Whenever I hear the phrase “gratitude journal” I feel my stomach sinking with guilt. How many times did I hear Oprah or one of her guests encourage their viewers to grab a pen and a notebook, make a commitment, and begin acknowledging the wonder that is present in their lives every day for 30 days. And how many times did I join them and the thousands of viewers on this quest for cultivating gratitude only to fizzle out on my commitment by (or before) day 5? Maybe I need more will power or the ability to make commitments or start challenges that I am fully motivated to continue or complete.
Or maybe…I can scratch all of that self-blaming and self-criticism that floods my mind. Maybe, just maybe, I can feel grateful for the opportunity to begin again? To know that I don’t have to do what Oprah says to be a spiritually guided or centered person. Perhaps, I can follow my inner guide instead. And this inner guide is downright giddy about the following aspects of my life for which I feel grateful in this moment:
The sunset viewable over the NYC skyline
Watching my kitten spot a squirrel outside and acting with more urgency than I feel when trying to catch a subway car when running late
An unexpected (albeit terrifying) week off where I feel like I have finally caught my breath
A future dinner date with one of my very best friends
A clean apartment
Family coming in town this weekend
My dear husband
The list of my blessings goes on and on and on. So why then dwell on what I do not have? The truth is, I make the choice whether or not I see and appreciate the blessing in my life. For it is my response to the events in my life that determines my happiness or misery, freedom or resentment, bliss or obligation, fulfillment or dissatisfaction. I choose happiness, freedom, bliss, and fulfillment which today means that I focus on all that I have. And I have it all. As long as I make the conscious effort to see it that way.
To living and feeling grateful in this moment and the next,