If someone gives you a gift and you never even see it, you can't say thank-you, right? That's what happens when you move too fast -- you buzz right past the gifts. You never even see them. So, if you're serious about cultivating this habit of living gratefully, you have to ask yourself a simple question: am I moving too fast? Am I "inwardly dissipated," to borrow Brennan Manning's words? Am I spread too thin? And, if I am, do I have the courage to slow down? It takes courage to say "no" to the frantic pace. You won't get many pats on the back for it, because our culture values speed and productivity. Solzhenitsyn calls "hastiness and superficiality" our "psychic diseases." What if he's right? What if the frantic busyness we're so proud of is a disease instead of a virtue? What if all our racing around is making us blind to the gifts that fill our days?
So here's the baby step: look for ways to create restful "white space" in your day. Turn off the car radio. Give the TV a rest. Walk outside and look up. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Put your feet up for ten minutes this afternoon. Give yourself a chance to see the blessings.