I woke up this morning with two cats sitting on my bed purring loudly, pawing my arm looking to be stroked. It was early so my instinct was to go back to sleep but instead I reached out and tickled them behind the ears, just touching the softness of their fur felt like pure bliss. So, today I feel grateful to have two gorgeous cats in my life - thank you Florence and Zebie :).
It was only when I turned on my computer that I remembered that today is Thanksgiving in the U.S., a day associated with a successful harvest, celebrated with gatherings of family and friends and lots of delicious food. And so I decided to write a list of all the things I am thankful for: my warm cosy bed, my first cup of tea in the morning, my delicious porridge with honey and banana, my lovely office space which I share with two wonderful women, my health, my fabulous friends, my supportive and inspirational community, and doing work I absolutely LOVE!
Once I started the list I couldn't stop it just went on and on and I felt more and more satisfied. Writing my gratitude list brought home that truism - the more grateful we feel the happier we are :).
From this place of happiness I began to consider those people in my life who inspire me and noticed that far from living perfect lives they have all had their fair share of setbacks and challenges. Whether they've overcome loss, failure, illness, sadness, disappointment, they've found a way to accept their experiences, integrate them and move on fully embracing all of their lives, the dark and the light. That's why I chose this photograph of the night sky, it's majestic darkness is both pierced by, and reflecting the colour and beauty of millions of bright stars.
So, in honour of Thanksgiving I invite you to take a moment, make yourself a nice cup of tea or coffee, and with notebook and pen write down all that you are grateful for today. Really look for the extraordinary in the ordinary, a smile from a colleague, a hearty bowl of soup for lunch, a kind email, feeling well in yourself, hearing something that made you laugh, all those little things that make you feel happy in the moment. Doesn't it feel good.
I'll leave the last word on gratitude to Maya Angelou, whose life and work I find hugely inspirational, she says: 'Gratitude turns what we have into enough'. Tis so true.
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‘Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter’ - Martin Luther King Jr.