The mind is a wonderful servant, and a terrible master —Robin Sharma

As I write this*, it’s early Eastern Easter Sunday, in my childhood home in Massachusetts

(*I’ve been using our current circumstances to write a blog or two ahead)

Sun and son (me) have just risen

I’m grateful to have lungs to take in the free air, as I do my Wim Hof breath work

As outside my window the buds on the trees—tiny branching out like neural networks—grow to green leaves

I’m grateful I possess a mind to guide, as I continue into my Joe Dispenza meditation

As rain clouds pour nourishment down into the field and forest below

I’m grateful I have teeth over which to run minty bristles, legs underneath me to carry me to the kitchen

And a cup of brown-bubbling steaming hot coffee to fuel me as I write you this blog

Of course—I’m most grateful for you, my reader

But the coffee is a close second 🙂

Back in the kitchen I “spilled” some coffee on the wooden cutting board

“Spilled” in quotations, because I’m being taught to re-consider the nature of “accidents”

As I lifted my French press and went for the sponge

The spill made a scowling face!

Until I took a minute to reconsider: Looking at it in a new way, the spill made a smiling face

I’m grateful to have a mind that can reframe my surroundings (and sometimes even does!)

What do you have around/as part of you right now, that you are grateful for?

This gratitude of ours: It doesn’t make our current circumstances go away!

Or make the problems any less real—or serious, or terrible—for many affected

By focusing on what you’re grateful for, rather than what’s wrong

You become a person that much better able to serve others

You transform into a happier person

As Anne Franke wrote, Whoever is happy, will make others happy, too

Many times during the past couple of months, I’ve reminded myself: How grateful I am, to find myself in far better circumstances than Franke’s

That which you focus on, expands

Where your attention goes, your energy flows

By focusing on what you’re grateful for, you’ll get more of it in your life

(We can figure out for ourselves what happens when we do the opposite)

Seventeen years ago—almost to the day—morning fear of the future ate away at me, after nights at the methamphetamine pipe

My frightened face lit by the ghostly blue propane flame, tiptoeing through the inky blackness, police paranoia—fearing agents assembled outside, battering rams at the ready

Meth psychosis setting in, the disembodied voices starting to sound

(As I wrote “meth psychos” a wasp settled on my laptop…I’m grateful not to be stung!)

I’d go on to become best by beliefs that my friend from France, whom I’d known in Bangkok, had been a 9/11 hijacker—or an undercover operative—and thus the vast “conspiracy” against me

(You can read about it in a previous blog, and/or in my book)

My BIG problem, of course, wasn’t meth…meth, rather, was my attempt at a solution

My BIG problem, ultimately, related to my lack of gratitude

My seemingly unceasing focus…going back decades…on what wasn’t working, who was “letting me down”, the things I told my mind were wrong in the world

The meth—and the other drugs—made me euphoric, and…when I crashed past euphoria, became entombed within fear, anxiety, and doubt

I made those things more real than reality

On this Eastern Easter Sunday, here’s what a person who’s been lucky enough to learn can share with you:

Starting with your feet, and working your way up, what are you grateful for?

For examples: Maybe you have all ten toes…you don’t have any blisters…you have warm socks…you don’t have to walk in the snow barefoot…

You can be grateful for all of it, and much more…with a little effort, you can find twenty or more things to be grateful for, without even going above your ankles

As I write this, In the field beyond the picture window, is assembled a circle of six deer

At night, they climb the hill behind my childhood home, and eat the buds off the pear tree

Their pointed hoof-prints appear, near where the trunk emerges from the earth

The pear tree will still sprout leaves, of course…higher up, where the deer can’t stretch their necks

You and I will be operating from a higher plane—one negativity finds harder to reach, thanks to our gratitude

Our future smiles at us, and we write it…better than one we read from tea leaves (or coffee grounds)

Resources For You

If you know or are a person who is struggling, check out my free PDF: Ten Helpful Questions to Ask When Someone You Love is Recovering From Addiction

Simply go to my website, and hit the “Download PDF Now” button in the lower right. When you enter your email, you’ll be signed up for my weekly newsletter, Meditations on Meth. Feel free to unsubscribe if you don’t want it.

2 Responses

  1. Wonderful insights, Ed! Thank you for the reminder of gratitude’s healing power. I’d love to hear your thoughts on helping people find gratitude. It’s a difficult solution for me to bring up when a friend is dwelling on what’s wrong with a given situation. I don’t want to undercut them, so I validate them, but then we’re in a loop where my validation leads to more things that bother them. I get the feeling after a while that I’m not helping at all! Anyway, I know this isn’t an advice column (though I’d love to see that!) but I wonder if you have any insights.

    Thank you!

    1. Thank you Theo for sharing your wonderful insights! I’ve been thinking a lot about your question. What keeps coming to my mind is the quote attributed to the Buddha: “It is better to conquer oneself, than to win a thousand battles.” I hope this is helpful. Stay strong and on your amazing path, you are an inspiration my friend.

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