Being Present, Practicing Gratitude, and Loving Life

29 Mar

I was reading a self-help book I picked up from Goodwill the other day and within the first 10 pages it delivered a revelation that made the $1.31 I paid totally worth it.

I’ve been having a relationship with my ambivalence. I’ve been here for 8 months now, but I haven’t really been here. I’ve been spending more time and energy trying to decide if I want to be here and how I feel about being here than I have spent experiencing it. My ambivalence has become its own thing to deal with.

I’ve read a bit about the importance of being present (while reading the self-help book, I’m also reading Zen and the Art of Happiness), but those lessons didn’t really hit home until I realized how distracted and distant I’ve been from my own everyday life.

A friend encouraged me to adopt a “daily gratitude” practice during Lent, where I would write down 3 things every day that I was grateful for. I didn’t do so well on the “daily” part and Lent is almost over, but I will adopt a new related practice. Zen and the Art of Happiness reminded me of two truths:

1. Everything that happens to me is the best possible thing that can happen to me.
2. The Universe doesn’t make mistakes.

For my next few blog posts, I will cease the whining. Once a week for the month of April, I will just write about what I love about living here. Not what’s been okay or pleasant or merely better than I expected. But what I really love.

A lovely friend sent me a post from the insightful Adrienne Marie Brown’s blog. I will use her words to guide me in my April experiment:

I am at peace with the life I am leading
I take responsibility for my life and my choices
I make changes in my lifestyle that I want to make
I don’t complain about what I am not committed to change
I am at peace with that which is not changeable

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