How do you plant a seed of gratitude? You pause for a moment–you have to pause, you can’t do this on the run–and then you look out across the terrain of your life and you identify one thing–one person, one place, one possession, one talent, one quality, one memory, one bit of good luck–for which you feel grateful.
That feeling of gratitude plants the seed. Let’s say, for example, in my case I feel grateful to have a mind that allows me to write these words to you right now. Once I name it–as I just did–and let the feeling of gratitude wash through me, then the seed is planted.
The next step is always the next step with any seed you plant. You tend to it, water it, make sure it gets sunlight and does not get frostbite or be attacked by hostile bugs and vermin. Each day you fuss over the little seed you planted. Each day you look for growth. Pretty soon that seed has germinated, sunk roots, and broken the surface of the place where you planted it. Next thing you know, it is growing on its own. You still have to tend to it, but not as often, as its own strength sustains it.
If tomorrow I come back to that little seed I just planted–the seed of feeling grateful that my mind allows me to write well enough to be read–and water it with a few seconds of attention and appreciation, then the little seed will do what tended-to seeds do, and start to grow.
Before very long, that seed will have broken the surface and will begin to displace some weed of self-doubt that I have allowed to grow for too long. My little seed will turn into a strong and beautiful flower in my mind. I will be able to see it as I walk through my mind every day. I will see beauty, rather than ugly weeds.
We’ve all seen way too many ugly weeds over the past months. I propose that all of us plant some seeds of gratitude, water them, fuss over them, and watch beauty displace the ugliness.
We all have the ability to be gardeners of our minds. We can all grow such lush and lovely flowers there. We can also help others do the same. When you pay a compliment, for example, you are planting a little seed of self-regard in that person. With luck, the person will be able to accept it and water it himself or herself.
We can all be regular Johnny or Jill Appleseeds, planting beauty in ourselves and in each other wherever we go.
Let’s get to it.