Wisdom Workout


Is It Time to Flip Your Attitude Switch?


Susan McNeal Velasquez

Today, it seems like we travel on the highway of life at breakneck speeds, operating in full-on problem-solving mode, and then the holidays arrive, and we are supposed to slam on the breaks and be instantly ready to enjoy harmonious leisure time with family and friends.

Happiness, contentment, wonder, pleasure and joy are foreign experiences that sit on the back burner of our minds, unless we consciously bring the attitude of gratitude to the forefront.

Imagine easing up on the results pedal in favor of savoring the moment, with no incessant need to push and pressure yourself or anyone else for bigger and better results?

The exercising of the muscle of gratitude can be challenging. An attitude shift isn’t for the weak-minded since it is easier to be on guard, removed, neutral or just plain negative and judgmental. “I’ll accept this moment, but I don’t like that one.” “Let me tell you what happened to me lately. It’s been terrible, awful, so hard and unfair.” An attitude of gratitude leaves you without a victim story.

Gratitude requires a wide lens perspective on life. It is not about phony sweetness and light, everything is wonderful, gloss-it-over thinking. Gratitude encompasses the awareness of the present moment coupled with the grace and wisdom to know we don’t know the whole picture.

Thanksgiving Day is one day to highlight giving thanks for our blessings. It is an opportunity to choose to adopt the point of view that life is a gift to be cherished. It is also an opportunity to cherish those closest to our hearts.

It takes courage to soften into celebration and deepen our resolve to be present and connected with our family and friends. When we take the risk to open to the unpredictable and uncontrollable high and low feelings that relationships often bring, we strengthen our capacity to participate fully in our lives.

The American Indian culture holds a particular attitude toward all their relations that I find profound and inspiring. At an Indian gathering and celebration, it is understood that the elders and the children are served first. Honoring the elders and cherishing the children are values that are held sacred.

When this way of being is embraced, it can grow into an ever-increasing ability to also honor our past and cherish our future. In this way, we are all sacred and we all make a difference.

Gratitude and appreciation can become a solid sanity tool that can help us expand our ability to generate comfort and joy as we celebrate this holiday season.


Susan is a local author of the emotional resource book, “Beyond Intellect: Journey Into the Wisdom of Your Intuitive Mind.” Learn more at: beyondintellect.com

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