Morning routine: rinse and repeat.
For the past year, I’ve kept a morning gratitude journal.
What began as my attempt to combat the inundation of social media our generation is bombarded with each morning, turned into a daily ritual of positivity.
Most mornings, I’ll wake up a few minutes early, cozy up on my living room couch, curtains open with morning light filtering in and express gratitude.
A funny fact about life is, it tends to deliver more of what we acknowledge.
“Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream.”
― Lao Tzu
Whether one believes this is coincidence, the law of attraction, an act of giving thanks to God, or from a psychological standpoint, the conscious and subconscious effects of a self-fulfilling prophecy, the truth still remains: what we think, we become.
Some days, I jot down five gratitudes. On other days, 10. The importance isn’t in quantity or subject matter, but in appreciating the topics as they come to mind. I try to see each gratitude I write down as a small gift, and express thanks for it.
Marvel at the experience of your unique ‘now’.
Here are a few of my gratitudes from this past year. Nothing grandiose or extravagant.
Simply a small, daily celebration of the art of living.
A gentle afternoon breeze on a hot summer day. Tender kisses on the forehead. French fries with just-the-right crispness to seasoning ratio. The feeling of my heart racing during an intense workout. The ability to run. The first sip of a chilled glass of chardonnay after a long day of work. Good health, and the wellbeing of my family and friends. Literacy and an education, particularly as a young woman. A bed to sleep on, and a roof over my head. Access to nutritious food and clean drinking water.
The ability to love, and to be loved. Good friends who I can laugh and cry and grow with. Art, and the human desire to create it. Laying in a warm pile of fresh laundry. The feeling of sliding into clean bedsheets at night, especially after a hot bath. The aroma of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies at my childhood home. The weightless sensation of swimming under an ocean wave. A comforting hug when I need one most. Human compassion. Small acts of selflessness and kindness. The exchange of smiles between strangers.
Afternoon tea with my British grandmother, while listening to her childhood stories. Spontaneous solo dance parties in the living room. The gift of another day, after a difficult night. The scent of a new novel. A locally owned bookstore, and the cat which brushes against my leg as I settle down in the corner of the shop with a weathered paperback. Buying flowers at the farmer’s market, and making floral arrangements at the kitchen table. Holding someone’s hand for the first time. Karaoke after a couple drinks. Sliding across hardwood floors while wearing fuzzy socks. Mint chocolate chip ice cream.
Seeing loved ones find fulfillment and success. Falling asleep in the crook of someone’s arm during a movie. Waking up in a warm bed in the middle of the night to the sound of rainfall. The crunch of leaves and chirps of birds while hiking in the forest, and the whistle of wind between silver glacial mountains. The sweetness of a caramel apple on an autumn day. Blank moleskin notebooks to write in, and inky pens which form elegant cursive. Playing the violin. Creative expression. Music, and its ability to move us physically and emotionally. The freedom of travel, whether it be across the world, another city, or simply exploring a new neighborhood. Challenges and failures, and the capacity to learn and improve from them.
Dimples and curly hair and freckles and curves. Listening to people talk about their passions, watching as their eyes light up. The gentle strum of an acoustic guitar, playing Blackbird by the Beatles. Lighting candles in the evening. Waking up early on a weekend, and realizing there are few more hours to sleep in. Waking up early on a weekend, and driving on an open road for a spontaneous adventure. Banana pancakes with walnuts and a drizzle of honey. Watching the sun rise upon the ocean at dawn. Airplane flights into a city at night, gazing out the cabin window and seeing the cityscape illuminated below. Faith, hope and the ability to experience this unexpected, albeit remarkable, gift of life.
. . .
Give it a try.
. . .
x. Natasha Overin