I feel gratitude so acutely. I practice it desperately. It is really my only way out of pain sometimes. Fear. It takes that little spotlight in my heart and points it at the geraniums on my windowsill, illuminates the love and darkens and fades the sadness. This worry threatens to overwhelm sometimes.
When the creak of the crack of the bright spot opens, it’s a relief to remember, “Oh! I have this already.” A deep down sigh. Relief. It washes over me in the warm sort of flooding. Not that ice cold, shivering, shaky in my legs and bottom, flooding that I also know. I can be bathed in the gentleness and awe that true gratitude brings. And it is so simple…
It’s easy to practice gratitude… just start. Just begin with one line on a piece of paper.
“I am grateful for…” – I like this even better, “I love….”
I love this coffee brought to me every morning. Its steam is accompanied by such gentle awakenings – whispers and kisses. Actually a lot of goofiness – silliness. God, how I appreciate and love these mornings still cocooned in the tender duvet, so sleepy.
I love that the dogs are outside and not putting their muddy paws on my white sheets. They sit in the flower garden, squishing the delicate poppies, yet – with their heads cocked to the side and looking in at me. I’m in love.
Grateful I will see my daughter this weekend. I will sneak hugs on to her and breathe in her familiar sweet scent of her soap or new laundry detergent. But it will have to be subtle and so fast – before she notices.
Grateful for that birth, and for the last one too and one before that that went so well – so normally. No bleeding. No moments of terror. No insanity. Just awe and remembrance and a recognition of that power and safety of our bodies. Sometimes. A sinking into a deep tub of water, warm water. Relief.
It’s just these little things – the roof creaking in this house, reminds me of where I am. Home. The beeping of the coffee machine releases endorphins; my daughters are growing up well and facing this life with deep wells of reserve and security. They can always come home.
A quiet Sunday studying together, reading. And the glorious walk in the evening. It’s the same walk every night. The dogs INSANE with excitement like it is the first walk they have ever been on. Passing the deer prints. Yesterday we saw a large elk run by, chased by our dogs. Three weeks ago there was a mountain lion print in the mud at a neighbor’s home. There is this one bird that sings in this one piñon tree every night. Two ravens on that same Ponderosa. Always.
Train your mind to find the good. Practice it. Do it. Just stop for 10 seconds and ask yourself. “What gives pleasure right now?” And then savor it. Breathe it in and hold your breath.
Before you eat dinner. Before you go to sleep. As you have lunch. Write down three things. Just three. Frequently you won’t be able to stop at
three. Sometimes you will have to be grateful for your tears. But find the joy. Find that sweet magic. Choose it.
You would see the wooden fence roughened by sun and rain and snow. You would notice the texture of your soft, soft socks and comfy flowered yoga pants. You would acknowledge the returns of all the studying you did last week. You would notice yourself noticing your daughter sleeping, talking, laughing. You would taste the chocolate that dripped on your palm from your croissant. The warmth of your tea mug. (Coffee!) The crispiness of the pinecones you step on. What about the smell of that book you are reading? It’s new!
Pay attention to the fabulous. When you practice, you improve.
Touch the sweetness. See what you have already. It is a game everyone can play. Everyday. We all have things to love.
It’s all I need. This walk. This man. These daughters. This life. This gratitude.