So many reasons to smile: Notes on Gratitude

When you eat, consider what your food was before it became your food – the sun, water & soil that became the plants that became your salad.  When you take a shower, consider the actually finite source that water came from.  When you walk outside, consider the earth that holds you.  When you get a cup of coffee at a cafe, be grateful to the barista, the store owner, the coffee roasters & growers, & the coffee plants themselves.  When you read a book or a blog (hi there!), consider the author.  Feel the awe of all that went into these various supports that enrich your life.  Give thanks, & consider whether you are giving back in any way.

My dear friend Rae, who is gifted in many things, has a lovely astrology blog that she publishes twice a month. It doesn’t matter if you are an astrology fan or not, you can take away good insight from Rae’s writings, art and questions that you are asked to ponder. When reading her most recent post, where the above quote is from, I am really reminded of how much there is to be thankful for and to appreciate the abundance that surrounds me right now.

Sometimes we all get caught up in the complaining game and constantly verbalize our desire for more of this and more of that.  Gratitude offers us the space to shift out of what we want and into appreciation of what we have. I am thankful to be here, in Seattle, this beautiful and vibrant city. I am thankful to be doing the work that I am doing. I am very thankful to the people in my life, my family, partner and friends who support me. I am so thankful to the soil around my home that nourishes plants, which in turn nourish me. I am thankful for the rain that waters my garden. I am thankful for bike advocates who create safer streets.

Listing gratitude is not corny, it is an important step in feeling whole, complete and nourished. Gratitude can wake us up to the privileges and the joys of our life. Gratitude also inspires sharing, because when we see how abundant our garden, how over flowing our cup we are more willing to pass it along. We are more inspired to give back what we have and are not ashamed to share our gifts.

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