The Gratitude of this Moment


by Tania Carriere

May 2, 2016 - 11:18am

“This is my gratitude achievement” she said to me, as she gave me the most radiant smile.

“Achievement” seemed a bit counter intuitive to the gratitude practices that I knew so I thought perhaps I had missed something in her broken Nepalese-English. As I know it, most gratitude practices are about remembering, reflecting on the things that have come to my life that I should be grateful for. You know, sitting with a journal before bed or hands clasped in prayer and humbly showing appreciation for what has been given to me.

But she explained that she had a different practice. Every morning she sits quietly and thinks about the day to come. (I do this too, but usually in the context of cross referencing my agenda with my to-do list). As she considers what is ahead of her, she scans for those things, big and small, that she knows will bring her meaning or joy. “ I choose my 3 best things” she said “and then I forget”.

I was in the audience at the inaugural performance for Child Haven’s new school and she was performing. “I love dancing, I love hearing the music and feeling free. And today when I was dancing, I remembered that this was a moment I was waiting to be grateful for.”

I remembered this was a moment I was waiting to be grateful for.

I wonder how she is today, and if she still practices anticipating the moments when her heart will open in gratitude and joy. Nepal was rocked with an earthquake last year that killed 9000. A year later, little has been rebuilt. I know that her orphanage was not damaged, but the country and her people are still struggling.

I have been practicing her form of gratitude and have found it powerful as it helps me be truly present to the experience of joy in the moment. If I could, I’d tell her that this is my moment of gratitude achieved today. This morning I thought about the time that I had set aside in my agenda to write this blog. I thought of the warm soothing mint tea that I would make, in honour of her. I thought of the smile that would creep onto my face, revisiting the stunning photos of that trip. I thought of the warmth of remembering her dancing spirit and the tears that would creep behind my eyes as I remembered the privilege of helping and learning from such wonderful students. And then "I forgot" and went about my day. But as the time approached, there was something already tapping me on the shoulder and fluttering in my heart.

And here I am – living and then reliving my gratitude achieved. Gratitude all the more sweet and poignant as something in me has been waiting, seeking, foreknowing this very moment.

In gratitude and celebration