Grateful For: Family and Friends

Life is all about connection; building and maintaining strong relationships. Especially when our circle is so small, we must never lose sight of how much value those that are in it have to us. They are the ones that make us who we are.  They inspire us, support us, motivate us, console us, and care for us.

We need to take time to remember that these are the people that made us who we are. Be thankful to them. Aspire to be worthy of all they have given us by paying it forward.

Grateful for: Community

Too often we take for granted the community in which we live and all the fruits it has to offer. No matter where we live, there are always wonderful splendors that we can appreciate which are unique to our community. One need merely look around, keep an open heart, and open mind.

Right here where I live, in the Hudson Valley, we have beautiful foliage in the autumn. We have such a bountiful harvest season with apples of all kinds. Dense forest land and evergreens . The Catskill and Appalachian mountains. Hot summers, and cold winters. Snowy winters. The best hiking and mountain biking trails on the planet. Mountain climbing, kayaking, camping, and all other outdoor sporting activities associated with lush forests. It’s a scenic adventure here, and I indulge in it.

We all have plenty to appreciate in our communities. The gratitude we have for our communities will fuel us to try more of the fruits they have to offer. I believe too many of us don’t take advantage of all that is being offered locally, and we really should.

Think about it; if someone were to take a vacation in your community, what activities and events would they be likely to partake in? Have you taken the time to enjoy these same activities?

I believe many of us would be forced to answer “no.”

Now, we all make many reasons for this, but I believe the underlying dominant reason is the fact that we believe that since these fruits are local, they’re not “special”….. just “commonplace”; just because they are local. Yet we are all willing to enjoy the fruits of a place far away and call it “vacation”.

Well ….. I’m here to say that our communities are no less fruitful than our favorite vacation destinations. The path to discovering this begins with cultivating gratitude. Gratitude will grant us appreciation. Appreciation will then fuel our passion to enjoy all of our local people, places, events, opportunities, activities, and faire. 

Grateful for: Abundance and Health

If we have full bellies and a roof over our heads, we are in the top 50% of the world. If we have plumbing in our homes, access to clean water, we are in the top 20% of the world. And we don’t even need to be in that upper stratosphere of prosperity to cultivate happiness. There are people with much less than us who manage to cultivate happiness just fine.

So lets take the time every day to let ourselves be grateful for:

  1. Fresh water flowing into our very homes.
  2. Access to fresh food.
  3. Shelter, complete with privacy.
  4. Means for adequate transportation.
  5. Waste disposal.
  6. Clothing and warmth.
  7. Healthcare.
  8. Our fully functioning, healthy bodies.
  9. Access to media and resources (phone, electricity, internet, heck ….. even RADIO is something to be grateful for, I listen to the radio all the time).

It is important to remember that once the basic necessities of life are met, our happiness is pretty much up to the mental state we choose. This happiness can be cultivated through gratitude. If it helps, here is an study that discusses the correlation between income and happiness: Money Buys Happiness? Not After You Hit Six Figures.