Living In Gratitude: 6 Steps to Living in the Moment

We live in an age of constant distraction. Every day, we are bombarded with a myriad of interruptions, which have only gotten more frequent thanks to ever-evolving technology. We can be consumed by self-consciousness, anxiety and stress. These disturbances often have us fretting about the future or contemplating past mistakes. They take us away from living in the present moment.

We’re living in a world that contributes in a major way to mental fragmentation, disintegration, distraction, decoherence. ~ Buddhist scholar B. Alan Wallace

Our thoughts often control us, “coursing through our mind like a deafening waterfall”. Buddists refer to it as the Monkey Mind, because our consciousness vaults from thought to thought like a monkey swinging from one tree to another. This inhibits our ability to live in and enjoy the present.

Mindfulness is when we learn to quiet our monkey mind and live in the moment in a state of “active, open, intentional attention on the present.” Being mindful allows us to observe our thoughts without judgment. Rather than letting our thoughts control us, being mindful awakens us to experience life in the here and now.  Read more

Living In Gratitude: Just For Now

Just for now, without asking how, let yourself sink into stillness.

Just for now, lay down the

weight you so patiently

bear upon your shoulders.

Feel the earth receive

you, and the infinite

expanse of sky grow even

wider as your awareness

reaches up to meet it. Read more

Living In Gratitude: Don’t Look Back

Don’t allow yesterday to take up too much of today.

Too often, we focus on the past and things that happened rather than focusing on the here and now. We beat ourselves up or worry about what could have been, what we should have said or done. Or, we dwell in the past, reliving what was and not living what is.

This is like reading the same chapter in a book again and again, not making progress because we never move forward.

We’ve all had things happen that we regret or wish we could change. Often, these lessons are very challenging and we continue to dwell on them, looking back and reexamining every facet of the situation and asking “What if?” 

What if I had taken that job or done better on that project?

What if I had helped that friend in need?

What if I hadn’t spent so much time working?

What if I hadn’t reacted in anger?

What if, what if, what if…. The list is an endless one if we allow it to be.

It’s okay to ask ourselves these questions as a way to acknowledge and accept our past so we can make a change for the better as we move forward.  But dwelling on all of our what ifs doesn’t allow us to participate in today.

Read more

Living In Gratitude: Celebrate Everything!

Embrace life with enthusiasm.

When we make a commitment to mindfully live in this manner, we find that there is a lot to celebrate. In fact, there is something to celebrate in everything, in every day, big, small or in between.

Little kids are overjoyed by the simplest, smallest things. It doesn’t take much to give them immeasurable joy. Splashing in a pool, playing on a sandy beach, rolling in the grass, unwrapping a gift, eating their favorite foods. The young do things with unabashed gusto. They sink their teeth into each experience and live in the moment. They celebrate everything. (Well, maybe not absolutely everything but you get the picture.)

The same goes for dogs. They are thrilled to see you each and every time you come home, love to play and snuggle, eat and even sleep with gusto. Like children, dogs embrace life with heartfelt enthusiasm. Read more

Living In Gratitude: Every Day May Not Be Good

…but there is good in every day.

We’ve all had ‘one of those days’ when it seems that nothing is going our way.

  • Our alarm clock doesn’t go off.
  • We spill coffee on our work clothes.
  • Our car doesn’t start.

And it just goes on from there… Read more

Living In Gratitude: Have Some Fun

Find time today to: sing, dance, skip, be silly. Have some fun. Life is too short for your seriousness.

All too often, we get caught up in the serious things life throws at us.

  • Can we pay our bills this month?
  • The commute traffic that gets worse each day.
  • An argument we had with a loved one.
  • An issue in our job or problem with our health. Read more

Iroquois Prayer of Thanks

We return thanks to our mother, the earth,

which sustains us.

We return thanks to the rivers and streams,

which supply us with water. Read more

Living in Gratitude: You Wouldn’t Worry So Much

You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think if you realized how seldom they do. ~Eleanor Roosevelt

Many of us live our lives wondering what other people will think of us if we (fill in the blank).

That ‘blank’ can be just about anything: what we wear, the kind of job we have, if we buy the neighbor’s daughter’s Girl Scout cookies or not, how we eat, if we are overweight or too thin…

And the list goes on. Read more

Living In Gratitude: Worry Is A Misuse Of Imagination

Our imaginations are such an incredible gift, allowing us to daydream and envision incredible wonder.

As children, we used our vivid imaginations to create fun and exciting playmates and spectacularly fantastical situations in which we would ‘live’ for hours on end. Imagination was fun, funny and adventurous.

As adults, our imaginations often become a work-thing of worry. Read more

Living In Gratitude: Expect Nothing

Expect nothing and appreciate everything.

Expectations can leave us feeling hollow and disappointed. These assumptions are often ones we place upon others as well as ourselves and when they aren’t met, we tend to reflect negatively. Read more