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Gratitude is a practice. It is something we can achieve greater and greater success at by actively being grateful.
Any of us can take a second. Any time of the day. Wherever we are. We can look around and find one thing to be grateful for. It can be the constant things around us. Like the air we breathe in that keeps our bodies going. Or the changing passing things. Like a cooling breeze. A warming sun. Or a refreshing rain.
But why do we need to be reminded to be grateful? So many people have so much. Even if their house isn't the biggest. Or they don't have enough money to buy all the things they desire. So many people live very well off and comfortable. With enough food to eat each day and access to clean water. And people around them who the can love and feel love from.
But, yet, life still appears to be mostly a struggle.
It is natural for human beings to see the worst in things. Life is a struggle. It is hard to find enough time in a day to get all things we need to done. To earn enough money to sustain ourselves and our families. To get enough sleep. Enough exercise. To just take some time to breathe. To know true love. Or feel encouraged in the things we do.
But the reality is that it is a choice to only see the worst in things.
With active awareness there is always something positive. Always something to be grateful for.
Right now I am groggy. Not feeling like I will have enough energy to get through today. I am uncertain, dealing with emotional issues and feelings of not being good enough or not doing enough good things. I am a little sad. I feel too many demands on my life and just want to have some freedom from the world and from the pressure I put on myself to succeed. I have some ailments with my body that I need to have checked but fear the outcome.
But yet when I look up from my computer I see a warm room, protecting me from the drizzling rain outside. I see pictures on my wall of my wife and I on our wedding day. Such a happy day! I see potted plants who I have the joy of nurturing throughout the years. I see a stack of books that will entertain me, help me relax and also open my mind and heart to new ideas. I see my smart phone that connects me with my family all the way in Canada as I write this in the UK. Outside I see greenery, that is cleaning the air around me. I see people going about their lives and am reminded that I too am alive. I look down and see my hands typing this out and knowing that you, whoever you are, are reading this and participating in my life as I am in yours.
I look to my body and feel thirsty, but know that I can reach out for a cool glass of water at anytime. I look at my clothes. They are soft and keep me warm. My sweater has a stain on it and I know I can easily wash it and have fresh clothing.
It goes on and on and as I write this I feel a sense of peace I didn't feel even five minutes ago. This life is a wonder. A wonder of all wonders. I don't know why I am alive, or what exactly I am meant to do with my life, but I do know that this world has given me the most amazing experiences but they are often in the form of the simplest things.
Breath. Water. Nature. Sustenance. And above all, love.
I find it impossible to not be grateful for have gotten to experience love. At my darkest hours, when tragedy has consumed my heart, there is still a tiny light of love that is inextinguishable. A pearl forever planted in my heart.
And my heart wont beat forever. But the love I have extended and have had extended to me echoes into the universe. Bouncing off the edge of space and time. It is an everyday miracle and one I am eternally, undyingly grateful for.
How can I not be?
Lots of love - I'm grateful for you,