99 Things I Am Grateful For #FridayReflections #everydaygratitude

99 Things I Am Grateful For #FridayReflections #everydaygratitude

If I only had one attitude to pick from, one value to treasure, one concept to choose from, then without a doubt, I’d choose Gratitude.

Gratitude is an attitude that I picked up on some 9 odd years ago, although, I heard about it’s value for so many years before that. I incorporated it into my life and I know that it has made the world of difference to how I view life.

Today, I’m attempting to write a ‘99 love list‘ but turning it into a ’99 Gratitude list’ instead.

99 Things I Am Grateful For

In no order of importance, things past and present I’m grateful for –

  1. Life
  2. A body
  3. Love from my parents
  4. Two protective and caring brothers
  5. A loving extended family
  6. 50 plus years of health
  7. 50 life lessons I’ve learned
  8. Happy childhood memories
  9. A safe childhood
  10. Opportunities to study in excellent schools
  11. Introduction to reading at an early age
  12. Music
  13. Chances to act and sing in public
  14. Good jobs
  15. Supportive bosses
  16. Friendly colleagues
  17. Friends
  18. Laughter
  19. Flowers
  20. Beaches
  21. Sunsets
  22. Trees
  23. Access to clean water
  24. Hot baths
  25. Cold showers
  26. Electricity
  27. Warm clothes
  28. A safe place to live in
  29. A supportive husband
  30. The joy of togetherness
  31. Financial security
  32. The internet
  33. Blogging
  34. A desire to keep learning
  35. Access to medical facilities
  36. Telephones
  37. Cooking gas
  38. Washing machine
  39. Vegetables
  40. Fruit
  41. Cooking skills
  42. Takeaway food to add to variety
  43. Good meals
  44. Dogs and their love
  45. Ability to help the less fortunate
  46. Transport
  47. Books
  48. My Kindles
  49. Blogging connections
  50. Movies
  51. Inspiration that’s all around
  52. Fountain pens
  53. Notebooks
  54. Interesting conversations
  55. Dog sitters
  56. Holidays
  57. Tea
  58. Coffee
  59. Chocolate
  60. Massages
  61. Scented soaps
  62. Essential oils
  63. Incense and joss sticks
  64. Faith in God
  65. Writing
  66. Mentors
  67. Inspirational people
  68. Feelings
  69. Thoughts
  70. Imagination
  71. Polite people
  72. Kindness
  73. People who irritate me
  74. Painful situations
  75. Gifts
  76. Surprises
  77. A bed
  78. My own space to work in
  79. Working from home
  80. Bubble wrap and cello tape – making life easier!
  81. Discounts
  82. Online shopping
  83. Training skills
  84. Living in a democratic country
  85. Freedom
  86. Walks
  87. House help
  88. Public servants
  89. Birds
  90. Intuition
  91. Personal space
  92. A good memory
  93. Letting go of the past
  94. Photographs
  95. Comedy shows
  96. Things I learn every day
  97. Plenty of spare time
  98. Comfortable clothes
  99. You, my dear readers!

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I’ve been slacking off on my #everydaygratitude posts, so today I did a combination with Finish The Sentence Friday and Friday Reflections.

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The hosts are Kristi  and this week’s sentence-thinker-upper Deirdre Conran. The prompt : If I only had…..

Also joining Lizzi Lewis and gang for Ten Things of Thankful.

Also, happy to announce that Sanch and Write Tribe are now hosting a weekly feature, Friday Reflections, passed on to us by Janine and Mackenzie. Do join us.

Write Tribe

 

Choose Gratitude #everydaygratitude

Choose Gratitude #everydaygratitude

Life has a way of lobbing curve balls at you when you don’t expect it. We’ve been dealing with a big one over the last few months and it’s sometimes hard not to get bitter about some people’s greed, their ingratitude and their meanness (I’m not at liberty to share details).

I Choose Gratitude

As always, I find it important to stay focused on all the good and abundance we do enjoy. Looking at the big picture, that’s not so difficult to do. It’s the daily nitty-gritty that is hard sometimes. Trying not to complain, grumble, assign blame are harder to do on a daily basis. Being mindful of the value of gratitude, and pausing through the day to say thanks is the best way for me to find meaning even in the most trying circumstances.

….the most important thing is to embrace the present, to love our lives today—even if there are physical and intellectual challenges—and to understand that we have the power to imbue everything that we do, every relationship we have, and every day that we live with meaning,” —James Autry, Choosing Gratitude

I’m also very clear that being appreciative of what I have, must not stop me from realizing when I’m being treated badly. Being grateful doesn’t equal being a doormat. I continue to experience and acknowledge my negative feelings and be assertive, but see it all through the lens of gratitude.

I choose gratitude today and every day.

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Click here to download a printable version of this reminder.

Everyday Gratitude is a newish feature on Everyday Gyaan – a post on gratitude that will appear here every 2nd Saturday of the month. You’re welcome to share your list of gratitudes in the comments here. If you share your gratitude posts in the comments and on Twitter with the hashtag #everydaygratitude, I promise to share your posts on social media.

 

Everyday Gratitude  #everydaygratitude

Everyday Gratitude #everydaygratitude

Everyday Gratitude is a new feature on Everyday Gyaan – a post on gratitude that will appear here every 2nd Saturday of the month.

Why did I choose ‘everyday gratitude’ – because I want to stress on two aspects of gratitude –

  • That we need to practice it every day. Each of us need to find our own way of practicing gratitude- use a notebook, keep a small document, write a blog post, set aside a short time every day to think about all you are grateful for.
  • That we find things to be grateful for in the ordinary, everyday circumstances of our lives. Nothing spectacular. No fancy words. No contest.

It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch
a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway
into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.
Mary Oliver

Everyday Gratitude

I find that I’m offering gratitude in the unlikeliest of places and circumstances.

Giving for water when I’m having an early morning shower

Grateful for a long power cut that gave us new insights on managing our puppy

Gratitude for the squirrel that scurried along the road and reminded me of the writing of Sant Tukaram, an Indian poet, which translated into English goes something like this:

I said to a squirrel, “What is that you are carrying?”
and he said,
“It is my lucky rock; isn’t it pretty?”
I held it and said, “Indeed.”
I said to God,
“What is this earth?”
And He said, “It is my lucky rock;
isn’t it wondrous?”
Yes, indeed.

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If you’re looking for a linky, you’ll find the monthly Gratitude Circle on Vidya Sury’s blog, Today’s Gratitude List on Laurel Regan’s blog and Ten Things of Thankful on Lizzi Rogers’ blog.

You’re welcome to share your list of gratitudes in the comments here. If you share your gratitude posts in the comments and on Twitter with the hashtag #everydaygratitude, I promise to share your posts on social media.

Gratitude For A Lesson Learned in 2015

Gratitude For A Lesson Learned in 2015

2015 has been a year of great learning for me. I’ve learned to look a little more within myself and find creative resources deep within that help me to stay balanced, hopeful and above all grateful.

While I can go on listing all the wonderful things both big and small that I am grateful for in 2015, there’s one particular blessing I’d like to focus on.

As each year passes, I become surer that life has a way of bringing back to me lessons that I need to learn. When I think I’ve passed and have learned what I need to, I am presented with a situation that makes me realize that I’ve still got miles to go.

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Gratitude For A Lesson Learned in 2015

One lesson that I keep having to relearn is to stay away from people and situations that take away my joy and leave me with self-doubts. I managed to divorce drama, and it took a lot of inner strength to do so. I’ve also identified some key people in my life who through their behavior, remarks and ability to lay guilt on me, create a lot of unease in my life. In the last few months of the year, I’ve managed to keep contact with these people to the minimum. This might come across as being negative, but I know from the peace I experience that it is not!

While I owned my feelings and choices, I also used a practice of gratitude to make sure that I did not get bitter or vengeful. The fact that I had José to vent to and that he supports me in my decisions is a big blessing too. He has, over the years, been cautioning me about these people, but I loved to imagine that I’m above it all! That I finally allowed better sense to prevail and listened to him and trusted my inner voice, makes me grateful.

Gratitude as a discipline involves a conscious choice. I can choose to be grateful even when my emotions and feelings are still steeped in hurt and resentment. It is amazing how many occasions present themselves in which I can choose gratitude instead of a complaint.  – Henri Nouwen

I am most grateful for these people, because they’ve taught me more about myself and my ability to learn, adapt and stay true to myself.  I came to realize that they are never going to be what I want them to be – they are who they are – and I, probably, don’t live up to what they want me to be either. Peace followed this realization.

Now, I am able to communicate with these people, yet stand my ground and not feel guilty about my choices. Emotionally, I have dared greatly.  This is the greatest lesson of 2015 and one that I am most grateful for.

What are you most grateful for in 2015?

 

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This is my last post for the Gratitude Circle which I was happy to co-host with Vidya Sury for a year. Come January 2016, I am signing off from this commitment. Vidya will continue to host this feature.

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Do join us this month by linking in your gratitude post. The linky will be open for a month.


Gratitude Is Being Awake

Gratitude Is Being Awake

I’m so happy and honored to guest post on Kathy Gotteberg’s brilliant blog – Smart Living 365  where she explores ideas and experiences that help to create a meaningful, sustainable, compassionate and rewarding life for herself and others. Her posts on awareness and well-being are always worth reading. I love how Kathy combines her personal experience with plenty of well-researched information.

Gratitude is something that is very close to my heart and I know that it is for Kathy too. In fact she undertakes a regular Gratitude Challenge, so it seemed natural to write a post on the subject.

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Gratitude Is Being Awake

As I’m cooking the spinach this afternoon I inhale the lovely scent of cumin and coriander and I give thanks for the gift spices. Earlier this morning, it was thanks for the freshness of the aloe vera soap I used in my shower.

I start to think about how offering thanks has become such a part of my everyday routine. I think of my journey into gratitude and decide that I’ll share it with you today.

Gratitude is not a passive response to something given to us, gratitude is being awake in the presence of everything that lives within and without us. – David Whyte

 

At 41, after a series of failed romances and consequent heartbreak and disappointment, I met José and before too long we were married. Life should have been wonderful. But as we settled into married life, we met with one mishap after another.

In the space of three years, we faced a minor home invasion, a huge home renovation project that went off the rails for a while, two severe bouts of malaria apiece, two cataract surgeries for me and an accident resulting in a hip replacement surgery for José. Oh, and let’s not forget to mention care-giving my mother after a stroke and my brother after his heart surgery!

To read the complete post go here.

 

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Transforming Common Days Into Thanksgiving

Transforming Common Days Into Thanksgiving

I smiled this morning as I recalled something José told me a few years back. His colleague, who had a son in the US, told him of the terrible hurricanes that her son and family had experienced. Then she went on to say, “People are so glad to be alive that they’ve decided to announce a holiday next Thursday and give thanks for God’s protection.” José realized she was referring to Thanksgiving Day, smiled and decided not to educate her.

Thinking about this, I’m wondering if she was not right. Shouldn’t Thanksgiving be a day to celebrate that we are alive? What better gift can we have then life itself?

Transforming Common Days Into Thanksgiving

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The celebration of Thanksgiving is not part of our Indian culture, so pardon me if I offend anyone by what I say next. I get the concept of setting days aside for special celebrations – birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, #GivingTuesday, Thanksgiving and so on. What worries me is the rest of the days – the ordinary ones. Do we keep all our expressions of love and affections for birthdays or do we express love all year around? Is Christmas the only day we celebrate the fact that God lives among us or are we aware of this on ordinary days too? And so with Thanksgiving, is that the only day we’re mindful of the abundance we enjoy or are we constantly grateful for life and all that it brings our way?

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” – William Arthur Ward

From my experience, there is nothing as life changing as gratitude. It has changed the way I look at life, made my life so much more meaningful and allowed me to heal and forgive. Yes, I still have miles to go, but I’m on my way. Gratitude helps me to see how every bad thing is an opportunity for learning and growth.

This month, as always, I have plenty to be grateful for, but I’ll focus on the gift of my family, especially my Dad who celebrated his 90th birthday on the 4 of November. We had a celebration with the extended family and it was wonderful to have an aunt, an uncle, my brother and my nephew speak about Dad and the person he is. They brought out different aspects of his life and personality – a son and brother, a Army officer with a distinguished career, a loving Dad and a doting grandfather. The common thread was his faith, his reaching out to help others, his ability to adapt to changing life circumstances and his self-effacing nature.

Thanks Dad for being an example to so many, not least of all to me! I’m grateful – even if I have crazy ways of showing it, at times. 😉

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Seated: Mom and Dad Standing from left to right: my eldest brother, his wife, their daughter, my second brother, my nephew, me, José

Today, I invite you to focus on gratitude as you make your way through the day, and attempt to look at everything through with grateful eyes. It’s amazing how different the world looks through gratitude-coloured lenses!

Kimberly Montgomery’s 21 Day Gratitude Challenge is another chance for us  to make gratitude an integral part of our lives.

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Our Gratitude Circle post is a regular feature on the 4th Thursday of every month.

Join Vidya Sury and me by writing a gratitude post and linking in to us and adding your linky to our Gratitude Circle Hop post. The linky is open for a whole month. Add this pretty badge to your post/ site and visit and read the other posts linked.

gratitude circle