Sensational Living®

Winter 2005 - 2006
© 2005 by Bret S. Beall


With Thanksgiving coming up, I wanted to share some of my day-to-day expressions of gratitude in hopes that you, too, will embrace daily expressions of gratitude for your current life and future potential, instead of focusing on what you might perceive as "not right" with your world.

In my Autumn 2005 Seasoned Living® column at www.soulfulliving.com, I wrote about the demise of the Bretmobile (I am certainly grateful for Valerie Rickel, founder of www.soulfulliving.com, for giving me the opportunity to be a columnist on her website). In short, the car was already on its last legs, and had developed a nasty scratching sound in the engine. I was driving home one rainy Friday night, and despite my intent to get home, I heard and listened to that "little voice" that said "pull off the road." I did, and the car died. I was grateful to be safely off the busy main street. I mentioned to a colleague that I was grateful to be off that main street during traffic on a rainy night, and she poo-pooed that gratitude saying, "The police would have gotten you off the street in no time." Well, I'm not so sure about that, and I'm not so sure that it would have happened prior to being impacted by another vehicle. So, I'm STILL grateful!

I was then grateful that I had a cell phone with which I could call information to get the number of a tow truck. I was grateful I had liquidity to pay for the tow truck, and that I didn't have any appointments I was missing as I waited to be towed. I was grateful that the next day I also had no clients scheduled, so I could invest the time resources in tracking down a rental car. I was grateful to be able to afford this rental car.

I was grateful for the time and resources to travel to Indiana recently. I was grateful for the friend with whom I rendezvoused in Indianapolis, not only for the adventures of this trip, but for the many experiences we share. I am grateful for the new people whom I met on this trip, just as I'm grateful for the new people I meet on all of my travels, many of whom I now count as friends.

I'm particularly grateful that I have recently had time to search for a replacement Bretmobile, grateful to have found an appropriate vehicle, grateful to have an exceptional credit rating and therefore to receive low-interest financing, and grateful for my excellent driving record that allowed me to get a good deal on insurance for this vehicle. I'm even grateful that I thought to bring my huge ice chest to the dealer to see if I could fit it into the trunk or backseat of potential replacement Bretmobiles so that I could continue presenting cooking demonstrations.

I'm grateful for the ability not only to teach wonderful cooking to others, but also to create delicious food to share at potlucks that make people go "WOW!" I'm grateful for the ability to create a home sanctuary for myself and for clients. I'm grateful for the wealth of experiences that now allow me to plan travels for my own pleasure and for business purposes.

I'm not fond of doctors, but finally got a check up recently after a five-year lapse … I'm grateful for my ongoing health. I'm grateful for my mobility and my fortune to be free of aches and pains and other "inconveniences." I'm grateful to be aging (relatively) gracefully (though others may disagree … LOL!). I'm grateful that Lugh and Luna, my nine-year-old white brother and sister Persian cats, are healthy and happy at Casa Beall.

As you read this, are you wondering, "Is there anything for which he isn't grateful?" That's a tough one to answer. Sure, I could focus on less-than-desirable situations. I have a particularly heavy client schedule right now; I could focus on how this is inhibiting my ability to play, but instead I'm grateful not only for the cash flow and liquidity, but also for the trajectory that this work load is sending me on, with the potential for great new insights (and possibly romance! Are you out there?). I'm grateful that part of this crazy workload culminated with planning a highly successful event in Toronto, where I had the opportunity (and liquidity) to enjoy some amazing meals with a variety of wines, in often-spectacular settings.

I'm not especially happy that I've been neglecting Casa Beall, and with that, my research has been lagging. But, instead I choose to focus on the mere fact that each day I can return to Casa Beall for comfort, and to play with Lugh and Luna. I haven't been pleased that the workload has led me to be sleep-deprived at times; instead, I delight that I do sleep well when I have the opportunity. I choose to focus on the pleasure I experience when I DO have time to do research, and to focus on the joy of learning and making new syntheses and creating new ideas that I'll share with others.

I'm not thrilled with the financial difficulties I had during the first six months of this year … but I'm overjoyed by what I learned during that period, by how I grew during that ordeal, and how I've emerged as a far better person for having had this series of new experiences. I'm often encouraging myself and others to "try new things" and to have "new experiences" (for example, http://www.god-dess.com/services_lifestyleAugust04.html), but I'm grateful that the Universe forced me out of my comfort zone, and that I had the state of mind to simply "go with the Flow" instead of kicking and screaming and stressing and freaking out.

I spent a number of years regretting the time (years!) I had invested in healthcare management without investing in building GOD-DESS (Global Organic Designs - Discovering Earth's Science & Spirit). However, those years forced me to confront the healing I needed to achieve I order to move forward. I'm grateful for the healing, for the situations that provided no alternative to seeking healing, and to the many individuals who both helped and hindered that healing, for all of them played an important role in my maturation and development as a healthy human being.

I'm sometimes saddened that a particularly pathologic individual derailed my already internationally-established paleontological career. Nevertheless, I often surprise people when I explain that I would now rather pith myself than work on those projects, that I am grateful for the mental training I received that allows me to offer lifestyle services from a perspective that no one else can offer, and that I actually am able to help the world and help people live better lives, which were goals I had once believed I could only achieve once I had invested decades as a famous scientist. I am grateful to have been derailed, and to have been able to achieve my dreams ahead of schedule!

I wasn't particularly happy the other day when I was late driving to a client appointment, and found myself behind someone driving 15 mph in a 30 mph zone. But, I took a deep breath, opened my eyes wide, and realized that this stunning sunny morning was brightening the autumn leaves on the trees. The leaves were blazing with hues of yellow, gold, orange, pink, red, purple, and various mahoganies, siennas and other varieties of "brown"; even the green leaves glowed in the sunlight. I was grateful to have been "forced" to be mindful of my environment, and grateful to have color vision and healthy (albeit nearsighted) eyes. I was grateful that the colors were just as vibrant in Toronto when I visited there.

Do I thoroughly enjoy everyone with whom I interact either on a regular basis or on one-off occasions? No way! But I know that everyone I meet and deal with has the potential to teach me something. I also have the opportunity to help them. I even realize that our interaction may be neutral, and may represent a two-degree of separation significance. We just don't know, so I seek the positive instead of emphasizing the negative.

Recently, I stopped in a thrift/resale store and the clerk asked, "How are you." I said, "I'm great." Her eyes opened, and she said, "You sound like you really mean that!" "I do. Look at this day. How can it get any better?" She said, "You know, I think you may be contagious!" I'm grateful that I could easily make someone else feel good about her day.

You can even make yourself feel good when you start thinking about gratitude daily. As I was writing this column in my head (that's how I start all of my writings), considering all that is good in my life, I found myself in a very good "place." I realized how fortunate I was, and have always been. Rather than focusing on the bad stuff, I had enveloped myself with gratitude, and I discovered I couldn't even force myself to think about unpleasantries. Of course, this isn't the first time I've made this discovery, but like all of us, sometimes I forget, and need to be reminded. I'm grateful that "having" to write this column reminded me that expressing ongoing gratitude makes me feel really good. I think it will also make you feel really good. Maybe even "great."

I hope that you will embrace expressing gratitude. It may be difficult at first. You have to make a conscious decision to be grateful. Let the season (as we approach Thanksgiving) inspire you to be more grateful. If you need some help with learning to be grateful, you know how to reach me: 773.508.9208 or email me. Please tell me about your experiences and experiments with gratitude. Life is good!