Live each Day Aware of the Simple Pleasures in Life
I am aware of the cycle of the seasons and how tending and bedding down my garden now will bring an abundant renewal. Being present to each moment with its special qualities knowing that this moment is fleeting begets deep appreciation. There will never be a day exactly like this one. I am thankful for the opportunity to have tools and a garden and the physical ability to be able to gather the leaves and feel the sun and breathe the air.
Gratitude arises as an inner feeling of thankfulness and appreciation with an energy of goodness that cannot be contained. It must radiate outward and express itself. The warmth of gratitude shines rays of kindness from within your heart spilling over into compassionate acts. It is an act of loving the world and life with all of its imperfections just the way it is.
Of course it is easy to have gratitude when the moment is as beautiful and peaceful as this lovely day in the sun. Can this feeling be cultivated when burdens and painful experiences distract you away from being present with what is good in your life? When life is at its most difficult how do you find the glimmer of light within?
Accept Life as It Is with All of Its Imperfections
You start with one small moment of acceptance. Life is made up of a series of moments. Each one is a particular experience that adds up to your life. Some experiences are easily cherished and others not so much. Instead of resigning, you accept and acknowledge the world as it is. You then empower your life with a simple movement of attention thereby creating a different moment of experience. Look around you. What do you observe? If you cannot see, what do you hear? Use your senses to be present right where you are. Your body is the most miraculous virtual reality vehicle created with remarkable abilities to sense and perceive. Do you take it for granted? What small thing are you thankful for…right now in this very moment? Find just one tiny thing. You might enjoy something in nature like birds, animals, trees, a special environment or a pet. It might be clouds in the sky. It might be your ability to breathe. Notice movement. Nothing stays the same. Whatever ails you now, will not last. You are not powerless. You have the power to choose how you respond to your experiences.
You Have the Power to Choose How You Respond to Your Experiences
Be Generous with Acts of Kindness
Pay particular attention to the good intentions you offer to others. Research shows that benevolence and kindness to others results in mega benefits for the giver. On all levels of psychological, emotional and social well-being those performing kind acts generated an increase in positive emotions enhancing their health, contentment and optimism. What is surprising is that offering goodwill to others proffered even higher levels of beneficial emotions than when participants gave to themselves. Gratitude and blissful delight naturally arise when you altruistically connect to another.
Expand Your Perspective and Change Your Habitual Patterns
What obstacles confront you? Is it possible to meet them with acceptance and gratitude? You may have pain. It means you are alive. What is it telling you? Pain stops you in your tracks whether it is physical pain or emotional pain. Your body is speaking to you; it wants you to notice something. Perhaps you’ve been going non-stop in one direction and there is an imbalance that needs correcting. Maybe you haven’t paid attention to your health or needs. A long-standing habit or pattern may not be in your highest good. It could be that you are stuck in old beliefs that limit you. Perhaps you are so self absorbed that you haven’t noticed the kindness of others or how life is giving you what you need.
Challenges invoke you to grow. Look at your situation with fresh eyes. How is your higher self encouraging you to develop and expand? What needs to be recognized? Have you given your power to external situations? Are you taking care of your needs or expecting them to be met outside of yourself? Take a hard look at your expectations. Are you giving to get or are you giving whole-heartedly? Giving and receiving are aspects of one continuum…a circular never ending flow. You can be depleted when either one is not in balance.
Receive Grace through Gratitude
Gratitude heals you inside removing judgment, expectations and the limited viewpoint of the ego. Without judgment, you see yourself as complete and whole and at one with humanity. You discover the grace of feeling safe, secure and connected. You find there is no separation between you and all of life.