Grateful For Nothing

Gregg Krech

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Awakin FeatureIf you’re reading this, there’s a good chance your life is relatively safe -- so safe that safety isn’t on your mind. So when nothing happens, you don’t feel particularly grateful. You expect to be safe, just as you expect the light to go on when you hit the switch on the wall. But when you expect to die or you expect your home to be destroyed, "nothing happened" is a miracle.

That's our challenge: to allow our hearts and minds to be touched by gratitude without the presence of a hurricane. To appreciate life and the grace by which we wake up each day and go to sleep in safety. To recognize that our personal safety is a gift and something we have little control over. We may survive a hurricane and have a heart attack the next day. Our lives are all hanging by a thread. It makes us nervous to think about it, so we try not to. But that thread has held us up since we were born. And once in a while it’s good to notice it so we can be thankful for it.

"Nothing happened" isn’t particularly exciting. It’s not as entertaining as a good movie. It’s not intellectually challenging, nor is it adorable like a baby kitten.  But when you expect the worst and nothing happens, it’s worthy of celebration. A celebration of the fact that despite all of our problems and aches and pains and financial challenges and relationship conflicts we’re alive and we’re breathing and at the moment, we’re safe.

So take a moment and sit back. And breathe in "nothing happened." And breathe out a breath of thanks. Gratitude for just being able to breathe. Now that’s really something!

Gregg Krech is an author, poet, and one of the leading authorities on Japanese Psychology in North America. Excerpt above from Gratefulness blog.

Seed questions for reflection: How do you relate to the notion of "nothing happened" being worthy of celebration? Can you share a personal story of a time you experienced gratitude for nothing happening? What helps you be grateful for your breath?

Add Your Reflection:

6 Previous Reflections:

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    On Aug 17, 2019 Jeerasak M wrote:
    Tabula Rasa

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    On Aug 14, 2019 Ruby wrote:
    Being grateful for nothing takes a deep connection with the Creator. Some people like the terrorist or jihadists believe that every one else should be killed because it is written in their book and are grateful for nothing. They kill one animal to offer to the Creator, only to make the Creator angry for destroying its creation. This is so disgusting. How can I be grateful for these evil minded? I am grateful to the Creator that i am grateful that we have such evil people who are grateful to do destruction and live with selfish motives. This means, or amounts to, that I am grateful for nothing.

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    On Aug 13, 2019 Sande Hart wrote:
    I am grateful for this reminder of my privilege. I have been "unpacking" my white privilege since I was 21 years old, and now, with my work in the field of compassionate integrity, I remember that compassion is the willingness to look at suffering and the impulse to do something to alleviate it. It does not require I actually take action, but it does remind me not to look away or don't turn the channel. I have become increasingly aware of how privileged I am to have this choice, and that comes with deep reverence and gratitude. Also, when in a state of gratitude, I can more readily respond with equanimity and grace, both internal and in my daily life. Thank you for this awareness! I am so grateful for nothing!

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    On Aug 13, 2019 ambika wrote:
    Every morning before i open my eyes to the day, i consecrate the day to my highest self. The rest of the day flows.....every moment with my master's name on my lips. When my eyes close for the day i just say" Thank you Sai for this beautiful day". A lot of stuff happens during the day. The good, the bad and the ugly. Each moment with HIS name on my lips.
    After reading the article i get it that my days have been in gratitude. Reading this article...assimilating the truth and being able to respond... is this not a miracle ? This is a wake up realization.

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    On Aug 11, 2019 David Doane wrote:
    I see "nothing happened," which means nothing happened that is a problem, as being very worthy of celebration. It's a time without disruption, a time of peace and stability, a time to breathe deep, relax and enjoy. I've had many times of nothing happening, including right now, most of which I take for granted without feeling gratitude. And there are times mainly of reflection or meditation when I am aware that nothing is happening, I am free of big problems, life is good, and I experience deep gratitude. What helps me be grateful for my breath is knowing that life's a fiddler on the roof, precarious and fragile, always changing, with no guarantees. I know the bottom can fall out at any moment. What helps me be grateful for my breath is having had times when it was hard to breathe, when big problems did occur, and times of seeing big problems occur for others. It helps me to know that nothing is for sure, and no breath can occur any moment. It helps me to know that... [View Full Comment] I see "nothing happened," which means nothing happened that is a problem, as being very worthy of celebration. It's a time without disruption, a time of peace and stability, a time to breathe deep, relax and enjoy. I've had many times of nothing happening, including right now, most of which I take for granted without feeling gratitude. And there are times mainly of reflection or meditation when I am aware that nothing is happening, I am free of big problems, life is good, and I experience deep gratitude. What helps me be grateful for my breath is knowing that life's a fiddler on the roof, precarious and fragile, always changing, with no guarantees. I know the bottom can fall out at any moment. What helps me be grateful for my breath is having had times when it was hard to breathe, when big problems did occur, and times of seeing big problems occur for others. It helps me to know that nothing is for sure, and no breath can occur any moment. It helps me to know that's life.[Hide Full Comment]

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    On Aug 9, 2019 Jagdish P Dave wrote:
    Every moment I breathe in and out. It is a gift of life. a thread running through my life, holding my life. It is so close to me that I do not notice it, not aware of it and be grateful for having such a vital gift.This is the way I relate to the notion of "nothing happened." Attending to my breath, being aware of the in and out rhythms of my breath and being grateful for the breath is worthy of celebration. I celebrate it and be grateful for it. I recognize that the stream of my life does not always flow smoothly. I have experiencedsmall and big hurricanes in my life: people close to me passing away, going through chronic aches and pains and swings of ups and downs. As I am getting old, thoughts of the doors of life coming to close arise in my mind, and I see the shadow of death approachingme. Noticing these thoughts and accepting them makes me realize the inevitable truth of my existence. Awareness of this happening in my mind makes me appreciate the gift of life, the gift... [View Full Comment] Every moment I breathe in and out. It is a gift of life. a thread running through my life, holding my life. It is so close to me that I do not notice it, not aware of it and be grateful for having such a vital gift.This is the way I relate to the notion of "nothing happened." Attending to my breath, being aware of the in and out rhythms of my breath and being grateful for the breath is worthy of celebration. I celebrate it and be grateful for it.

    I recognize that the stream of my life does not always flow smoothly. I have experiencedsmall and big hurricanes in my life: people close to me passing away, going through chronic aches and pains and swings of ups and downs. As I am getting old, thoughts of the doors of life coming to close arise in my mind, and I see the shadow of death approachingme. Noticing these thoughts and accepting them makes me realize the inevitable truth of my existence. Awareness of this happening in my mind makes me appreciate the gift of life, the gift of breath. And that is seeing something!
    Attention, awareness, acceptance of what is happening and remaining awake is the way I relate to the flow of life. I appreciate the gift given by the author Gregg Krechin the last paragraph of this passage:
    " So take a moment and sit back. And breathe in "nothing happened". And breathe out a breath of thanks. Gratitude for just being able to breathe. Now that's a really somthing!


    " So take a moment and sit back.And breathe in"nothing happened"


    [Hide Full Comment]

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