“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” –Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose
“Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes of which all men have some.” –Charles Dickens
It’s difficult to maintain a positive attitude when we are constantly bombarded by negativity. Just watch the evening news. It’s enough to make anyone depressed. Social media isn’t much better. Since I’ve been trying to adopt “an attitude of gratitude,” I now limit the viewing of both of these sources. Appreciating the gifts we’ve been given isn’t always easy, but creating a gratitude list is an effective way to develop and sustain a positive outlook on life.
I’ve started a “30 Days to Happiness” challenge, and the first thing that’s required is to list three things I’m grateful for every day. By day five, I’m finding it harder to do. I trudge on. My brain benefits from searching for the good in life.
So today, I’ve decided to give thanks for my five senses, which are so often taken for granted. The older I get, the more I realize how lost I would be without the ability to see, hear, feel, smell or taste.
My eyesight isn’t as sharp as it used to be. I no longer have 20/20 vision. I need reading glasses for fine print. I can’t imagine what my life would be like without being able to read a book, watch the next season of Game of Thrones, or immerse myself in nature’s vibrant colors and beauty.
I’m grateful I still have my hearing, even if it is a bit damaged from listening to loud rock-n-roll during my youth. I need music to lift my spirits, to energize me or lull me to sleep. I would be as frustrated as my father without his hearing aids if I could not follow a conversation or hear birds singing in the distance.
I recently became a grandmother, and let me tell you, there is nothing sweeter than the feel of a baby in your arms. I just want to kiss all over her soft, smooth skin, rub her baby Buddha belly, massage her little legs, and caress her tiny fingers and toes. Doing so calms my nervous energy. There’s also something soothing in petting a puppy or kitten, or curling up with a silky blanket or lounging on cool bed sheets.
My sense of smell has always been strong. I can spot a foul odor a mile away. If it’s coming from within my house, I hunt it down to eradicate it. Before I leave town, I clean my house so that upon my return I will be greeted by fresh scents. I use essential oils, incense, and scented candles to cheer me.
As for the sense of taste, mine has never been overly picky. I’ve always been a fast eater, never lingering on what my taste buds might have to say. I know I need to slow down and savor each bite, but eating always seemed to be an inconvenience to me. I used to wish there were pills I could take to bypass the whole process. Now I know I’m missing out on what the French have always treasured: making mealtime a pleasurable indulgence. A glass of red wine with cheese or chocolate are some of the few treats I truly cherish.
Yes, I am thankful for these gifts. Not everyone has use of all five senses. As a child, I was fascinated by Helen Keller. I read every book I could find about her. For a woman who was deaf and blind, she accomplished more than many of us and appreciated what life had to offer her. I would like to be more like her. By acknowledging my blessings every day, I hope to shift my mental state and respond to life from a place of strength and sensibility.
Be grateful for the good in your life.