One of my favorite quotes from Dr. Robert Emmons,
the world's leading expert in GRATITUDE, is.....
"Gratitude is a way of seeing that alters your GAZE."
We are on vacation this week and I can tell you that this quote has literally come to life as I've watched Brady experience things he's never seen or done before.
Genuine GRATITUDE (especially through a child's experience)
is something to truly treasure.
It caused me to also STOP
and look at things I'd seen many times before
with a FRESH Perspective and new pair of glasses.......
Brady's example during the 1st day of the trip pushed me
to also put on my GRATITUDE glasses
as we experience our vacation.
If I've heard the word "MOM look" once,
I've heard it no less than 500 times in the last few days....
IT's sooooooo easy to get annoyed
with all the questions and millions of comments....
until you take a moment to grasp
that this excitement and genuine wonder
is coming from a place we often lose as adults.
To see the Grand Canyon as a canyon or mountain range
does NOT due it justice....
but to see it from a 10 year old's perspective
left my heart with bubbles!
From that moment forward....
I have tried to experience each step of our trip
through the GRATEFUL eyes of a 10 year old....
one who sees things with AWE
(in his grateful glasses).
AND. I giggle to myself as I hear.....
"MOM, are you looking at this?"
"MOM, how high do you think we are?"
"MOM, have you ever seen anything like this?"
"MOM, out of all the places in the world,
why do you think this happened right here?"
"MOM, are we gonna get struck by lightening up here if it rains?"
"MOM, would you just look at this!"
"MOM, can you try to paint this."
"MOM, just look at all these colors!"
Thank you Brady.... for teaching me
that GRATITUDE is so much more than just being grateful...
It's also experiencing your life with a thankful AWE.....
IT's realizing... when you look at things with a FRESH perspective
you see them in a WHOLE NEW WAY!
Mountains become magical
Clouds become mysterious
Trees become monsterous
and Rocks become magnificent!
So.... when our 10+ mile trail ride
in the Tonto National Forest of Arizona .... (on horseback)
left me with tiny moments of fear and terror...
(I'm not a very experienced rider,
and I was on the side of a mountain
with my 10 year old on the horse in front of me)
I tried to channel my inner BRADY and see this moment
NOT OUT OF FEAR (of all that could happen)....
but rather from a place of MAGIC
for the moments we were experiencing NOW!
And when I got the million....
"MOM, do you see me?"
"MOM, are you proud of me?"
"MOM, I think I saw a bear."
"MOM, do you think we can drink that spring water?"
"MOM, isn't this awesome?"
"MOM, can you believe we did this?"
I just smiled and took a deep breath full of
10 year old GRATITUDE
and let the fear drift away
and let the excitement of a little boy
(who was experiencing this with AWE)....fill my soul.
So... I set off on my own journey
to experience something in a whole new way.....
and began to look at cactus...
NOT as a prickly bush that causes pain,
but rather a thing of beauty that has adapted itself
to live in a location with limited rain fall....
and WOW.... Brady's method worked...
when I began to wear my own GRATITUDE glasses,
I could see that I was missing out on so much.
We get so USED to the things in our life
that we no longer see their beauty.
This goes for our homes, our cars, our family,
our jobs and our pets.....
Could this be a new secret to GRATITUDE
that only children know?
Could I have learned something from a 10 year old
that hasn't been in a single book I've read in my entire Graduate studies?
So... as I watched Brady with a sick little pony
(who everyone thought would die any minute of colic)...
I saw him talk that little horse back to life.
I watched him tell that horse to
"JUST POOP and you'll feel better."
"You can do it, all you have to do is believe in yourself."
...and I knew that no book knew what Brady knew....
in the days that followed I saw that little horse
(who no one but Brady believed would live) come back to life....
and I saw his little face light up as he said
"MOM, I told her to be grateful she was alive!"
And.... as we left Arizona to head on to new adventures in New Mexico...
That little pony had "POOPED" and was up and eating!
AND.... even if she would have gotten well on her own...
to a little 10 year old boy,
having someone believe in you
and encourage you to find your own kind of GRATITUDE
worked for an animal just like it does for people!
So... as we head today to the White Sands of New Mexico....
I will be wearing my GRATITUDE glasses
and listening with my own kind of AWE
to the million questions and
million lessons about the beauty of life
from a precious 10 year old boy... named Brady!
Staci is a one-of-a-kind mix of JOY and Neuroscience who is teaching people all over the world to BUILD a BETTER BRAIN by using Gratitude to create a BRIGHTER future. She has a Master's Degree in Educational NEUROSCIENCE and 25 years of teaching experience where she developed a reputation for being able to uncover potential in others like no one else could. Let her teach you how to live a HAPPIER Life by using the neuroscience of GRATITUDE to rewire your brain and build a better future!