**warning: this piece is sentimental. no food pics are involved .. hehe**
I know I’m a bit late on the what-I’m-thankful-for bandwagon but I think that’s okay. Being grateful should never be a trend and it’s never too late to stop and smell the roses. I rarely take a full moment to consider everything I’m grateful for. I don’t know why, it seems like the “right” thing to do .. right? It happens to all of us. I think it’s one of the greater unifying qualities of mankind: we are all a bit too busy to be grateful at times.
This reminds me a bit of when I was a child and I was told, in church, to wake each morning and present my gratitude to God. “It doesn’t matter what it is! Just say it! And you watch .. your life will double in blessings.” I was hooked. It sounded like the easiest way to get a better life, and according to the Sunday School Teacher I didn’t even really have to try that hard. So I came up with this list that I would go over every morning and night. I would recite it to God with the understanding that I’d get “bountiful blessings” in return.
“Thank you, Lord, for my mom, dad, brother, cat, dogs, chickens, horses, cows, my cousin Chris, my Aunt Kendra, my entire dad’s side, actually, my mom’s side, too, and my friends Lyndi, Kacey, and also Natalie (even though she bothers me .. especially because she bothers me) ..”
When I got older I adjusted this prayer a bit. I started to fill it in with my new friends, my boyfriends, and my grades in school. “Thank you Lord for my mom, dad, brother, cat, dogs, new cat, Chris, Braedyn (Chris’s new child, dutifully added), Heather, ….Kayla, Tara, Erik, and my A in AP Calculus ….” This list would go on, morphing into my current state, though never really changing. I would list everything I was grateful for, more out of duty and fear that my blessings would be stripped of me than because I was truly grateful. Of course I was grateful if you really got down to it, but mostly I was performing out of duty and promise than out of gratitude.
I eventually scratched that habit because I felt like the God that I believe in is not one that will shun you for not listing your “thanks” every morning and every night. Instead, I vowed to meditate, daily, on my blessings and to really absorb the things that made me whole.
The problem with that, though, is that I just sort of stopped doing that, too. How many of you have accidentally stopped your Gratitude Journals??
Well then, now is the time. I like to think of my own gratitude journals as being a sort of submission to a prayer field. This prayer field exists and is there when you come to it and will be available to Source, The Universe, God, Whomever, when needed. I’d like to make a purposeful submission to this prayer field and watch my blessings double, not because it is an expected exchange or return for doing so, but because when I am aware of how blessed I really am it is only bound to increase further .. like attracts like, right? If I’m acknowledging my blessings I’m bound to see more blessing in my life!
Today, I am grateful. Here are my top pieces of gratitude this morning:
- my husband. Last night I was devastated he ate my ripe bananas (true story, as one Facebook follower put it: #rawfoodistproblems) but I am so grateful to have a man that could truly understand and sympathize with me when he realized what had happened. It’s a bizarre obsession with fruit that I have, but he gets me and loves me anyway. I see love in him and my potential in him. I am grateful to have a partner in life that will bring about endless potential in me, my future, and my capacity to love.
- clean water. I fill up my green nalgene bottle with clean tap water every couple of hours, no questions asked. I am so grateful that I live in a place where my greatest concern about the water is the condition of the pipes from which it flows, and the pesticides that may have polluted the aquifer that has sourced this water.
- my family. I’m the black sheep of my family but they love me anyway. I can feel their energy run through me and pour out into everything I do, beginning with my sense of humor and ending with my discernment. I am the woman I am today because of their love, their flaws, their passion, and mostly their incredible sense of humor.
- my body. I am astounded at its capabilities and am always so impressed with every mile I run, every stair I take, and every menstrual cramp I feel. My body is a powerful vessel in which I can explore the world, interact with others, love my family and husband, and create life. The power that comes from these abilities is incredibly impressive to me, and each month that I feel overcome with cramps I feel mostly grateful that my body is able to produce a child, if we so choose.
- my pillow. When you find a good one, you know. And baby, I’ve got a really good pillow.
- food. I can eat in abundance and never question whether or not I will have enough to eat. I can rely on the stores and farmers around me to always have a full bounty for me to choose from, and my greatest disappointment in this experience only lies in the fact that the store is crowded with other, blessed people that also have the ability to select the best food for their families.
- the weather. No matter the weather, I am always so, so impressed. Sunshine in December: YES! Thunderstorm in the afternoon: YES! Wind so powerful I can hardly walk straight: YES! Miami has an extremely temperamental climate and I’ve mostly been impressed with the power Mother Nature has to move the air in the way She does. I’ve never seen the Sun shine so hard, the Rain fall so fast, or the Wind move so persistently as I do here in Miami. Being closer to the equator than any other place in the U.S. has shown me the depths and abilities of this Earth and how profound the ecology is. We really are all connected.
- my job. So many people are without work and I am so lucky to be able to have a job that keeps me busy 12 hours a day. My brain is exercised, my compassion is stretched, and my bank account stays full enough to provide me with the lifestyle I live. It affords me vacation and lots of fresh fruits and veggies. I hate sitting at a desk and I hate staring at a computer screen but I love that I have the privilege to do so.
- Ally McBeal. Yup. My guilty pleasure is watching this tiny, neurotic woman hallucinate and practice TV Law.
- sleep. I am pretty much a champion sleeper and I can sleep at any given moment in any given setting. I am so grateful for this for many reasons, mostly for my selfish relief that I can indulge in such a lazy activity. I’m also grateful that my body takes repair seriously and that I can honor the process without a fight (um, thank you raw foods!)
What are YOU grateful for?? I’d love to continue this list of abundance …