Monday, 5 March 2012

The path to happiness

Naturally there are as many paths to happiness as there are people, so the title of this post is a little deceptive. I cannot offer you a "one true" path *smile*

One of the things I have discovered, been taught, forgotten at times and then rediscovered is the amazing difference gratitude can have to my perspective on life.

Today, as I taught mathematics, one of the beautiful souls I teach began to express her opinion about our principal. I am always cautious on this type of topic. I will NEVER allow anyone to make denigrating comments about anyone, and usually student conversations about staff are a little on that line. But this young person spoke so highly of this person, my heart filled with love and joy for them. I suddenly asked (I believe with some firm prompting from my team), "Have you told him (the principal) this? I think you should tell him." The student was horrified, "Why would I do that?"

I stopped the whole class to include them in the conversation (it's not like they weren't all straining to listen anyway, bless them) and we had a ten minute discussion on the value of expressing our gratitude for things we really appreciate, especially to the person that has made the world we live in a beautiful space, even if it was just for a moment. The depth of the discussion was profound, the learning and absorption of this lesson was absolute...I could see it on their faces and feel it in their hearts. It was definitely worth the ten minutes we spent "off task" so to speak.

I urged the student who had first spoken to write down her very complimentary opinion and told her I would deliver it faithfully and without alteration to the Principal (unless of course she wanted to do this herself...."NOOOOO way Miss" *laugh*). I did this for her. Tomorrow, when I see her again, I will let her know the beautiful smile that appeared on the principals face when I showed him the letter and explained how it had come about. He beamed and was truly gratified in this moment for the precious gift of a few complimentary words, delivered genuinely from the heart of one of the precious beings we are asked to guide.

For me, the most amazing moment, was when the principal turned to me and said, "These moments, the teaching you did today, this is what we really do here."

I am truly and wholly grateful to be working under the leadership of a being who can see that taking ten minutes out of math learning to learn a more important lesson about gratitude and the gift of words and compliments was not only acceptable, but essential!

With gratitude, a multitude of amazing things happen. You focus your intention on what you have loved about your situation rather than what you didn't like so much. You open your heart to wonder and beauty, and you are handed an opportunity to share the joy with others by expressing your gratitude to them...happiness is the result.

With love and light

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