“ Let us develop a kind of dangerous unselfishness ”

 ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

What do you know, just like that, it’s the last Monday Love newsletter of the year! (special holiday edition, a day late just like the post office or the garbage truck.)

I’m sure you are being inundated with year-end reviews and recaps right about now, so I will spare you another one of those.

Instead, I think I will regale you with a few thoughts about one of my favorite mindsets which is gratitude, and what might just be the secret sauce to having more of it.

Gratitude, as you probably well know, shows up as the first plank in almost every self-help or personal development book, program, course, or seminar you might find. It’s widely recognized as one of the primary mental habits to develop in order to feel good and appreciate your life.

Like many things, the ineffable quality of thankfulness isn’t always easily accessed head-on. Sometimes the roundabout counterintuitive method is the best way to get at something like this.

I’m sure it works differently for different people, but for me the fastest path to thankfulness is through the act of being helpful. There’s something about lifting others up that makes you feel better about where you’re standing.

Somehow giving something of yourself that you have in abundance has a way of making you feel more valuable. Say what you will about the various forms of Scouts, but there’s a definite upside to learning the benefits of helping the elderly cross the road.

There is an art to being a helpful person. If you don’t pay attention to your limits and boundaries, you can get into trouble. It’s about knowing what sort of abundances or knowledge or resources you have to offer while balancing that with your own time and well-being.

What I’m talking about are just the simple incidental daily moments where you can contribute to a given situation in some small positive or thoughtful way.

I just noticed this corollary earlier today. Someone asked a question on the Internet and I chose to chime in briefly and hopefully help. Afterwards, I noticed that the feeling that emerged in me was gratitude. Pretty simple, not exactly rocket science, but now that I think about it, that seems to typically be the upside of being helpful.

When I think back over the past year at all the times I’ve said, “Hey, let me help you with that!”, or jumped at the chance to answer a question or solve a problem, it seems to add up. Your mileage may vary, different strokes for different folks and all of that, but for me it seems to help maintain a glass-half-full perspective.

And with that, my friends, I will leave you until next year! May your New Years be lively, lovely, and filled with joy!

Much love till next week! See you in ’23!


Mark Metz
Director of the Dance First Association
Publisher of Conscious Dancer Magazine

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