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No end to Gratitude

The opportunity to be grateful is truly a blessing.

I was sitting on the beach and suddenly appeared a HEART in the sand next to my seat, I felt grateful for this unexpected image.

I cannot recall when feeling grateful became as big a part of my life as it is today, and I am thankful for that!

Each morning I wake up I feel grateful, it is almost an immediate feeling that begins as soon as I can see the light of day and the sunshine. Right then and there I feel blessed. I begin to enjoy the morning as the sun comes beaming into my apartment. Simultaneously, as cliche as this sounds, I watch the birds fly outside my window and terrace and listen to them chirping non stop in conversation with their fellow bird friends. Those are sweet sounds to wake up to and I enjoy the birds and their routine of flying in circles until they land their rest stop in the sun, it is really entertaining.

Once I began to pay attention to these seemingly small, yet truly happy moments that I am blessed with each morning, it sort of set the tone for the rest of the day. However, it does not end there. The beginning of my day continues right into a power walk of at least 3 miles, daily. This is when I get pumped and not just with energy from the endorphins that over flow as the music plays in my ears. It is at that time I can take in the buzz of life outside, feeling lucky here, from the flowers that bloomed or the season that changed, to the little ones walking off to school and still look a bit sleepy. Then the last part to this relatively short time frame in a day, is when I return from walking and have my one and only daily cup of coffee. I enjoy preparing my coffee as much as I like drinking it.

Once I get into my day, as everyone never knows what will unfold throughout the hours, I realize that I began the morning in the right direction. The abundance of gratefulness has benefits, as I am better prepared to cope with how life rolls in.  

I never kept a gratitude journal that is typical of what it should be, a book with notes, which I think is a great idea. Rather though, I have mental notes, and I focus on them all the time, and I add to them as well. If I run into a situation that is of concern on any level I try and look at how it could be a worse situation. Almost always, serious situations that present themselves could be worse, once I accept that fact I find myself on track. I get into my head, in a sense I talk to myself, and reflect on the small and happy moments that came my way that morning or day, in addition to the people that are near to my heart and I become more grateful. This has a calming affect. It may not work all the time, but it really is helpful a majority of the time.

I have always been a thankful person, but practicing gratitude multiple times a day is a different behavior, that I thoroughly enjoy. It is so easy to focus on all the negative situations that can and do effect our lives. Those times are very often, and sadly enough, out of our control. When I see or hear of those sorts of stories I think how that can instantly influence our expression and feeling of gratitude, it’s easy to lose balance sometimes.

When it comes to holiday time, I have a motto, and I apply it to birthdays too. Enjoy the day and your people all the time, not just on the occasion. Of course it is so exciting to make those times special, so do it but don’t over do anything. Be consistently grateful for the time and your people before the occasion and after the occasion. Keep it going all year through. Those deeply exciting times and happy sentiments are strong enough to make them a habit, a part of daily life.

Therefore, I have discovered for me, that there really is no end to gratitude. There is at least one reason to be grateful, probably every hour at least, of every day. We all just have to be lucky enough to be given the opportunity to wake up and see the sun shine and hear and see the birds in the sky that we share with them.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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