Gratitude

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Well, Hi! I’m Kris King and I’d like to welcome you to my blog. If you’ve come before, welcome back. If you’ve not been here before, welcome for the first time and I hope you come back many times.

The purpose of my blog is to connect with people in a profound way. Such a way that we’re touched, connected, and we’ve learned something together. I’m a walker, and this morning I was out walking and thinking about doing this blog today, and part of me was really nervous, and I was kind of thinking “what am I doing this for?” And I looked back at my past blog entries (which are really excellent, and I hope you look at them), but as I looked back at them, I realized that I was doing what I thought I should do instead of what I really wanted to do.

When I realized this out on my walk, I burst out laughing, because here I am, a teacher, who for the last 25 years has been teaching people to live what they know and trust and love; what they really want to do instead of what they have to do. So I kind of tickled myself this morning, and realized that what I wanted to talk with you about today is something really important to me, and is on my mind right now.

Sunday is my birthday. I turn 67 on May 9th, and I am profoundly grateful for that fact. Because, when I was 36, I had breast cancer, and my life was a mess and I didn’t know how to get out of it. So I took care of myself, I got well physically, and three years later I did the seminars that we offer, and they changed my life. I truly belief that I’m alive today and healthy and happy doing what I love to do because of what I’ve learned here at WINGS.

I’m grateful. So, today I want to talk about gratitude. Mother’s day is coming, too, we have lot’s of things colliding that are about gratitude, grace, thankfulness, maybe some forgiveness, too, around your mom (I know I had some of that to do when I was cleaning up my past). So I’m going to ask you to take a nice deep breath with me right now, so that you and I connect in breath. Do you know that the word conspire simply means ‘to breathe together’? So take a nice deep breath – and just take a moment to begin thinking about all the things in your life you’re grateful for. The things you have, not the things you don’t. The things that are right there present in your everyday life that you’re thankful for. And as you think about those, I’ll share some of mine with you.

Number one, I’m grateful that I’m talking with you right now. There’s an invisible web stretching out from my office right here in Eugene, Oregon to Japan and Germany and Russia, and I think that’s pretty amazing. So I’m thankful that I can connect with you, someone I might have never met, in a way that’s meaningful.

Another thing I’m grateful for is that when I was a kid, I felt safe in my world. I grew up in Miami, Florida when it was all tall pines and wide open spaces, and from the earliest remembering, I could go outside and be free. Free in the citrus orchards, free in the coral rock fences that people built. Free to do whatever I wanted to do in the physical world. I’m grateful for that. I remember sitting in a kumquat tree when I was about five, and eating so many kumquats I got sick. I could do what I wanted, and my mom trusted that I was safe in that world.

I’m grateful for the love of my family, my mom, my dad, my sister, my brother, and the moments that we shared growing up, and now. That I could sit with my mom when she was in her last moments of her life. I feel so grateful for that, to be present with her in that passing. I feel grateful for the love of my husband and my sons. I feel grateful that my son Matthew was in my life for 21 years; I’m sad that he’s not here now, and I’m grateful for the time that we had together.

I am so grateful to be present on this sunny day in Eugene, Oregon, where I can see the trees and the birds. The natural world has always been an inspiration to me.
I’m grateful to every participant that has come to WINGS Seminars and learned how to change their lives in a positive way, trusting what we do, trusting themselves, opening their mind to a bigger vision of who they are and what they’re capable of.
So take a moment again and breathe. Notice how you’re feeling right now as I talk to you, and the thoughts that are coming to your mind as you think about what you’re grateful for.

My list is long, and I know yours is, too. So, one of the things I’m really grateful for is my memory. Turning 67, I have so many people saying they’re having “senior moments.” I say, “Please don’t say that. Trust your memory.” So I’m thankful for that.

I’m really thankful that I’m a really good story teller. That when I have experiences in my life, that I can translate those to people in a way that they feel connected with their own stories, as well as with mine.

I think one of the things I’m really great at in my life and grateful for, is being present – right here, right now, in this moment, no matter what’s going on. And that didn’t used to be true. That didn’t used to true at all. I was reactive, defensive – I had no clue about my own power, my own presence, the impact I have on people. And I’m so thankful that in these years of learning and teaching and traveling the world, that I’ve learned to be present in the moment, appreciating the smallest things, appreciating the grandest things – whatever it is in the moment – without reservation, without judgement. To simply stop and be present. I am so grateful for that.

You may be a very busy person and you may take a lot of pride in that, and what I know is when I’m busy, for the most part I feel pretty disconnected from what’s around me. I feel important and like I’m getting a lot of stuff done, and yet… when I look back over a day that’s spent that way, I realize there was something missing, and that something was me. I wasn’t really there. I was on a mission to accomplish, which is good, but what I know is when I accomplish things and I’m present in the moment, then I enjoy it. Then I revel in it. Then I can laugh at myself and my outcome.

So how do we be grateful for everything in our life, instead of just the things that we think are the correct things to have in our life? How do we be grateful for a moment of pain, a moment of insecurity? How do we feel grateful in the moment when we hear bad news from the doctor? Well, that’s a great moment, again, to breathe and realize how precious our lives our, and that we have this moment to experience, and it’s the first time, perhaps the only time we’ll have that moment.

So gratitude is embracing the now – the now of life – and in that, realizing how precious our lives are, that we have a now. I used to think that I was one of those pieces in a big puzzle, and it didn’t really matter that I was here. But now I realize it really matters to me that I’m here, and that I be the woman that I know I want to be.

So my offering to you today is to breathe, be present, and look around for the things you’re grateful for. And when you come up against one that you go “err – not today. I am not grateful for that,” to stop, and breathe, and notice what you can be grateful for in that very thing that you just wanted to deny, to push away, because it’s a part of life just as much as you are.

Breathing together. Conspiring.

So I’ll leave you with this thought:
What if your real job is to live an extraordinary life?

This is Kris King – see you next time.

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13 Responses to “Gratitude”

  1. Alice Saul says:

    Kris, your ” GRATITUDE” Seminar really hit home this morning!!! I am so honored to have been to your seminar this month, where I met many new friends there. We, Cliff and I, gave Christina a ride home after 4 glorious days in Eugene. She had an accident on her way to Wings,
    and said she was going to rent a car to get home. We offered, and she accepted, the ride home. Wonderful lady!!
    Your loving presence and dedication to what you inspire to each and every one of us.
    We ARE alive, healthy, loved, connected, and living in the NOW!
    Looking forward to Cross Over where I will continue to dance in the sunshine!

    Loving, gratefully, and respectfully,
    Alice S

  2. Eric says:

    Kris,

    I enjoyed this blog, especially the moments at the beginning when you allow yourself to experience the emotion sweeping over you.

    I have just changed jobs and have used the exercises from cross over to keep me focused on the choices I have made and my commitment to those choices.

    Thanks

    Eric

  3. Thomas (Mike) Anderson says:

    Dear Kris, Happy Belated Birthday and Mothers Day. Enjoyed watching your blog and found myself getting centered as I tend to jump into the fray without much thought on what I want out of life… Tending to one’s own needs seems to always get stuffed on the back burner and I am dedicating this day to doing what I want to say yes too. Thanks for you being you, Most Sincerely, T. ” I am loving and wise living in harmony”

  4. Kath Millett says:

    Thank you dear one. Your message and inspiration has come at the perfect moment, of course. Filled with the joy of the birth of a first grand child, THEO. Filled with wonder in witnessing my son care so deeply for his wife and child . Filledl with gratitude to you and your seminars teachings, so that our family can be healthy, alive and expanding.

    With love
    kath

  5. Christina Lilienthal says:

    Kris — I do believe I could have written that blog for you this morning. I am so very thankful to be alive. Yesterday I had AAA tow my pick-up truck back to my home near Prineville from Stayton where the tow company had it secured from the motor vehicle accident I had March 2 on the Santiam Highway. The ”other’ insurance company is not accepting any responsibility because apparently the other driver claims that I was in his lane when he crashed into me — which is incorrect. So I had my truck brought home. When I was out looking at it yesterday, I just started crying becuase it is incredulous that I made it through the accident alive. I am so thankful and appreciative that God let me live. When I looked at the truck that has served me so well over the years, it protected me even in the torsion of the impact. I am amazed at the disfigurement of the truck from the driver’s door to the gaping hole in the rear quater, the undercarriage completely disattached and the gas tank pushed in. What a miracle that the truck did not break in half, a miracle that the gas tank didn’t rupture and explode, a miracle that I was not crushed in the passenger seat. I am so thankful. I was protected. The seatbelt held me and although I have some spinal injuries and concussion, I am getting medical treatment to recover. Being in the seminar immediately afterward, with the back brace on, helped me to focus, be still, and get myself together somewhat. I am struggling severely with the idea of vulnerability. I do not see how choosing to be vulnerable can help one to be strong. The idea of it almost makes me hyperventilate and want to run. I choose protection. I visualize an invisible bubble around me that keeps me from harm. I feel sad that I have encountered a situation where externally, integrity is failing — and the truth was not reported, and yet, I am so grateful and thankful to be able to walk and breathe and still think to some degree. As much as I loved my truck, I can only remember it’s great service to me, the proud lines of its design and its holding me in with the seatbelt during impact. I’m not sure that my truck is an inanimate object.

    When I got home, my horses sensed a difference in me and stood quietly meeting my gaze. The strongest, but most sensitive one walked up and gently leaned toward me so I could touch his cheek and feel his great power and strength. Drifter has never done that before. His spirit is like that of his mother, who was a wild horse whom I had adopted from the BLM and bred to my Morgan stallion.

    Some freinds have come over to help me feed the horses and walk the dogs — for which I am grateful. It is my hope and desire that I can get ‘back in the saddle” quickly — there is so much life to live. I thank you for the most wonderful seminar — and to be able to meet some of the finest people. Alice and Cliff brought me home — Lindsey helped me get around in Eugene, and the two ladies I met, Claire and Teri, who let me stay at their home were both so helpful and supportive. I feel loved. I am truly blessed — a bucketful and running over….

    Christina Lilienthal

  6. Sash says:

    Thanks so much Kris, for this lovely dose of you, your wisdom, and Wings!
    Watching this was a great way for me to get present this evening, and remember what’s most important.
    Happy belated birthday – I do love you so.

  7. Bev Lammers says:

    It has been a number of years since I went to wings, although I think of Chris and others often. Gratitude was wonderful. This is the first blog I’ve had a chance to listen to.
    I live in gratitude, and in abundance, but there are times I feel something is missing. Today I found it. ME.
    I have a busy life and tend to keep my self busy even when I don’t have to. Some days are very productive and others are not. It has been easy to stay disconnected. Now I will choose to be present. Now I will slow down and find many other things I cna be grateful for.
    One thing I am hugely grateful for is Chris, who loves what she does and shares so much of herself with others.
    Thank you, and God bless,
    Bev

  8. Steve Tourigny says:

    Kris,

    Happy Birthday and Happy Mother’s day!

    Thank you for another great video/blog something I am GRATEFUL for every time I listen & watch. This one in particular brought me down to earth just before I threw my computer out the window. Ha Ha Ha!

    Thank You,

    Steve

  9. julie cox says:

    My favorite blog you have made so far! GREAT! thank you!!!!!

    I have so much gratitude for you, your work, your blog!

    julie cox

  10. Lorra Jones says:

    About two years ago I entered into the Wings building because someone I had met opened the door for me and made it possible…I was almost 40, on my own for the first time in my life with several young children to take care of and had been out of the workforce for the past fifteen years. I didn’t even have my high school diploma! I had been born and raised in the same small town and had spent much of the previous 20 years very isolated at home….I had literally never driven more than 60 or so miles away from my home on my own before! Gratitude? I was too much of an INSECURE SCARED VICTIM (ugh!) to be grateful!

    Today, I am in college full time, in a wonderful (healthy and loving) relationship, and am doing things in life that I only dreamed of someday doing…last weekend, thanks to the inspiration of a fellow Wings friend, I went SKYDIVING! All on my own, a gift to myself….because I’m alive and I CAN!

    Thank you Kris for the incredible work you’re doing! I’m sure you only hear a small portion of the ripple effect of the impact on people’s lives from what you teach!

    Embracing the present with gratitude,
    Lorra

  11. alan says:

    this is a keeper…!!! so right on Kris and so useful to me… a downer day…yes there are a few “irritants”, but as you reviewed your list of gifts, i too realized that i have an abundance of yummy treats in my life…and breath is just one of them! thanks for the reminder and the gift of you! …. Man who dances with the Wind! aka “flying monkey”

  12. Anne Yost says:

    I am so grateful for these words this morning. So grateful to be present in my ktichen listening to Kris’s soothing voice stretching across this web to the Napa Valley. In this moment I am truly present and filled with gratitude for the lovely view from tree-top perch here. Breathing, connecting, conspiring.

    Thanks especially for the reminder about noticing what I can be grateful for in the very things I want to deny today. For they are indeed a part of life, a part of MY life and must also be embraced.

    So I will carry this message and these thoughts with me throughout this day with much gratitude for your sharing.

    In love and respect always,

    Anne

  13. krisanne bender says:

    it has been years since i have made opportunity to come to Wings. Kris changed my life then, as again today. i often remember to live in gratefulness, i often remember to live in abundance, i often remember to live in love; but Kris and her marvelous soul always remind me to take it to the next level.

    we are so blessed you are on this planet dear woman. a belated happy day of the celebration of your birth.

    with love and gratitude from Tucson,
    Krisanne