Gratitude

If you were to make a list of everything you love, how long would it take for you to write down yourself?

When I first read this quote it hit me hard. I don’t think I ever would have listed myself. I didn’t see myself as something, or someone, I loved. When in reality that should have been #1 on my list. I knew I had to make a change, but I wasn’t sure how. I wasn’t just going to wake up one day and love who I was, it was going to be a process.

For me, that process started by focusing much more on self-care, and doing things that made me feel good about myself. Some of these self-care/self-love moments were more extravagant, for example I’ve visited a local spa a few times for relaxation massages and facials. However others were much more low-key, like enjoying a cup of my favourite tea in my favourite mug.

Of course, some days its difficult to think of something that will make me feel good, or I’ll be too busy to find the time. On days like these I turn to my gratitude journal. If you don’t know what that is, it’s simple, it’s a list of things you’re grateful for. I started with mine on the notes app on my phone, then moved it over to an actual journal. Now my gratitude journal is full of an extensive, on-going, list of things I love as well as quotes and little doodles.

So here is a peek at my gratitude list.

  1. Coffee/Tea
  2. Heavy blankets
  3. Poetry
  4. Freckles
  5. A purring cat
  6. The ocean
  7. Baby socks
  8. A full body stretch
  9. Sunflowers
  10. Cinnamon rolls

Maybe this list will inspire you to start one of your own, or maybe you’ll return to this post one day when you’re feeling down and need to be reminded of things that make you smile.

2018

Welcome to the future, the present, and the past. This moment is all three wrapped up together. This moment is the now.

Often times we catch ourselves daydreaming about the future. Wondering what type of life we’ll be living, where we’ll be, or who we’ll be with. When we’re “living” in the future we tend to think long-term, 10, 20 years down the road, maybe more. We focus on where we want to end up and skip everything that is going to bring us there.

The past is much the same. We focus on something that has happened anywhere from yesterday, all the way back to childhood. We ruminate on past experiences that we have zero control over, memories that we will never be able to change. Scrutinizing the past has a very large impact our present emotions, and our present emotions float into our future.

I wish I could say I’m going to live completely “in the now”, that I’m not going to think about either the past or the future. However after years of failed attempts, I’ve finally realized that that might not be possible for me. What I plan on doing now is focusing on what makes the now, the now. The way I see it the present moment is actually a combination of all three; our past, present, and future.

We only exist in this present moment because we have survived our past. It’s our collection of experiences and memories that have made us who we are.

Today is yesterday’s future. We all dream of a happy-ever-after, so if we’re already living in the “future”, we need to focus on getting ourselves closer to that happy-ever-after today.

I think remembering this and trying to let it shift our mindset, allows us to better enjoy the present and appreciate it for what it is. Every second in our day is the present, past, and future. So stop looking back at yesterday, and stop waiting for tomorrow. Open your eyes to today, to the now, whatever your definition of it may be.