Dasher’s CFO, Bonnie Meisel, and I love the topic of how gratitude transforms lives.
Bonnie shared, “With a grateful heart, it is difficult to be negative and I genuinely believe that positive people are more impactful on eliciting desired behaviors and having a more profound influence on others than negative people.
“Also with a grateful heart, you will be more apt to engage and listen to others and focus on the solutions to issues as opposed to dwelling on the circumstances that created the problem.”
I could not agree more with Bonnie. Growing a protected species like Monarch butterflies, as I did this summer, had some unexpected impact on me personally.
As I watched each caterpillar striped in jet black, iridescent yellow and neon green, it transmitted a pure and calm acceptance of its journey. As each one chomped steadily on milkweed leaves and grew from the size of a gnat into the size of my entire pinky finger, I could feel how calmly it inhabited its being.
It was mesmerizing and it changed they way I think about acceptance. In turn, the change in how I think about acceptance heightened my gratitude for the present moment and all the opportunity that exists within it.
Previously, I thought acceptance related to disappointment. Acceptance was something I needed to do when I wanted something different than I got. My acceptance was mental gymnastics. I would talk to myself. “It could have been worse.” “Live and learn.” Or my usual go-to, “Everything happens for a reason.”
The caterpillar taught me this life lesson. Acceptance is a welcoming of what is — just as it is, with no struggle. Acceptance has nothing to do with expectations. It is not connected with disappointment or tolerance or settling for less than ideal. It is not mental gymnastics or the power of positive thinking. It is nothing like these behaviors!
The change in my grasp of the meaning of acceptance is evidence of the transformational power of gratitude. Thank you, Mrs. Caterpillar.