Be surprised about Surprise and Gratitude!
The whole vitality of being alive is that it is always surprising.
To be enlightened is to be surprised at everything. That it is a wonder. That everything is a miracle. That it is highly improbable and really shouldn’t have happened at all….. if there isn;t that sense, there is no vitality in anything.
Extract from Time and Future audio recording by Alan Watts
The surprise element of gratitude: THE element that deepens the gratitude experience is, er …… well …… Surprise!! If it were not for our thinking, the whole of our experience of our life would be an utter surprise! Our thinking tries to predict the future, to create plans, to create expectation and to judge what does arise in our lives.
Those who can see past their thinking and are happy to hang out in the unknown are surprised by everything! By that I mean, they take delight and experience wonder at the tiniest thing. In turn they are a delight to hang out with!
But what about those of us who get tangled up in their thinking? Surprise wakes us up to life and cuts through our thinking. Lets take the example of suddenly seeing a rainbow! Wow! A Rainbow! Your thinking stops and suddenly you feel like a child! For me, it is seeing fireworks in New Years Eve as they explode, whizz and Bang(!) all over the valley where I live.
Surprise means that you do not have a chance to talk yourself out of the experience, or judge it, or anticipate it or any of the other thoughts that shoot across our minds. We have the chance to experience the world as a child, as an enlightened being ……. and thus gratitude naturally flows.
How have you found that surprise adds to your experience of gratitude?
If you keep a gratitude journal, consider paying special attention to those elements of the day that were a pleasant surprise. Do you find yourself being more grateful for those things? If they were planned, would you have felt the same way?
Let me know in the comments below!