Thursday, December 4, 2008

Cultivating Gratitude, for Those of Us Who Sometimes Forget

There are days when nothing seems to go right -- and when maybe, like the "sat on" bird above, we might question even getting out of bed. Cultivating gratitude during these times can be a real challenge, and yet Ho'oponopono encourages saying "thank you" even in the midst of problems.

Needing some help with exactly this, I was fortunate to come across a wonderful poem written by one of my colleagues, Martina Nicholson MD. It spoke to me so deeply I wanted to share it here. With her permission, here it is:

CULTIVATING GRATITUDE
by Martina Nicholson, MD

"You don't have to like it."

On my knees,
I thank You for the hardest things,
This floor,
This sink full of dirty dishes,
This house of unmade beds.

I am sorry for the grumpy way
I woke up this morning,
Absent praise.

I thank You for the tiniest goodnesses,
The cyclamen on the porch
With flames like Pentecost,
The swirl of dust motes
In the morning light.

I thank You for the sunlight,
And the cold winter air,
And the quiet morning.

I thank you that there are not bombs
Falling here,
There is no rape here,
There is no murder in this house.

I THANK YOU
That my children are healthy
And have enough to eat.
And can think,
And go to school.
And that they come home again,
I THANK YOU.

How many times I don't like what's in front of me, and mumble under my breath about it. Yet how gently Dr. Nicholsen shows us that even the house full of grumpiness and dirty dishes is still one with safety and a roof overhead.

I don't have to like it, and can still give thanks.

An Obstetrician-gynecologist practicing in Santa Cruz, CA, Dr. Nicholson writes from her heart about topics such as medicine, healing, family, love, awe, and everyday life. Her poems are both soothing and surprising. She discovers meaning and lessons in all kinds of places, such as surgical suites, delivering babies, the wonders of nature, or cleaning house. As I've come to know her, she embodies service itself.

For those interested, she's published 2 poetry books: Walking on Stars and Water (containing the work above), and My Throat is Full of Songbirds. These can be purchased directly from her for $8.00 each (shipping included) or $24.00 for 4 books:
Martina Nicholson MD
PO Box 890
Soquel CA 95073-0890

In the meantime, I'm simply taking lessons in gratitude. After all, "Thank you" is a powerful Ho'oponopono cleaning tool . . . and my inner house could definitely use some help. Thank you, Dr. Nicholson, for your words and your wisdom.

Peace Begins with Me,
Pam

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