Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

We all live with the objective of being happy, our lives are all different and yet the same. Anne Frank

Last night at Toastmasters my impromptu question was what would I like to teach? I thought for a moment and gratitude is what came to mind. If we are grateful for what we have we are told we will get more. Gratitude isn’t just about getting more it is with gratitude we appreciate the richness in our lives.

Gratitude adds a dimension to our lives that isn’t about getting more; it isn’t a slot machine where we put in gratitude to get out more to be grateful for. Gratitude is a sense of peace, joy, wonderment, and realization of how lucky we are to be. Our chance to not be was so much greater than our chance to be.

Isn’t having a chance to experience life, whatever is in our lives at this moment something? We can watch a sunrise and feel the majesty and miracle of life. When we look at a baby don’t we marvel at their perfection? We can stretch and feel the pull of our muscles. Don’t we enjoy using our senses? Touching, feeling, thinking, moving, responding to stimuli, eating, and drinking?

There is so much to celebrate in just being alive in the moment. We may have a conversation with a loved one, a telephone call to someone far away. Some form of connection to others is likely to be part of our day. The day brings with it sunshine, rain, snow, wind, but no matter what it brings it will be a day like no other. It is our day to enjoy, we may enjoy each moment, or live through the worst life can offer.

No matter what today brings it is ours to find joy in what ways we can. Will we find something to laugh about today? Will we smile as we watch a young family enjoying lunch? Yesterday my husband and I were in McDonald’s hearing the exuberance of a young child excited to get to the play area. We smiled, remembering when our children were excited at the prospect of a visit to McDonald’s.

Life is all around us. We can go into our backyard or a park and realize this is the whole world to creatures, and insects that make their home there. I have a birdbath and do my best to keep it full of water, watching the birds enjoy the water brings a smile to my face every time I watch them preen and flutter in the water. A couple of cardinals make their home in my backyard. Black, grey, and little red squirrels run up and down my fence, sometimes they put on an acrobatic show reaching for something enticing. Rabbits are a common sight, as are raccoons and even skunks.

In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich. Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Life is rich whether we acknowledge the abundance in our lives or not. We can be so focused on the task at hand, the getting from here to there, fitting everything in that we don’t notice the moments that are awe-worthy in our lives. We may miss the rainbow, sunrise, sunset, or a conversation with someone we were too busy to have. This is our life, we have our twenty-four hours to spend, and enjoy.

We can find ways to order our days to bring the most enjoyment possible, but it isn’t just about finding joy and happiness but about creating meaning and purpose. We may find that by creating a life of meaning and purpose we passed up some of the things that brought us fleeting happiness.

We can’t skim the surface of life and find passion and purpose. If we have love we will have losses. When we risk success, we will risk failure. If we are willing to look at all of life as a gift, grateful for all of it, the ups the downs, the joys the sorrows, the easy and the hard, when life is going our way and when it isn’t. Can we embrace all of life, and be grateful for everything? If we embrace our lives with gratitude, humor, grace, and accept the gifts hidden within some of our most painful moments we will have lived, really lived while we are alive.

This is it, this is our life, twenty-four golden hours spread before us. Does it feel different if we are grateful for the abundance in our lives?

When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears. Anthony Robbins

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort of Joy Hardcover – Sep 9 2009

by Sarah Ban Breathnach (Author) 4.5 out of 5 stars 98 ratings

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