1. I am grateful for sunsets. And sunrises, too. Sure, there are the stunning colors that breathe fire into the sky. Sometimes you can see the whole spectrum reaching into or up from the horizon. Violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange and a flirtation of red. Aside from the amazing sight, aside from the sense of time, there is the sense of movement. Of going from one state to another. Transformation. Transmogrification. As much as things can be explained, how much more or less are they when they are also felt?
2. I am grateful for openness—of the body, mind and heart. Coming to the mat in yoga, after being away from it for a while, I can feel the restriction in my knees and hamstrings, hips and shoulders. The beginning of a class/session starts out so awkward, constrained and refusing to release. Slowly, the binding loosens; the body becomes more fluid.
An open mind is even more of a challenge. It seems we spend our entire lives building the tract to which we fasten our minds. There is a certain way of doing, seeing, being. A singular fixed point that strains against any challenge to it. Refusing. But openness here, flexibility of sight enables a more thorough examination of the human condition. Creates the opportunity for understanding, which is not the same thing as agreeing, cowing, etc. It merely allows more data points for building a more accurate or better model. It helps us grow, develop, change and become.
3. I am grateful for endorphins. How else is it possible to feel so good after a punishing workout? Or to get so cranky that you haven’t had one in a few days? The body’s natural medicine cabinet. Endogenously produced opiates. You don’t need elicit substances. Just a well-lived life.
4. To follow on the last one, I am grateful for my running gear. My new tights are awesome and make the early morning runs bearable (it can be 40 degrees Fahrenheit, which I just can’t handle on bare uninsulated skin). The new jacket is equally awesome, and provides some VERY efficient insulation. The shoes have been great (admittedly they’ve seen better days). Having the right gear makes this activity as comfortable as it can be.
5. I am grateful for the chance to be a better person each day, each hour, with each choice I make.
What’s in your gratitude journal?