Choosing Gratitude while Expanding My Comfort Zone
I would not consider myself a writer by any means. I think it’s been about four years since I’ve written something of length that was intended for other people to read. This article is the product of one, Eric Strack, stepping outside of his comfort zone, and choosing to be grateful for the experience. We are always at choice, so why not choose gratitude? Easy, right?!
When my wife, Nicole, asked me if I would like to write about gratitude for the Loveumentary’s 30 Day Gratitude challenge, and said “it might be a great opportunity to start writing...you know...like you said you wanted to...” I was instantaneously...let’s say...unenthusiastic. Scratch that, I was straight up afraid.
I was afraid of how long it might take me to write it, I was afraid of what people reading it might think of me, and I was afraid of looking dumb. I did not hesitate to say “thanks, but no thanks.”
[Spoiler alert: I ended up changing my mind.]
I was just on my way out the door, heading to the gym, when Nicole proposed this “writing about gratitude” thing. The gym is my temple, my happy place. So while plodding along on the elliptical, sweat dripping down my face, my fancy workout boxers running up my leg, I came to a realization: why not choose to see this as an opportunity to do the writing I’ve been saying I want to do, and be grateful for this opportunity as well? What a concept!!
Hold the phone, let’s change gears for a moment, I’d like to tell you a little bit about myself. I dabble in personal growth and am fortunate to have married a self-help guru (check out Nicole’s blog here). Furthermore, I spent most of my life up until now as what I’d call a “spiritual agnostic.” Now I am learning more about myself through personal growth practices, while also contemplating my connection with a higher being, be it God, Spirit, Source, Flying Spaghetti Monster, or whatever you want to call it.
These two, relatively-still-new-to-me, areas of thinking have created a whirlwind of questions in my head. Like a tornado, which is created when hot air smashes into cold air, my new, self-confident, empowering, and spiritual beliefs are clashing with older, science-based, limited beliefs. I am attempting to wade through this storm to really know who I am and where I stand.
One of the most annoyingly hard-to-answer questions for me is about causality. Nicole believes that everything happens for a reason and that the Universe provides exactly what we need (which includes experiences that come in the form of challenges). These are wonderful ideas that I really want to believe 100%...right now I’m at about 90%...and closing the gap every day. That other 10% is holding on to my old belief that we humans are just really good creating connections between things, after the fact.
Old-me (the me that didn’t believe in a higher power) would say that there is a logical, science based answer for everything. For example, finding a $100 bill on the ground is a happy accident...too bad for the other guy who lost it.
New-me believes that: 1) I am always at choice, and 2) the Universe constantly provides for those who are acting for the greater good. Now, with these beliefs, that $100 bill is directly tied to the $100 check I wrote out to one of my favorite charities earlier that day. I now know that the Universe rewards those who are generous, and I choose to be grateful for it. This really happened to me, by the way.
So there I was: faced with the daunting task of writing something about myself and sharing my thoughts with lots and lots of people. Initially, I defaulted to the lingering Old-me way of thinking, and waved the writing off as a random annoyance. It took me going to the gym to come around to New-me, and to CHOOSE to see that this opportunity was placed before me so I could do something new & different, and I am so very grateful to have had this opportunity to share a little snippet of my life with you.