I’m back from Wales, apologies for no posting this week.
Coming back I’m grateful for the eleven days (or thirteen???) I had and so, because my brain can’t help it, I started to think about what Chinese Medicine says about gratitude.
Often when we hear “grateful” it’s accompanied by “should” – “You should be grateful” – so any image of gratefulness we have is clouded by resentment and obligation. All heavy, still and stifling.
The word gratitude on the other hand…I don’t think it’s something that western society introduces or teaches very well. So for me what springs to mind is a blank space or question marks. I’m not that very well acquainted with it at this moment.
The pattern in nature that Chinese Medicine associates with gratitude is late autumn.
This is because once harvesting is over in early autumn, you have to store and stock the food to last you for the winter. If the harvest has been bounteous, then you feel grateful and blessed with what you have received.
No resentment or shoulds involved.
It’s about looking at what you have or receiving a gift and feeling blessed.
Another thing which I find interesting is that late autumn is a period of movement, not energetic movement per se, but the slow and changing movement of leaves falling from trees.
So if we go by what CM observes, gratitude is an eternally moving thing not built on stasis.
And that’s what blessings do. They come and they go.
You can’t be obligated to feel blessed or grateful because then it’s not gratitude.
For gratitude to work, you need to slow down, count your stock, what you have in life, and know like the burning glory of autumn, that it won’t be there for forever.
For gratitude is a moving thing.