When you read this, the day will have passed. I wrote this on September 21 which is World Gratitude Day.
I’ve written a few blogs on gratitude so this is not new. It is more of a renewal in honor of the day. When things go awry or we are not feeling well for any reason, it is easy for our attention and focus to be on the immediate situation rather than gratitude and appreciation. That is not a bad thing. It is just a part of being human. Yet, if we had some cue to remind us that there is likely many things to be grateful for as we navigate the difficulties, it could make a big difference. Getting in touch with those things and people for whom we are grateful, can actually lighten our burdens.
Practising daily gratitude gives us a deeper connection to ourselves and the world around us. Research has shown that exercising gratitude regularly can enhance our moods, strengthen social bonds and improve physical health. There are many exercises we can do to lift us into a state of appreciation. Here are just a few for starters. You may certainly have a number of your own that work for you.
STOP, BREATHE, TAKE NOTICE OF THE PRESENT. ENJOY AND SAVOR THE LITTLE THINGS. CULTIVATE TINY MOMENTS OF JOY, AND NOTICE THOSE TIMES WHEN THEY SPONTANEOUSLY HAPPEN.
PLAY MUSIC. LISTENING TO MUSIC CAN MAKE US FEEL MORE ALIVE. WHEN YOU PLAY MUSIC THAT RESONATES WITH YOU, IT HEIGHTENS YOUR SENSES AND GIVES A GREATER FEELING OF AWE AND REVERENCE FOR LIFE.
FALL ASLEEP TO GRATITUDE. In a journal, write down what you feel thankful for each day. Capture specifics and small details. Make this the last activity before falling asleep. This puts your mind in a thankful and positive place before you drift off.
Make a resilience list. WRITE DOWN FIVE TOUGH TIMES AND HOW YOU MADE IT THROUGH. WE ALL NEED REMINDERS THAT WE ARE STRONGER THAN WE THINK .
DO SOMETHING NICE FOR SOMEONE THAT IS TOTALLY UNEXPECTED. A SURE WAY TO LIFT OURSELVES IS TO LIFT SOMEONE ELSE.
Comments are welcome.
Today has been one of those days when I needed me some Winnie the Poohisms. After looking through A.A. Milne quotes, I selected several that gave me soothing smiles. A quote from Milne further explains this blog: “[A] quotation is a handy thing to have about, saving one the trouble of thinking for oneself, always a laborious business."
“A hug is always the right size.”
“A little consideration, a little thought for others makes all the difference.”
“I don’t feel very much like Pooh today," said Pooh.
"There there," said Piglet. "I’ll bring you tea and honey until you do.”
"Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude."
"Did you ever stop to think and forget to start again?"
“How do you spell 'love'?" - Piglet
"You don't spell it...you feel it." - Pooh”
"When you do the things you can do, you will find a way."
"Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."
"It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like, "What about lunch?"
"People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day."
"One of the advantages of being disorganized is that one is always having surprising discoveries."
"Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That's the problem."
"Just because an animal is large, it doesn't mean he doesn't want kindness; however big Tigger seems to be, remember that he wants as much kindness as Roo."
"To the uneducated an A is just three sticks."
"Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything."
“Some have brains and some haven’t…and there it is.”
Levi and Rosalee reside in my neighborhood. They are located just around the corner from where I live. Nicely convenient when I want to visit them. This morning, in fact, I had a short but pleasant visit with Levi. This pair is service oriented. They are a big help in keeping the streets clean. The environment is such a massive concern, that any small contribution can be of great measure.
My morning walk around the block and back takes me past their location. I don’t always stop for a visit, but can easily wave as I walk by. I am rather grateful to have them there. There is very little I can do outside of my apartment without a sighted guide. Being able to locate Levi and Rosalee means a lot to me. This is especially gratifying when I can donate some items to their collections in keeping our neighborhood clean.
Levi does a lot of the heavy lifting so to speak. Rosalee contributes equally by dealing with volume. They make a good team. NO doubt other neighbors appreciate their presence and ecological efforts. The reason I am so appreciative of their presence is that their cousins, Louie and Renata, who reside a few doors from me became unavailable from July 5 through November 1. This is a major inconvenience and does affect other residents on my block.
I look forward to Louie’s and Renata’s return in November. As winter rolls in and the snows come it will not be easy for me to visit Levi and Rosalee. I will be grateful to have Louie and Renata back and open for business, so to speak.
BTW. Did I mention that Levi, Rosalee, Louie and Renata are the neighborhood litter and recycle containers?
Comments are welcomed.
Last week I had the pleasure of going out to brunch with my daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter. K, my granddaughter, is 15and1/2. Her parents are teaching her the rudiments of driving. When she turns 16 in the Spring she will be taking the driving course. We had a fun conversation about K becoming a licensed driver and her dream car. She happily said she would drive me around anytime, anywhere.
K’s dream car is a bubble gum pink Punch Buggy. Those words conjured up the most delightful image. We designed the interior decor. Then we discussed wearing appropriate outfits that would create a total ambience of chic, maybe even sassy. All of this painted the backdrop for K and Lillian’s great road adventure. Date TBD. Stay tuned.
I added an historical note to our conversation. When K and I spent time together, one of her favorite things was for me to tell her stories from my youth and early adulthood. One memoir never surfaced as it was not noteworthy until today. Years ago when I was teaching school in Vermont, I rode to work every day with my friend in her Classic Red Bug. VW Beetles were rather commonplace back then. Punch Buggies are now very cool. Once again, what’s old is new.
Just in case you are unfamiliar with the term, Punch Buggy, it is a car game. The simplest form is passengers watch for VW beetles on the road. If someone sees one they say “Punch Buggy. No punch backs,” as they gently (you hope) punch the other person in the arm. It is important to say, “No punch backs,” or they risk getting a return punch. Believe it or not, there are several ways to play this game with all sorts of rules. You’d can go on line to learn more if you were at all interested or just curious.
What I loved about our conversation was a reminder of how much fun and joy imagining, creating and playfulness infused with whimsy can elicit.
Why not make cheerfulness, outrageousness, playfulness a new priority for yourself? Make feeling good your expectation. You don't have to have a reason to feel good - you're alive; you can feel good for no reason at all! Tony Robbins