A few nights ago, as I was falling asleep, letting my thoughts drift through the maze of activities of the day, thankful for my health and vitality, it just hit me that every so-called challenge in our lives is just a new path of joy. There are numerous established, well-trodden avenues of happiness, such as winning the lotto, going on a great vacation,
meeting someone extraordinary, being kissed by a beautiful sunset, hearing a brilliant piece of music, etc.
But wouldn’t it be grand to blaze new pathways of bliss? Like reveling in rising each morning
because we can get out of bed and eat breakfast, or open our lungs freely and take in new air
every few seconds, or know the surety of our commitment to the well being of our own selves.
As I lay in bed, my mind glanced upon a strange occurrence in my life. A few months ago, I got the flu.
I call it strange because I never get sick. And, as it turned out, this illness became a bizarre, lengthy
sequence of various, painful symptoms that lasted several weeks. I got over it eventually, but it remains
enigmatic to me in many ways.
But here’s the aha!
Confined to my bed, my mind a muddy melange of sadness, confusion, worry, and self-pity, I eventually got to the point of utter exasperation with my negative thoughts, and
became desperate to be healthy again. So I decided to think of everything I was thankful for.
So it began, a journey of creating joy. Creating a trail through the tangled brambles of my feelings
of powerlessness and pain.
I’ve been that annoying type of person who tends to be relentlessly optimistic, who will smile at most
adversities, and who is seldom shaken by seeming difficulties, but this new challenge in my life totally
knocked me off my silver lining (literally), and it took every inch of will power in me to start shifting my
mind from sadness and loneliness to gratitude. I was too weak, at the moment, to write anything, so
I began saying them softly to the air in my dim lit bedroom. “I’m thankful for my bed, my soft pillow,
my friends, my family, that I don’t have a terminal illness, for the birds I hear singing outside my window. . . ”
As I spoke, I began weeping, partly because of the exhausting effort it took to exude those soft words, but mostly
because a great sorrow began to be unleashed from my heart as I turned my thoughts away form the self-imposed prison of concentrated pain. My tears fell everyday, as I continued to practice my commitment to
speak my gratitudes each morning.
Now, as I look back on that time, I realize it was a gift, just as everything I may have misperceived in my life
as a negative experience. An opportunity, if I am willing to forge a new path of joy. A gift to create a
magnificent leap of consciousness.
So if you are fortunate enough to be experiencing something like health issues, money problems,
relationship challenges, etc., just say, “Thank you!” And become an innovator of elation. It will confound the people around you. They will question your sanity. It will puzzle your friends.
It will rattle some cages. And it will open up new roads of bliss for you.
The idea and the doing are two different entities, of course, but there is growth in the reaching for, like a
plant bends gently toward her grandmother, the sun. We can bend in the direction of what we perceive as
truth, and in that reaching, there is a cleansing, a purifying, a freedom, and a new path of joy.