Native Son: Beauty Begins With Attitude
My Daily Milagro
There is a small slab of stone outside my door. I call it “my gratitude rock.” Upon it are fourteen pebbles, seven on each side of a line drawn on the slab. The slab represents my life; the line symbolizes today. The fourteen pebbles represent things, and by “things” I mean aspects of life. These aspects include both the good and the bad…and I suppose, the ugly.
The purpose of this little stone tableau is to set my mind into proper perspective for the day. As I move each pebble from one side of the line to the other, I think of something for which I am grateful. Most mornings, this process is very easy, and takes me less than 30 seconds.
But the real purpose of the gratitude rock is not for those easy days; it’s for the days when my mind is clouded with negativity. On those days, I dread seeing the gratitude rock. On those days, my mind is consumed with problems, usually wrapped in pessimism or cynicism. On those days, moving the first pebble is actually painful. I am forced to interrupt the negativity that has built up momentum in my mind. Usually, my first thought is to simply walk on by, leaving the gratitude rock untouched. But somehow, out of thin air, I can hear my dear, departed grandmother’s voice, saying “Count your many blessings every day.”
So I do. I move those fourteen pebbles. Some days, I move them all twice. On the days that I move them twice, the gratitude stone is usually wet with my tears.
When I was young, an “attitude adjustment” usually involved getting my butt spanked. These days, it simply involves my acknowledgment that life is a gift.
1. My father is still alive & kicking.
2. My step-mother is wonderful.
3. I have a beautiful wife.
4. My son is bright and healthy.
5. I have a great home.
6. I have dogs and cats.
7. I have a job that suits me.
8. I can do my little road trips often.
9. Overall, my health is good.
10. My novel is getting close to completion.
11. I enjoy great coffee every morning.
12. My new waterless aquarium is gorgeous.
13. I found some real Mexican copal yesterday.
14. My last presentation in Palestine went very well. The audience was brilliant. We laughed together, cried together, got good and grateful together. In true unity of mind and spirit, we rose. It was a moment in time that I will never forget.
Well, that was quick. Maybe I’ll grab another cup of coffee and move another fourteen pebbles.
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