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My Gratitude Blog, Part 1 of 2

By Robyn Openshaw, MSW | Nov 26, 2013

blending hot pinkHave you ever been in a trance? If you’re a parent, you’ve seen your child in one. He can’t hear or see anything–so lost is he, in thinking about something very intensely. I had one of these a few days ago. I’m going to try to describe it.

I was actually blending a Hot Pink Smoothie. (My favorite breakfast. One of my most well-known recipes.) I was watching my Blendtec completely liquefy a 12 oz bag of frozen strawberries, and a giant carrot, and two frozen chunks of a raw beet from my late-summer garden.

I was completely mesmerized by it. Like I’d never seen it before. My trance involved getting lost in imagining myself transported back to 1788; in seeing this amazing gadget, plugged into a constant electrical supply, with bright lighting overhead that does not have to be fueled by whale oil. I’m amazed and overwhelmed. And I don’t have to chew every bit of food up, after growing it myself, risking losing it all because of weather or drought. I get it out of this cold box, and this other freezing box, and I make this amazing, delicious meal in just seconds.

I suddenly Could. Not. Believe. my great good fortune to be staring into this amazing gadget that no one in thousands of years of world history has had–to prepare food SO EASILY–until now! I spend two minutes making it, and 10 delicious minutes drinking it as I drive my car to my son’s school, raising my vibration the whole way with a  fabulous mixture of foods nobody in 1788 would have BELIEVED!

I did finally snap out of my reverie. The real world intervened as Tennyson came into my kitchen and said, “Mom! We gotta hit the road!”

I tried to retain that sense of newness, and wonder. Amazement. This quote comes to mind:

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities. In the expert’s mind there are few.”

–Shunryu Suzuki in Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

I think it’s fun to create gratitude, by thinking like a child would, or a person 300 years ago, would. To remember to be amazed, blown away! Giddy! Grateful! We all love adults who retain a sense of childlike wonder.

Wherever you live, you can get in your CAR and automatically drive it, without having to hitch up horses regardless of  in-climate weather, to any one of FIVE grocery stores within just a few minutes–to inexpensively buy any of 100 different nutrient-dense plant foods of all colors, from all over the globe, that you DIDN’T HAVE TO GROW!

WOW! We have the best life ever!

Have you ever seen the little comedy by Louis CK on Conan O’Brien several years ago? It’s called, “Everything is Amazing, and Nobody’s Happy!” Check it out here:

In the longer version you can find on YouTube HERE,

Louis CK calls us the “crappiest generation of spoiled idiots.” The comedy routine isn’t just funny—it’s a great reminder that EVERYTHING IS AMAZING, so don’t take all the good stuff for granted! What if we went throughout an entire day, totally astonished at all the awesome miracles all around us!

I have this Tony Robbins Gratitude CD that Matthew gave me years ago. If I listen to it in my car, or on my iPod while I run—10 minutes later, I’m soaring! In just a few minutes of IMMERSING MYSELF IN GRATITUDE, I realize that I have the BEST LIFE EVER!

(A gratitude meditation is a great exercise when a dark cloud floats in and sets up camp for a few hours, due to circumstances beyond my control.)

Every day should be a day of thanksgiving. Did you know that if you hook someone up to a biofeedback machine, their heart rate goes down 20 points if they are directed to think about things they are deeply grateful for? (And their heart rate goes UP 20 points just thinking about something that makes them angry!) Just today on the radio, I heard a woman who was part of the medical biofeedback experiment that documented this behavior, talking about her numbers. So what do we learn from this?

I personally want to spend more time thinking about the things I am grateful for. Doing so lets me express gratitude for people who help and love me–and it improves my emotional and physical health in the meantime.

I got to spend three days, a couple of weeks ago, with 40 GreenSmoothieGirl coaches and apprentices. I told them that my theory is that a major differentiator between happy and successful people–and unhappy, unsuccessful people–is what they do with their idle time. Smartass GSG Coach Jeanette yelled out, “What IS that, Robyn?” (Jeanette, like me, works too much!)

I said, “Even you, Jeanette, drive in your car, and take a shower, and go for a run!” (Even the busiest women in the world do the first two of those things, at least!)

That’s when all my best stuff comes to me. That’s where I unravel the solutions to my thorniest problems. With my business, my relationships, and the daily conundrums. I try to spend “idle time” (read: car, shower, workout time that my brain isn’t otherwise occupied) solving problems and brainstorming ideas.

In the past four months, I sold my house, I built another one, which my children wouldn’t move to, so I now must sell it. So I bought a townhouse and moved into it, a massive downsize. In those same four months, I hired 4 people, had 3 of my children move out, wrote 2 books, and lectured in 18 cities.

It’s been a period of epic change, and digging deep to do hard things. I’m deeply thankful for the many people in my life who help me do what I do. For my beautiful Kid and Baby Boy, Beamer and Libs—my two sons and two daughters.

I’m grateful for the best job in the world. I’m thankful I get to learn from my mistakes, and a few successes mixed in. Thank you for joining me here on this blog all year!

Posted in: Mind/Body Connection

2 thoughts on “My Gratitude Blog, Part 1 of 2”

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  1. Pam says:

    There’s no way to thank YOU Robyn, for changing our lives forever. 2 1/2 years ago, I bought a Vitamix and spent my work lunch hours searching for “a recipe for a healthy smoothie with lots of greens in it”. One wonderful day I found you. I found your wisdom that is so freely shared. I instantly became a passionate student and hung on everything you said. I taught my husband what I learned over those long hours on your site. I scoured your archives and learned faster than I should have. But, here we are today. My journey has taken me from Whole Foods, on to Vegetarianism, and now I have been Vegan for a year. I’ll never be able to thank you for how you opened my mind to a whole new world of health. I have made personal choices that have healed my body in so many ways. It definitely is a personal journey, but we need people like you to show us the real facts in order to choose intelligently. So, thank you, thank you, thank YOU, Robyn. May the good Lord bless your family this new year. Hugs from California! Pam in Redding ; )

  2. Thank you, Robyn, for the gratitude blog. So many things we take for granted.
    Have you heard/read anything about an asparagus cure for cancer? Any truth or is it another scam? Have been seeing a lot about it and while we love and eat a lot of that vegetable, is it a cure?

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