I find again and again that being present is the foundation for gratitude, that feeling grateful is completely interlocked with paying attention to this very moment, letting life in rather than continuously judging and critiquing to keep it out.
I am grateful when I notice things, living smack dab on the middle of what it’s happening right now…
Like the way sunlight bursts through passing clouds or the never-ending blue sky on a clear day, how my feet plant into the ground as I walk, those random feelings in passing – sorrow, loneliness, doubt, joy, sexiness…, the smell of the rain, my failure, my success, the taste of the wind, the palpable inner satisfaction that floods through my veins a split second before joy cracks across my face – or yours, the energy pulsing in tears, the textures, the changes, the fine lines that stretch across my hands, grace, aging, dog breath, the dirt beneath my nails, the way my feet hurt after a long day on the trail, the intimacy of morning breath kisses from a lover, patience in rush hour traffic, sweeping the floor, private moments of insecurity – mine and yours, slow jams through the rolled down window of a passing car, how nature trusts, the comfort that stems out from a healthy tree, the disarming honesty and warmth of Zack’s soul…
If I can stay in the moment then the list is unending; likewise, all these beautiful expressions of life disappear the moment I isolate myself to my head.
There’s no big wisdom, or lesson, or take away here. This is just me noticing; noticing that when inspiration and creativity feel tricky or challenging or labored it’s usually a sign that I’ve dropped out of being present, that somewhere along the way I started living vicariously instead of actively and personally. Because for me, inspiration and creativity are all tangled up in the practice of gratitude and presence, both of which are deeply personal.
The judgment, the comparison, the self-doubt, the isolation are crippling; but the space, the acceptance, and the free flow that are required for presence and gratitude are elevating.
So don’t be afraid to slow down and make space in each day so that all the small moments sink in rather than pass by.
Let life in.