Crescent City California.
The gratitude filter has been tested for the past 3 states - Idaho, Washington, and Oregon - and it's been nothing less than the rope of a savior. One saying that I love is "the instructions on how to get out of the box are on the outside of the box." Gratitude is a rope out of the ridiculous situation of wondering about what happiness is - or might be.
As the climate changed from Mountain-Dry to Pacific-North-West-Wet, there was no shortage of drear. Grey skies, consistent rain and drizzle, and no real structure of refuge aside from the van meant being one with the elements whether I liked it or not.
As I sit in the diner and reflect on these moments, a solitary sip of coffee brings me back to the contrast of the standalone, drive-thru espresso-coffee houses rampant in the cities of the Northwest. In the vacant expanses of parking lots of big-box businesses are these tiny standalone coffee-houses. Dotted along the major roads in Tacoma, the outskirts of Seattle, and even in some of the more rural ocean-side towns, you will find these little caffeinated coffers. These people really love coffee and were vehement about waiting in line in their cars for it. Perhaps the perk allows them to escape from the hum-drum of the day's precipitated hopes and dreams.
Four days ago, on a rainy morning, I caught myself re-experiencing and re-aligning with a traumatic relationship argument. My mind replays the words and points out the flaws in the logic of my transgressor and expounds upon them, bringing my pH into a gradual acidity tailspin of sorts.
The thought of the gratitude filter kicked in as I glanced at Ali and the conflicting thought - the rope ladder - all of a sudden became clear. "Caesar, the more energy you give to this experience, the more of it you create for your future. By allowing your mind to just run rampant like this, you are disrespecting the law of attraction."
"Don't start with this crap."
"You started with the crap. I'm here to pinch it off before you are swimming in it."
"Every great philosopher has disagreed on everything except one thing - man becomes what he thinks about. This is a universally accepted thought. Survivors of Nazi Germany agree. Refugee fairy tales. Entrepreneurs. Every real human hero you have and can think of are leveragers of this law. Whether you think it applies to you or not is of no consequence to the Law itself. Just because a person denies gravity, or is ignorant of the law of gravity, doesn't mean they are all of a sudden exempt from it. Babies don't float until gravity is explained and accepted by them - and the Law that you become what you think about doesn't cease to apply to you because you have an ingratiated moment. It's always working. Always."
The thought brought me several moments of silent reflection - something that hasn't been mine in what seems like months. "It's true." I thought to myself.
Gratitude. To be thankful for the experience rather than angry or disdainful of it changes the emotion altogether. The elements of the structure of the sentence - or the topic - need not change, just the method of the rendering. The thought of what was said - when approached from a place of gratitude - all of a sudden are empowering and enlightening. It becomes understood that in the whole of reality, it'd be silly to think we can avoid actual conflict by simply avoiding thoughts of conflict. It's impossible to be social and simultaneously navigate and negotiate only positive experiences. There will be people, places, and things that we find disagreeable, but to approach these with an air of gratitude and appreciation for their defective is the power of the gratitude filter working to make sure our environment changes their would be acidic would-be spewage into neutral or potentially basic (positive) lessons and experiences.
Maybe it's too far of a thought for some at the moment, but perhaps this is what's required. In The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene, he mentions the power play of the Bold Move. Bold moves and statements put Donald Trump in office. Bold thoughts lead to bold moves and, sometimes, acts of boldness are completely disarming and disruptive to our current trajectory, but I digress.
The gratitude filter, I imagine, is a lot like those little coffee houses in the Pacific Northwest. Leave the house, head to work, and there's rain. There's always rain. But there's on thing you know: along the route, there will be your favorite little coffee house coffer. There will be a smiling face, a piping hot, starkly fresh, and disarmingly bold espresso for you. Sipping slowly in the car allows one to enjoy the time spent in traffic. Navigating carefully through the elements is almost an appreciated and artful meditation as the vapors of the red-roasted beans flood our senses. And finally, the following pick-me-up turns the drear of the rain into the white noise needed to drown out the distractions and produce your best work. That one moment - that one bold pick me up - is enough to bring the day into a perked up place of love and appreciation - and is a sort of head fake into a gratitude filter.
Having - or being conscious of a gratitude filter is like having little mental coffee houses along the roads that we travel in our day-to-day comings and goings. At any moment, we can pull off to the side, stop at one of these little boxes-of-joe, and snag a bold pick-me-up of gratitude and appreciation to totally turn the rain into something useful and positive.