Wakefulness stirred my mind turning my thoughts to my gratitude list as my body prepared to arise from its place of rest. Thoughts of yesterday, of the gifts, the joys and also the trials and tribulations floated through my mind, reminding me to be grateful for all that I have received, experienced and known. Not just the censored version of my list, but the complete and unabridged version. The one where I am thankful for the missteps as well as the leaps. The one where I find value in the upsets and not just the set ups that went right.
In her book, Make Miracles in Forty Days, Melody Beattie shares “The Miracles Exercise” as a path to finding and receiving what you want in what you’ve got in life. Her prescription to be grateful for the not so happy circumstances that block you from feeling gratitude is a sure-fire way to release resentments, bitterness, anger, unforgiveness and hatred from your life to welcome in what you want to receive. “When Life gives us something, receiving it becomes the lesson,” she writes. “Whatever Life gives us is ours.”
Which got me to thinking about, what did I not want to receive yesterday. Well, there’s that conversation with the woman at the parking payment machine yesterday morning. Let me start by saying… Parking in our city is expensive! Why, just yesterday as I parked in the lot where I normally park a woman walked up and asked, “How much is this lot for the day?” “Fourteen dollars,” I informed her. “What? that’s robbery,” she said and she went on to vent for a few moments about the cost of parking downtown — especially in a lot that is at the far western edge of the downtown core. “Why I could park a few blocks over and pay the same thing. Who do they think they are to charge so much? I only park here for the walk. It’s good for me.”
And I found myself buying into her ire. Gravitating towards her negativity as I let go of my desire to enter my day with grace and ease.
It’s so easy, to lose sight of grace and ease when faced with something as mundane, yet irritating, as paying for parking. And in the act of succumbing to the negative, I fill my world with all the things I don’t want. I collude in my own unease.
What’s with that?
According to Melody Beattie, it’s all about finding value in all things. “Whatever life gives us is ours.”
So… is parking ire mine?
What if I don’t want it?
Time to practice the Miracle Exercise.
I am grateful for expensive parking.
Hmmm…. that’s judgemental. The parking fees are a fact. They are what they are.
Well, there is the matter of that parking ticket I got in the mail yesterday. I definitely didn’t want to receive it. And here’s the challenge, it’s the second parking ticket I’ve received in the past two weeks — which means I am not only paying $14 a day for my parking — on the days when I parked at a meter, I’m now over-paying, especially if I don’t pay the fine within the subscribed period of time — the price doubles and then triples! So what’s it really about? Seriously. what’s that all about.
I reach inside my gratitude bucket and begin to write it out.
I am grateful today for the parking ticket I received in the mail. It ticks me off that the new system doesn’t allow me to know when I get the ticket in the moment. It means the ticket will arrive in the mail days later and I’ll have to relive the anxiety I felt when I forgot to plug my meter days before. Not remembering to plug the meter is a habit that disrupts my peace of mind. Maybe it’s really about sticking to my commitment to use public transit more. Maybe the fact there is street parking available is something to be grateful for, and not take so lightly I forget to plug it, or maybe the truth is it’s a wilful ignoring of the rules for me. In my wilful ignoring I am acting out in small ways that disrupt my peace of mind. I get to choose how I do the small things in my day — how I do one thing is how I do all things. Remembering to plug my meter is a small act of defiance that does not become me. I don’t need it.
I am grateful today for this reminder to do all things in my life with integrity. Thank you ticket giver for reminding me of the need to walk with integrity in all ways.
“Learning to accept, receive, appreciate, and enjoy what we create and what we’re given is like any other lesson: until we learn it, it won’t stop.” (pg 7. Melody Beattie. Make Miracles in Forty Days)
I am 100% accountable for what I allow, promote and create in my life.
In allowing myself to be irritated by parking fees, and then, not following the rules, I am promoting discord in my day and creating angst. — not to mention a seeping away of financial resources to a cause I have no desire to support! Parking tickets.
To live with integrity means I must do the right thing — no matter the cost. And in this case, not doing the right thing is costing me a lot of unncessary cash, and ire.
It is my choice to create harmony in my world, in all things, in all ways. Doing things that promote discord does not serve me, or my world.
I choose to be aligned with my higher calling. I choose to embrace harmony and let go of what I don’t want.
My day is brighter now.
Thanks for listening! thanks for being part of my journey. I am grateful for your presence.
The Miracle Exercise is well worth the ten minutes a day it takes to create your list. I’ll write more about it tomorrow. Until then — Be a light in the world. Shine Bright!