Recently, I had one of those days where my good mood began to unravel with one small incident and then snowballed with one thing after another. Nothing major happened, but a series of little unexpected occurrences – a lost receipt, a broken glass, a delayed walk, a kitty trauma – all coalesced into me feeling a little frayed around the edges and off-center. It happens, right? I knew I needed an attitude adjustment – something to get me back to peace once again so I wouldn’t spread negative energy into the universe.
The easiest re-set, of course, is to just stop and breathe. Deeply. Slowly. Purposefully. One – two – three. Or, if needed, four – five – six – seven… to acknowledge and activate the energy centers of my being.
Next is to step outside and feel the earth beneath my feet. Ground in the solidity, the support, and the wisdom of this billions-years-old planet.
On this day, I chose to take it one step further and go for a walk by the river. There, I stepped out of my head and into the presence of the rippling water. Immediately, my moody thoughts began to flow down the river. My frayed spirit mended. As I walked I noticed the sunlight sparkling on the water, the colors of autumn leaves waving in the breeze, the sound of birds twittering around me.
I sat on a stone by the river and felt my heart beating. I thanked my heart for doing its job so well and so discreetly. I thanked my feet for supporting me and my legs for moving me all the places I want to go. I thanked my eyes for helping me see the world and my ears for bringing all the amazing vibrations of sound to me.
It is too easy to get caught up in a moment of hurry or distress and forget momentarily about these bodily gifts that allow us to be in, move around, and experience life. Too easy to forget how lucky we are to have what we have, to be connected to the people who loves, to enjoy just being in the moment. Too often, we get stuck in Arrrrgh 😦 and forget Aaaahhh 🙂 .
Today, as we were driving to the airport in the early morning hours, an SUV beside us ran off the road and bobbled and swerved before finally regaining control and getting back on the road unscathed. A few minutes later I thought about how my whole immediate family could have died in an instant if that driver had lost complete control as we all traveled at 65 miles an hour. Life is way to short and way too unpredictable to waste it being hurried, distressed, worried, and frayed. It offers us so much to be grateful for each day.
As I walked back from the river that day, I thanked the water and sun and trees. I thanked the ground under my feet, and I thanked myself for taking the time to re-center and reconnect with the things that matter – simple things, everyday things. To recognize and give thanks for the simplest aspects of our beings and our lives is to live more fully and peacefully.
During this week of Thanksgiving, find those things you take for granted every day – the stuff that works in the background to support you, the people you see every day but may not acknowledge appropriately or enough, the earth’s generous gifts, the sun and the moon and the stars above – and say thank you. Simple, heart-felt gratitude for the mundane – your food, your bed, your job, your breath, your heart, your family. Then do it again next week, and the week after, and keep doing it.
Give thanks, every day for the little things that make all the difference.
Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!