Gratitude

It’s been awhile, I know. While ┬ámuch to say, I just couldn’t find the time to sit and write. But I have been processing…a lot. After four years of contemplating meeting with a counselor, I finally made the decision to talk with one. And she is perfect. Funny, she did ask me “So why are you here? You seem to have it all together?” My answer “Guilt. I don’t want to feel guilty anymore.”

With my meeting Ellen (that is my new counselor’s name), my runs, my now daily sun salutation practice, my now daily meditation practice, and my overall being a bit more present, I have found a new place inside of me. However small, it’s new. And one strong realization of this place, is that as much as I feel more present, and I am able to think clearer, I am still very aware of my avoidance of feeling. It’s a blocking actually. Surely, it’s a defense mechanism. It’s an unhappy place and reminiscent of my past. And I so don’t want to go back to that feeling.

Which brings me to the purpose of my post today…gratitude. In the words of my yoga teacher “Find something to be grateful for, we are all fortunate people,” I am doing just that. Every time she speaks these words, my mind immediately thinks of my two boys and my lips curve into a smile. Gratitude does not have to come from something momentous. Find it in the smallest of spaces – like a cup of hot chocolate or a vase of fresh wildflowers or a warm fuzzy blanket. So much surrounds us, so many itty-bitty miracles. The only thing preventing us from seeing them is ourselves.

So in no particular order, here are 10 tiny, itty-bitty parts of life that hold space in my tote bag of gratitude…..

My adirondack chairs that welcome pause…my handmade tea cup molded with my manager’s hands and so thoughtfully given to me…my Runner’s Magazine for all it’s inspirational stories and words of motivation…my camera to capture so many amazing moments that I can reflect upon…my new sneakers because they make me feel like I am running on clouds…my barn door because other than being exactly what I had wanted design wise, it was built just for me…my thieves oil for starting my mornings with a calming smell…mason jars for their versatility and simple beauty…the candle in the window I plug in every night as a small gesture for our soldiers…my hair elastic for just simply pulling my hair back.

What are you grateful for?

50 Happy Things…and then some

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yoga, deep breaths, fall air, carved pumpkins

sleeping babies, running hugs from my nieces, smiles, holding hands

salads, pizza, hummus, chocolate chip banana pancakes

a wink, toes in the sand, surprises, a kiss on the forehead

fresh herbs, burnt marshmallows, a vase of just picked flowers, a thank you

dreaming, reading a good book, HGTV, learning

a strong run, a solid race finish, a good stretch, a massage

a passionate kiss, a beautiful love affair, a gaze, cuddling

a clean house, a trimmed lawn, hydrangeas, a sunset

ocean waves, salt air, meditation, heart shaped rocks

awakenings, opportunities, hope, peace

families, friends, carnivals, farmers markets

my boys, my boys, my boys, my boys

 

Sometimes it’s nice to notice all the wonderful, happy things in my life. What a nice way to start my day! Can you take a moment and notice all the positive things in your life? Positivity spreads…happy energy is contagious. Begin now.

 

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14 Reasons Why I am Lucky

I guess in some shape or form we all have reasons for being and feeling lucky. But are we lucky as a result of some cosmic force providing us with wonderful pieces of our life? Or are we lucky as a direct result of reaping what we sow? Or maybe it’s because we just opened our eyes wide enough and altered our perspective just so? Whatever the reasons may be, they are there….reasons why you, me, are lucky. Certainly, I have more than just 14 reasons of why I am lucky. But, 14 is an important number in my life, a marker. So to list 14 just felt right. The first 7 are the more obvious of reasons. The bricks of my life per se. The second set of 7 are the deeper reasons. The ones that hold the bricks together and complete the structure, my life.

1. My two beautiful, amazing boys. Everyday they push me to be a better mom, a better person. They keep me in line. Make me question myself…in a constructive way. They are my motivation, my inspiration, my heart, and my soul.
2. My health. I am able to run, to practice yoga, to take deep breaths. I am able to clean my house, to walk my dog, and weed my yard. I am alive and well.
3. My friends. It’s nice to have people I can talk with, discuss my worries. Even complain. It’s wonderful to know I am thought of in so many ways.
4. My family. How lucky am I that I have family I can depend on to be there for me when I need them. I am loved.
5. My job. In my work, I have the ability to make a difference in a child’s life, however small. And they have made a difference in mine. What I do during my work hours is meaningful and full of hope.
6. My home. I have a roof over my head, a cozy bed, warm blankets, pictures on the wall that remind me of how great my life was, is, and is sure to be.
7. My dog. Yes, even my dog. He is such a caring, loving, sociable fluffy ball of happiness.
8. My breath. It centers me. Instantly relaxes me. It’s a gift that is always available.
9. Exercise. Some days it’s more challenging to begin a workout. But I never regret pushing myself to move. It uplifts my spirit. It feeds my body.
10. My sense of self. I have only relatively recently been able to feel and show my true sense of self. It was always there and shined at times. But now it’s more blatant. It makes me feel stronger.
11. Memories. Some good, some bad. But they all serve a purpose, a lesson, a reminder. I can look back with gratitude. I feel blessed.
12. Meditation. However short my practice is at this time, I’m still discovering. And escaping to a neutral space that allows me to stay the course.
13. To connect. I can connect with people. How amazing. Sometimes someone can relate the smallest of gestures that make the biggest impact. Stay open and feel the power of connecting.
14. My window. Sounds funny right? My window? Yes. I can look outside and watch my children play, hear their giggles, see their smiles, watch the intensity of their faces as they chase each other or ride their scooters or throw a football. I can see the flowers bloom and the grass getting longer. I can watch the cars drive by and the mail be delivered. All of these moments, these small gestures of life, remind me of why I am lucky.

Take a moment. Look out the window. Life is good.