Friday, October 15, 2010

Enlightenment is a Constant State of Gratitude

by Summer Jarrard

A wise woman once told me, enlightenment is a constant state of gratitude...

It simultaneously felt like laughing, twirling, crying, slow dancing, and floating. Our eye contact sent a thrill of shivers down my spine. Blinking felt like a punishment, and my feet felt like they couldn't touch the ground. One inch above, I floated through the kitchen, the living room, and they said, "It looks like traveling has done you well." I thought that maybe if you turned off the lights, I would turn into a firefly.

Maybe the traveling did do me well. But what really did the trick? Coming home. Opening my palms to the magic of gratitude. Letting myself just feel grateful for those people of mine. The ones who raised me, the ones who love me, the ones that listened to every worry, thought, fear, and piece of courage. Grateful that I had a roof over my head, a kitchen that smelled like heaven, a living room with a fire crackling its way into my ear. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. In my case it grew larger as well. Expanding until I felt it might just pop out of my chest, beating for the world to hear.

Let gratitude pour down your sleeves until you have danced it's entire dance. Don't worry, your feet will never get tired. Let it drip into the small space between your heart and your chest, and trust that it will shine its own light. Breathe it until you feel full, and then breathe some more. It will send delightful chills all about your shoulders, if you let it.

And the best part is, no matter how confused you are, no matter how upset you are, I guarantee gratitude will always be there, smoke drifting, a stranger knocking, waiting for you to let it in. Let it send you into a dizzying dance where you lose track of how you got here, enveloped in something else besides the daily trivial matters.

It is a replacement for any trouble. A magic tonic that warms your throat on the way down. Worrying about money? Replace it with gratitude. Wishing you weighed just 5 pounds less? Be grateful for this vessel that carries you around without asking for payment.

Gratitude is a goddess that gives without asking for anything in return. Lift your hands and ask her to dance. You won't regret it.

Thank you Summer for sharing your beautiful words about Gratitude. We are so grateful to have you contribute to this month's reflection!


  1. I agree! If more people had this "attitude of gratitude" the world would be better off!! Thanks for sharing these lovely words.

  2. Beautiful words. Thank you for sharing!