Alanis Morisette sang her song Thank U released in 1998:
How ’bout getting off of these antibiotics
How ’bout stopping eating when I’m full up
How ’bout them transparent dangling carrots
How ’bout that ever elusive kudo
Thank U India
Thank U terror
Thank U disillusionment
Thank U frailty
Thank U consequence
Thank U thank U silence
When I first heard this song nearly two decades ago, the catharsis it produced in me was beyond description. Her particular words seemed particularly relevant to my particular situation, and each word sung stretched its arms to the sun like cosmic branches with all scenarios relating to their resonances dangling from them.
So I’ve been contemplating, and occasionally prescribing gratitude for some time. Ingratitude, or inability to recognize or acknowledge the thankable (which can include the unthinkable) can be at least partially blamed for what I see as being like the nasty cruddy slime-ola stringy gloppy hair clumps clogging drains and pipes, and which in my case used to make me wretch (the short do has its distinct advantages) as I used the paper towel to blanket and lift it off and out of drain (not a smooth process usually), while looking away so as to avert a full on disgorge.
Much better to take preventive measures, and avert the accumulation, imho.
Anyway, lately I’m trying something a little more direct and immediate in relation to gratitude and to bring it out of the abstract domain of “virtue to be cultivated”, between longer swaths of wakeful presence:
Wake up: rest in awareness.
Notice breath, thank you breath!
Open eyes, thank you eyes!
Thank you awareness!
Thank you body!
Thank you nerves!
Thank you pain!
Move awareness to where there is no pain.
Thank you awareness!
Thank you painless place!
Thank you mattress!
Thank you pillow!
Thank you blanket!
Thank you air!
Thank you lungs!
Thank you window!
Thank you sun!
Thank you chirping bird!
Thank you feet on floor!
Thank you, stretch, stand, step!
Thank you door!
Thank you doorknob!
Thank you hallway!
Thank you bathroom door!
Thank you bathroom light switch!
Thank you light bulb!
Thank you bathroom rug!
Thank you toilet!
Thank you joints!
Thank you PJ’s and underpants!
Thank you water in toilet without which sound of
donations would not be nearly as satisfying!
Thank you still functioning digestive system that
allows me to unload the load,
liberate the liquids and solids!
Thank you chuckle!
Thank you humor!
Thank you TMI!
Thank you eyes!
Thank you eye goobers that give me the pleasure of removing them
while completing other procedure!
Thank you food I ate yesterday now unrecognizable!
Thank you mental tangent also known as prapanca,
elaboration, totally unnecessary but not totally useless:
Thank you whoever or whatever grew, harvested, washed, processed, packaged, loaded, trucked, unloaded, shelved that food!
Thank you toilet flushing mechanism
that allows me not to be forced
to look at or smell that vision at bottom of bathroom bowl all day long!
Thank you vast functioning sewage system and those whose job it is to maintain it!
…not uncommon to be bawling like a baby at this point, thinking of the lives, the lives, the kind, kind people whose existence and efforts make mine more comfortable.
The things we Take For Granted. When things are not taken for granted, everything amazes.
And then, rest the mind in that sparkling light afterglow.
Gratitude is a powerfully healing mind state.
I’ve been doing this at different points in the day, as I mentioned, between periods of resting in wakeful awareness, and though I don’t have the instrumentation to measure brain activity or physical energy, trust me, there’s something going on…