“You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you.” ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach
I believe that Gratitude, while being a brief, fleeting feeling that occurs when something unusual and pleasant happens or something “big” happens, can also be a way of life. With practice, we can live in Gratitude everyday, in general and not just occasionally. And it can become natural, not forced. Even with difficulties and struggles and pain, Gratitude can be our way. And it can be a deep, ingrained feeling. It’s probably not realistic to expect everyone to be extremely grateful every second of every day but it is possible to be thankful in general, even while experiencing various struggles.
Today, I woke up early in the morning. My dog woke me up taking my blanket off me again, as she has been doing ever night/morning now. She loves blankies. I wasn’t ready to wake up and I laid in bed and my body filled with immense gratitude. I thought of everything and everyone associated with me, family, friends, pets, work, my experiences, good & bad, my body, my health, future possibilities, my senses, my growth, my phone and all its apps, being awake, existing, the seasons changing, the coming Fall, philosophy books, personal development ….and it was as if my whole being, my very essence was just overflowing with gratitude and pure love. It was an amazing experience. And not because all of those things I thought of are flawless or without pain or struggles, but even with the problems, they are true blessings.
I have felt this before now and sometimes feel it frequently, much more often than I used to experience.
There are different degrees of gratitude. And different ways of experiencing it. There’s the basic kind where we can just think of things we have that make our world better and know we are better having them than not but then there’s the kind I felt this morning, the deep kind that caressed every strand of my existence, tingled in every cell of my body, nothing specifically provoked it, nothing big or uncommon happened to me to lead me to that feeling. I was just basking in the sweet beauty of just being.
Gratitude can be a conscious decision, made into a habit which then becomes automatic, easy, natural, your nature.
This is what I work on so much and do so well but there’s always room for development. It’s not a destination but a journey, a beautiful, wondrous journey.
Ever since I was a little girl all the way until I graduated college, there have been class/group activities, usually around the “holiday season ” where the teacher or someone would go around the group and ask us a few things we’re thankful for. Every single occasion we have been asked this, throughout the years, most people would say “friends & family” and nothing more after that usually. Even now on Facebook and blogs people express their gratitude for their friends and family. And it often stops there.
It’s absolutely amazing to have friends and family, especially good ones and we should definitely be grateful for them.
But those are obvious things to be thankful for, almost everyone automatically thinks of those when asked “What are you grateful for?” . What about everything else? The overlooked blessings? What about all the simpler things we take for granted, the everyday blessings that go almost unnoticed?
What about those?
I recently purchased a book that my mom gave me the money for. “The Simple Abundance Journal of Gratitude” by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
It’s a book she wrote, a page for every day of the year with space provided for the reader to list a few things s/he is thankful for.
In the beginning of this book she lists 150 blessings that are often overlooked by people in general. A few of the things she lists are: “The Kindness of Strangers”, “The aroma of something delicious wafting from the kitchen”, “Your boundless imagination”, “a walk in the woods and becoming aware of life all around you”, & “When hope is restored”.
This inspires me deeply. I always think of the simple things and often write and speak of them. I love reading other people’s lists and especially when they have unique, uncommon things on those lists.
And I have comprised a list of my own of blessings often ignored or overlooked. Things that we often don’t even think about but would probably feel the painful loss or absence of or just not have as much joy if we did not have these wonderful blessings.
1.) The feeling after an illness heals or pain subsides. The feeling of being “my old self again.”
2.) falling into bed after a long, hectic, crazy day.
3.) not having a Sleep condition.
4.) being able to experience physical pain and discomfort. This let’s us know something inside or on the body is wrong and motivates us to move, switch positions, turn throughout the night and day to protect our muscles and joints.
5.) being able to walk
6.). All of our senses
7.) body organs
8.) my body
11.) the four seasons
12.) Police officers/detectives
14.) being educated enough to function
15.) the beauty all around
16.) body fat – without a certain amount of healthy body fat, we would be sick or not as healthy as with it
17.) laws and things established to protect
18.) the ability to make choices
19.) breathtaking beauty
20.) a place to live, a house
21.) air conditioning in the excessive heat
22.) cool nights
23.) being in awe of Nature’s sweetness
25.) sustenance to nourish the body
26.) medical equipment
27.) life saving treatments
28.) all the functions and systems of the body
29.) my heart
30.) my hair
31.) not being sick
33.) being able to stand.
34.) my spine
35.) not being in constant pain
36.) life lessons learned
38.) my ability to dream
39.) hot tea on a crisp Fall day
40.) being alive
41.) waking up
44.) new beginnings
46.) random acts of kindness
47.) people who make the world better just by existing
48.) people who make the world better even after they’re no longer living
49.) the first snowfall Of the season
50.) the stars up above us in a midnight sky
51.) electricity, gas, heat, water, stuff that makes living easier and healthy
52.) arms & legs
54.) organ donations by generous people
55.) people who save lives
56.) people who impact lives for the better
57.) college professors
59.) facebook and blogs
60.) second chances
61.) people who forgive
63.) pleasant surprises
64.) things turning out right
65.) fun, satisfying jobs
66.) love of all kinds
67.) the Moon
69.) the will to live
70.) the desire to live
71.) wanting to win
72.) self acceptance
73.) self love
74.) looking into a mirror and loving what you see
75.) when you can’t stop smiling
76.) being genuinely happy for no reason
77.) great online friends and acquaintances and strangers I come across
78.) feeling accomplished
79.) falling asleep to the sound of rain
80.) waking up to the sound of rain
81.) gratitude itself
82.) life itself
83.) politicians (lol I know! But they help with laws and policies and they got some guts putting their views out there knowing people will criticize them both constructively and destructively, insult them viciously and all!, maybe even want to kill them?! Come on, we have to give them that much, right?!)
84.) waking up early and not having to go anywhere
85.) lazy days
86.) productive days
87.) the things that children teach us
88.) being me
89.) thinking clearly
90.) belly laughs that hurt so good. ❤
91.) feeling included
92.) free blog hosts such as this one
93.) animal friends
96.) sappy love songs and love letters
97.) seeing lovers holding hands and smiling out in public
98.) cheesy love, that head over heels kind that makes people want to gag when they see it, sitting on the same side of the table at a restaurant, posting love letters and lyrics on each others walls on Facebook all day…that kind of sap. Lol ;-D ❤
99.) impressing people
100.) trying clothes on and loving how you look in them!
101.) the perfect cup of coffee
102.) the feeling when snuggling with a fur friend at night.
103.) the feeling of giving someone a gift
104.) helping others
105.) seeing old people out walking, smiling, with wrinkles and walkers and canes and still going strong, happy to be
109.) true, strong, friendship
110.) baby animals
112.) being happy
114.) a sense of belonging
115.) finally having something it feels you have been waiting for your whole life
116.) watching a child or a puppy learn something new
117.) seeing someone try something the person has never experienced before – like water ice! ;-D ;-p
118.) suddenly remembering or hearing a song I love and listened to over and over years ago and forgot about for so long! ❤
119.) the feeling of love when my dogs happily, joyfully run to greet me after a long day out of the house (or after just 10 seconds of walking out of a room and walking back in!)
120.) the psychological pleasure of eating delicious food!
121.) the stunning, breathtaking beauty of the Moon
122.) the feeling of being in an Ocean
123.) basking in the sunlight
124.) letting go of a problem you held onto for years and feeling so much lighter
125.). Eye contact and smiles
126.) actually liking/loving people you have no choice but to be “stuck with”
127.) walking in the rain and the feeling of liberation it brings
128.) dreams when you’re asleep
129.) accidentally finding a great book and loving it
130.) meeting a kind and random stranger and having an uplifting conversation
132.) being pleasantly surprised
There are so many blessings all around and within.
Much love & blessings & happiness to you all.
I truly believe the more we give thanks, the more we have to give thanks to & for. ❤
Xox0 Kim ❤