Greeting beautiful people,

I am sitting here on this glorious late March day as we meander into the year, feeling the evenings arrive earlier. Soon the seasons will begin to change, it’s in the air. I do love the changes of the seasons, they remind me that nothing ever stays the same and that as we will soon say a fond farewell to the long summer days around the pool we will equally embrace the shorter winter days around the fire. Everything has its gift if we open to the idea.

I want to share a small story. I was asked recently to help as a volunteer barman at a charity function. The last time I did any of this I was a student about 25 years ago. It was busy and trying to keep everyone happy with my lack of experience seemed unattainable. I heard grumbles from the other side of the bar about my poor service, no matter how hard I tried, and it reached its peak of confusion when someone asked me for a G&T (Gin and Tonic for my non-drinking friends) and I asked them what mix they will have with that – there was a sense of confusion from both parties in that moment until it was pointed out the T was for tonic which I knew, but it’s funny how the brain freezes when one is stressed.

At that point I realized I was so busy trying to please and keep others happy I was forgetting to make myself happy and my brain was literally freezing. So I began to focus on this appreciation and gratitude of being of service to others, even if my service wasn’t great .

My smile which finally arrived as a result, affected those around me more positively and there was less grumbling and more joking. I was having fun and I managed to improve as the evening wore on. I also had an immense appreciation for the barmen who do this full time!

Afterwards I reflected on how many people I meet daily who are of service to me and make my life easier, that I take for granted. I am talking about the people that are there in our everyday lives but sometimes not “seen”. The home and garden keepers, the tellers at the checkout or at the bank, the security guard in the background of the parking lot, the barmen and waiters who serve us when we eat out. It’s not limited to these people, there are many who are of service and I include the people who sit in the open plan offices making sure insurance policies are paid out, or that the ATM’s work at the end of the day.

It’s easy to appreciate the big things that come to us in life, yet these may be infrequent. More frequently we have people who come into our lives daily, who work long shifts and tirelessly provide some small service to make our lives easier even if they “paid to do the job”. I wonder how many times they go home feeling they offer no value because they are taken for granted or simply not thanked. Instead of rushing past them I stop and spend a minute genuinely acknowledging them. I ask how they are doing today and I thank them for their service. These small things matter, and usually it leaves them with a smile and shine in the eye, and I leave feeling good, that I have been of service to them as they have been to me.

Gratitude is such a small thing, yet it is so powerful, and it makes me feel good. I am no saint nor do I aspire to be such (I would fall of the pedestal very quickly ☺). It’s a very selfish reason why I show genuine gratitude where I can, I am happier. Gratitude dilutes my fears. My energy rises and I feel more in the moment – Its where my waters find their resting place.

I have since met some wonderful people in our midst. I met a security guard whom I got to see every day for the days I was training at a client’s premises. We would spend a few minutes every day chatting about life, his family etc. We got onto the topic of shifts and the long hours he works. He told me that Mondays are his favorite days because that’s when he can help people smile as they don’t seem to like smiling on Mondays for some reason. I loved that! Through our small conversation, I learnt something from him – You may not always do what you love but always find love in what you do and usually the small things matter, such as putting a smile on a person’s face.

It’s not easy to fall into this habit of paying attention to the small things. I feel so often we can easily see where things are going wrong, and it takes a conscious decision to look for where things are going right. There is a line from Rumi, the Sufi Poet from the 13th Century – “Gratitude is Wine for the Soul, Go on. Get Drunk!” So my dear readers, right now in this moment let’s get drunk ☺ – It’s the small things that matter.

With Love and Gratitude

Colin and The DGT Gang