…And Why I’m Grateful for Being Hacked
The practice of gratitude has long been acknowledged as one of the keystones of a happy life. Of course, happiness has many side benefits beyond the state itself… and gratitude seems to be what fuels it all.
You can find a plethora of studies that support the idea that a positive attitude, the ability to be grateful for what you have, and the regular acknowledgment of it in your life will lead to desirable benefits — including a heightened sense of well-being, quicker recovery from illness, injury and surgery, and ease at entering ‘the zone’ in which peak performance is easier to attain.
However… it’s a lot easier to talk about the benefits of gratitude, than it is to sustain an attitude of gratitude long enough to feel them!
How can you be grateful for things that happen to you, that shouldn’t happen to anybody?
The truth is that for gratitude to become a healing force in your life, it needs to part of who you are every day, not just on Thanksgiving Day. You have to give yourself time to learn an entirely different way of looking at the world and your place in it, and that can’t be done overnight.
This is why practicing gratitude every day is a good idea. For one thing, there’s a finite amount of time in a day, so the more you spend being grateful, the less you have available to complain! Most people find it pretty easy to complain about what they don’t have, but when you give yourself a chance to see everything in your life as an opportunity and a blessing, things begin to change.
It’s not just blind optimism that fuels gratitude. It’s not about whitewashing or ignoring the truth. It’s about where you focus your attention. When that turns you toward what works in your life, you become balanced, hopeful and filled with a sense of wellbeing… and all of that makes it even easier to be grateful.
I can hear the chorus: “Okay, but when something bad happens, being grateful just doesn’t work.” To be honest, I think there are an awful lot of people who would agree with this… and to take it further, I’m sure there are a lot of people who think that people who are grateful in the face of adversity are just plain stupid.
That’s why I want to tell you why I’m grateful for being hacked.
As far as I’m concerned, being hacked is definitely a thing that shouldn’t happen to you, me or anybody else. The truth is that I wasn’t terribly grateful on the morning I woke up to find an email from my website hosting company, telling me they had blocked my sites because of “gibberish-blah-blah-geek-speak-blah-blah-blah.”
I can do a lot of things, but Geek-Speak is not on my easy path and I’m not likely to learn it in this lifetime. So the only thing I understood out of that email was “You are in deep, deep doo-doo.”
I won’t lie — I’ve got a few websites (this is a euphemism for “OMG, I can’t believe how many websites I’ve got!”), and to watch them all go down like dominoes was discouraging, to say the least.
The short story is that I had been attacked by a relentless and determined hacker who apparently had nothing better than try to keep me in his crosshairs. The result was that every site my business runs on was off line.
Maybe not such a big deal for a 2-page site with 5 visitors a month — but that’s not me. One of my sites — this one — has nearly 200 posts, articles, videos and free resources that are ranked by Google and read by people Google sends here. If you typed in the url during the hack, you got a blue screen or an interesting choice of questionable links instead of my site. Yikes, I don’t even want to think about the image that projected!
Another site has all the materials for every program I offer to help practitioners learn how to have a successful practice. At the time, I had two programs running with more than 60 people accessing materials — except, they couldn’t. If they didn’t the blue screen, they were told it was ‘FORBIDDEN.’ Wow. That’s welcoming. And it makes me looks soo much like I know what I’m doing!
I won’t bore you with the gory details of the phone calls in the middle of the night from my hosting company, shifting hosts twice before shaking all the problems, hours on the phone with people I don’t ever want to speak to again, endless emails between me and the practitioners who were trying to learn something from me.
Get Out Your Lemon Cookbook!
I’ll simply say that I was looking at a crate filled with what appeared to be nothing but an endless stream of gigantic lemons.
So, I made avgolemono soup (Greek soup that tastes more like lemon than any of its other ingredients), ceviche (fish or shrimp “cooked” in lemon juice, lemonade, lemon meringue pie, lemon curd and lemon bars.
In the end, when I counted my Blessings on Thanksgiving Day, “being hacked” ranked very high! Why am I so grateful? Because all these things are a direct result of being hacked —
- I found a wizard! I have been looking for this person for 18 months and on the day all this began, he turned up on the other end of the phone line while I was looking for something else! Not only did he banish the hacker, he made me safe on the net and has my sites running so fast you almost don’t need to click! He has ideas about how to help other holistic practitioners, too, so my gratitude grows even greater because my experience will help more people benefit from what he can do behind the scenes.
- I let go of all the back-end stuff that’s extremely necessary and totally NOT my genius! I put it down long enough to let someone — someone well-qualified to deal with an extreme situation –show me the beauty of never having to pick up those tasks again, never doing them myself, never worrying about them again.
- Out of all the practitioners who are working with me, I heard not one complaint! I know that plenty of people were inconvenienced. Plenty of people got behind in their course work. Plenty of people had reason to gripe, but nobody did! Instead, I got a lot of questions, sympathy, commiseration, expressions of concern, good wishes and wonderful energy. I felt blessed knowing that everyone was on my side (and I’m sure a lot of folks were completely relieved it wasn’t happening to them. 😀 )
- I realized that when we’re just up front with what’s happening, most people will cut us the slack we need to get things back to normal. And if they don’t, they probably aren’t a FIT anyway and we haven’t lost anything when they walk out of our lives.
- The people who were affected have a heightened awareness of the importance of strong passwords — and hopefully have changed more than the ones they use to access my sites!
- I really got it this time that I don’t have to do everything!
How to Begin a practice of Gratitude
As with anything else you want to do more of, begin by doing some of it! Find one thing you are grateful for — the weather, the beauty of where you live, that you have a gift to share that can change the lives of your clients… whatever. Just take a moment to breathe in what that means to you.
Holistic practitioners are great at what they do best… working with people who need help to transform their lives. To do as much of that as you want, your clients need to find you. That very well might mean your being on the internet so you might need support on the back end… but however they find you, and whatever else you might need, you definitely need a foundation of gratitude to become the practitioner who has the practice you want.
Begin today with one thing. Tomorrow, find two things and the next day — three. You’ll be surprised at how quickly your heart swells with gratitude all day long!
Thanks to abaenglish.com for the incredible Gratitude graphic, to Lisbeth for the hacker photo and to Thanasis Restaurant for the soup!