“Gratitude feels so good because it is the state of mind closest to
your natural state in which you were born to live.”
I’m constantly sharing my thankfulness for all the things I find “magical” in my life… sunbeams, dust looking like glitter in sunlight, my kittens sandy tongue, a leaf on the ground shaped like a heart, a child’s high-five in the grocery store checkout line… It allows me to recognize the beauty and blessings of our cosmos to grow within me, to soften me, to inspire and fill my heart with joy.
The saying, “Count your blessings” is *so* simple and extremely powerful. Gratitude is that feeling in your heart which allows you to observe and take in all the astonishing, remarkable things you have and forgetting for a moment all you may lack. It connects your brain with your heart and gives you the ground to be more giving, effective, loving human. Being grateful allows generosity to flow. Many believe it also makes us more receptive, the more you love what you have, the more you get what you want.
Here are some of my blessings to be counted:
Family – I have a very small family; just my mother, father, brother and grandmother. I love them all so much. My grandmother’s memory is getting pretty bad, so I am thankful for every story she shares and all the precious time I am able to spend with her. My mother is the strongest and most motivated person I know; she’s always there for me, always smiling. My father is definitely where I picked up my empathetic heart, sense of humor and adventurous spirit; such a blessing to have received these traits! I’m thankful my brother is a huge nerd, and the only one who will ever understand, “where I’m from”.
Friends – My friends are the family I’ve chosen and they are a constant reminder of who I am, where I’m going, and what I need and deserve. With my dearest friends I share my life, listen, cry, laugh till I can’t breathe, and stick around for the darkest and lightest hours. I can picture all the people who have taken an interest in my life and helped guide and direct me. I don’t know how I could possibly repay them. I cannot express my thankfulness for all the amazing friends (new and old) I have, they are everything.
Emotional Strength – These past few months have been quite crazy and hard for me. I am honestly IMPRESSED how well I have handled everything. The mind is so amazing and adaptable. I will admit though, I’m sure I’m doing so well from what I’ve learned from the past year or so, funny how that works. :P I love waking up happy, radiant and thankful for my inner peace.
Faith in God – I don’t talk about this much, but knowing that there is a higher power I can turn to when things become too difficult for me to deal with on my own is a blessing. Everyone has their own thoughts about this from time to time and most seem to return to the idea that something much more powerful than we are has had a hand in making this all happen.
Epic Thanks Tampa Bay – If you don’t know by now, I’ve been volunteering with Epic Thanks Tampa Bay for the past six months to help recognize a local Tampa Changemaker who is working hard behind the scenes, but never gets the full recognition and support they deserve. Our team took open nominations and held public voting; this year’s Changemaker is Mike Halley’s K9’s for Veterans. They take rescued dogs and train them to help disabled veterans. These people’s lives are changed drastically by the companionship of a service dog. The experience has been one of the best in my life. Late night Tuesday meetings, meeting the runner-ups, helping plan an event… it’s been life changing and has brought me into contact with the most amazing individuals.
Hope – I am ready for 2011. New beginnings! I’m finally not dreading and now excited for my twenty fifth year. I also hope to be involved in anything I can be, volunteering is probably the most amazing thing ever.
Smaller yet still beautiful random blessings:
Starry nights, Garbage the cat, porch kisses, great music, cold beer, rooftop parties, ice clinking on the side of a tall drinks, hot coffee, pictures that remind me how beautiful I am, my neighborhood (Seminole Heights), twitter & twitter friends, free tables, scary downstairs refrigerator jokes, Orson, having a car w/ cold AC & heat, windchimes chiming as I drift off to sleep, snuggly quilts, cute shoes, scalding hot showers, men in button up long sleeved dress shirts, shooting stars, cooking dinner for friends, the smell of a old bookstore, 6pm!, having everything I need & more.
I have no idea what your upcoming holiday weekend will be like, I do know it isn’t about externals; it’s about having an appreciation for all that it is and to be able to feel it regardless of external situations. Simply remember that gratitude as an inherent part of who you are & be joyful. Happy Thanksgiving!
Also! This flood of gratitude has been inspired by Epic Change. I cannot to forget to mention them and how they are back at it again! Their annual 48-hour event, Epic Thanks (formally Tweetsgiving) is happening right now!
They are seeking to harness the power of social media for social good, recruiting people to “lend a tweet to amplify the voice & impact of grassroots global changemakers who need to be heard”. This is social media done right!
You can read the story of three Epic Changemakers that Tweetsgiving supports (One is Mike Halley’s K9’s for Veterans!!), or log in using your Twitter or Facebook accounts to create a custom thank you note (mine is above!) that shares your grateful heart with the world, along with an optional donation.
Ps. I have so much epic love to Stacey Monk & Sanjay Patel and their team for using their amazing talents to the greater good. <3 <3