In a past struggle with depression a friend who enjoyed gardening told me to, “Stop and smell the flowers.” My first thought was, “I barely have the time to do everything I need to do. Where am I going to find time to stop and smell the flowers? (I want to assure you TWD fans that it was not a, “Lizzie go smell the flowers,” type of thing.)
I didn’t do it.
There were other things that were more important. I would look stupid smelling the flowers on my way out the door. It would make me late for work. What if a bee stung my nose? I had soo many excuses.
One day I was running late for work. I couldn’t have breakfast and so I was hangry. I tripped on the cat and stubbed my toe. The cat was ok. I ripped my skirt on the door and stumbled down the stairs. I got in the car, started it up and then realized my purse was in the house. I became angry at myself and went back in, saying not so nice things to myself through clenched teeth.
On my way back to the car I noticed a gorgeous butterfly. It was drinking out of a rose. When I went up to it, it flew away. I smelled something delicious and took a deep whiff of the rose. I was transported back in time to a place when life was simple. I was a little girl at Balboa Park smelling the fragrant roses, not a care in the world. Time stopped for just a little bit as I enjoyed my memory. I thanked the flower and later that day I thanked my gardening friend.
When we are grateful we open the doors up to possibilities. Possibilities of good memories, of joy, of laughter and silliness. We get out of our negative mindset. We can tie our Monkey Mind to the pole and stop the negative voices in our head.
Gratitude can do so many positive things for us and yet we fight it tooth and nail. Why not stop and smell that flower?