean.)
“At first they were just clouds, like any other.
Then they swelled and swirled; then they hung very still;
then they broke open. This is, I suppose
just one of the common miracles,
a transformation, not a vision,
not an answer, not a proof, but I put it
there, close against my heart, where the need is, and it serves
– Mary Oliver, Clouds
(I tried to make this as brief as possible, but I am clearly a long-winded kind of girl…)
Lately I have been doing research on well-being, human happiness, and even a little bit of neuropsychology.
And the one piece of advice I have found *across the board*, shared by everyone from religious experts to philosophers to psychologists to historians to self-help gurus is this:
Now, I have to admit- “Gratitude” and I have a rocky relationship. As a child, I had a few close family members who forced the idea of “appreciate EVERYTHING” on me like a jackhammer smashing into concrete. I didn’t like that. The truth was, some days were just NOT all that great. Some moments were not happy. When I turned into an adult, I abandoned gratitude. I just wanted to experience life as it was- good and bad. Happy and sad.
But now I’m back at Gratitude’s door, and I’m peeking inside.
I’ve come to realize that gratitude is not always a BIG GIANT FEELING (at least for me). Sometimes it’s a big swelling of the heart, but most of the time it’s a small feeling of well-being, contentment, even relief. It’s a sense that things are okay.
So I’m trying to cultivate a sense of gratitude for the small, simple things that make my life a little more livable. The neuroscientific research I’ve been reading keeps saying the same thing: by recognizing and acknowledging little triggers of “well-being” in our lives, we leave a little note in our brains that says: “this is pretty good, and maybe if we could find more of this or something *similar* to this, it might be a little better…” As time goes on, and we do more and more of this recognition of the *good* things, our brains create a “happiness map” which we can refer back to often. (At least, this is what the experts say…)
After I read all this, I wanted to try it out. I thought “what about if I post a list every so often to my blog?” That way I would sort of feel a little more accountable about it.
“Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. It actually takes guts. Each time we drop our complaints and allow everyday good fortune to inspire us, we enter the warrior’s world.”
One thing I promised myself, though, was that I’m NOT going to sit and scan my brain and heart for these “happiness triggers” . No straining or stretching, no forcing myself to feel something I don’t. It either registers or it doesn’t. I just want to figure out which little moments, things, people, experiences, etc. make my days a little more “okay”….
… And then I thought – what might happen if a few of us did this? I want to know: What small, simple things brought you comfort today? What made you feel a little more okay? Is it one thing, or ten things, or two HUGE thing or five tiny things? So, I’m inviting you to join in. Would you be willing to share your own list on your blog? Maybe once a week or once a month or whatever you like?
Once a week (on Mondays) I’ll post a fresh Mr. Linky thing-a-ma-bob (if i can get that figured out) and you can link your blog/website from here to let people know you’re making your own lists.
My only request is that you link back to this entry so that people can learn more about this project and make their own lists. The URL is:<a href=”http://miracles.gingerblue.com”>The Common Miracles Project</a>
And, here are some images you can take. I’d prefer if you save the image(s) and host them on your own website, but if you don’t know what the heck I am talking about, you can steal the little code I posted under the images.
<a href=”http://miracles.gingerblue.com”><img title=”common_miracles” src=”http://www.gingerblue.com/cmbanner.jpg” width=”150″ height=”117″ border=”0″/></a>
Thank you for reading this long-winded post. If you didn’t, here’s a quick summary:
– post a “Common Miracles” list as often as you like on your own blog
– come back to gingerblue.com every Monday for a new community post and share your link with us so we know you are playing along
– if you are a *really* nice person and have free time, maybe you can visit other participants’ blogs and cheer them on <3
That’s it 🙂