Monday, June 16, 2008

More Thoughts On Gratitude: Reasons to be Grateful

Well, it's a good day ... Blogger likes my pictures!

When I first started thinking about gratitude recently, I wrote a long list of things to be grateful for, which seem to sort themselves into five categories:

Personal Gifts

The gifts of talent and creativity, of imagination, of curiosity and of playfulness.

I think we often forget to indulge in the last three of these ... children are so much better at making the most of imagination, curiosity and playfulness.

The gifts of five amazing, delightful senses and an awesome brain and body.

I think the best ways to express appreciation and gratitude for such gifts is to indulge in them, to thoroughly explore and enjoy them, to use them to the best of our abilities.

Fundamental Needs

It's easy to forget to be grateful for basic needs like food, clothes and a roofover our heads.

Most of us are also blessed with the fulfilment of emotional needs, freedom, justice, human rights ...

A wonderful way to express appreciation for the fulfilment of our basic needs is to respect them and avoid wasting them. Our gratitude is evident when we share what we have with others.

Nature's Generosity

Nature really is boundless in her generosity! She gives us so many things to be grateful for: sunshine and rain, infinitely various light and colour, from the tiniest, breath-taking detail to spectacular, panoramic scenery.

Nature provides food, shelter, clothing ... even entertainment.

Expressing appreciation and gratitude for Nature's gifts is easy ... just enjoy them!

The Gift of People

I have used a picture of a tree rather than a picture of people. Partly because my pictures of people are very few and never very good ... this is something I'm looking forward to working on! But also because a tree is indicative of heritage, of the gifts we receive from ancestors and those we pass on to our descendants. A tree is also an image of growth, of strenth and resilience, all of which are gifts from the people in our lives.

Making a list of all the people who have been a positive influence in your life is a wonderful gratitude-enhancing exercise. Writing my own list has also made me express my appreciation directly to those on my list. Speaking and writing my appreciation enhances and amplifies my gratitude, reminding me how blessed I really am.

There are lots of lovely ways to express thankfulness for the people in our lives: a smile, a hug, a verbal or written 'thank you' or the reciprocation of an action.

The Joy of Learning

Life's many lessons are easier learned when in a place of appreciation and gratitude: mistakes become lessons; weaknesses become strengths; difficulties become challenges.

The happy, humble bee can teach us much about hard work and perseverance, and about making the most of our surroundings. I have begun learning about bees and am increasingly amazed at these phenomenal little creatures.

Sitting on my doorstep, watching then dance in the sage, listening to their hypnotic song, I can't help but be glad to be alive, to have a doorstep to sit on and a moment to take advantage of it, to have an acute sense of sight and hearing ... a simple moment filled with thankfulness.

Today's Gratitudes

Today I am grateful for:

Lots of pots to wash: Washing pots is a form of meditation for me. I find it relaxing to focus on the rhythm, the noises, the feel of the water and bubbles, the pleasure of a clean plate being lifted onto the draining board. My mind sifts through any problems I have when I wash the pots, searched for answers suddenly appear to questions that have been lingering all day.

A noisy, messy house: This being evidence of two healthy teenagers in the house, at home rather than out wandering the streets.

Losing my creative flow recently: For a few weeks, I felt unable to write anything at all. Instead, I spent a lot of time outside, quality time with Youngest Daughter and together we created a garden from a jungle.

Losing my focus: I lost my focus too, but this allowed me to refocus on some important things and people I had been neglecting.

Blogger, Twitter and Flickr: Or rather, all the wonderful people I have met through them. I truly appreciate the genuine warmth, the mutual support and encouragement, the inspiring thoughts and wisdom of experience so generously shared.

Thank you! x

Take a moment from your day today, make a cup of tea and put your feet up perhaps, or go for a walk and find a beautiful place to sit. Treat yourself to a little time to contemplate the gifts you have, the gifts you have received and those you have to offer.

Who and what are you thankful for today?



Pacha said...

I'm thankful for this blog post which has managed to see today from another point of view;) I think today I am grateful for time... time to write, play with my children and talk to my husband. And the coffee he has just made me. I'm very grateful for that!

Joanna said...

I am very grateful to my online friends who teach, encourage and inspire me. Including you.

Oh and to blogger, for letting you post your photos today!


Moondreamer said...

OH Pacha! How lovely to see you here!

Thank you for your lovely comment!

"... time to write, play with my children and talk to my husband."

What wonderful things to be grateful for (the coffee sounds great too!), thank you for reminding me how precious time is, hun!

I miss you! Your words are always imbued with such a deep sense of gratitude ... how's your orchard? How's your novel? Must catch up properly soon!


Moondreamer said...

Thank you, Joanna!

Isn't it lovely to be able to make friends online, to meet people we share such joy and wonder with, who we may never have met just a few years ago, before the world wide web ... I love how it's called that, it's reflected in the wonderful communities on Blogger, Twitter and Flickr.

I had no idea, until I started this blog in January ... poor Blogger, I love you really!

I have been so frustrated with various technical battles recently, but I still consider myself blessed to have arrived here somehow ... I hope you heard all the thank yous as you loaded my pictures yesterday!

Joanna, huge thanks to you again, for the comment you left recently telling me not to give up!


Ulla said...

thank you for sharing this wonderful blog post! You mentioned all the things one can be thankful for. Today I am thankful for your encouraging comment on my flickr photos, for having met you and a lot of wonderful nice poeple on twitter, flickr and the blogosphere, and to be able to communicate all over the world with you. We are really citizens of one world, aren't we?

LindaH said...

I liked your post, it's hard to remember that things that seem negative can be turned into positives. I'm thankful for being a bit bored, rattling round the house on my own today. It's given me the push to do something creative :-)

Liss said...

There is much to be grateful for in life, it is nice that you stop to recognise this. I am doing my own photo project over at my blog called “love this life” it is 10 photos depicting what I love about my life.

Moondreamer said...

Thank you, Ulla!

Yes, how fortunate we are to be alive today, to be able to take advantage of technology in such wonderful, positive ways!

It has been amazing meeting so many different people from all over the world. You're right, we are all citizens of one very wonderful world ... it makes me think of the phrase "a global village!"


Linda, that made me smile ... my eldest daughter is always saying, "I'm bored!" To which I always respond, "I wish I had time to be bored!"

Glad to hear you were inspired to be creative ... perhaps you spent the day making beautiful celestial creations?


Liss, what a wonderful project!

Will call over and have a look ... you have such a lovely talent for using light in your images, something I really want to learn about.

I am finding photography increases my sense of gratitude in so many ways ... and my sense of curiosity!