March 14, 2019
This morning, somewhere on the East Coast of USA, I woke up early to walk to the beach to watch the sunrise. I don’t remember if I’d ever watched the sunrise on the Atlantic Ocean so this marked a first for me. Watching the sunrise reminded me of a practice I’ve been trying to do lately, of which I encourage others to do.
Practice gratitude. In other words, remind yourself of all the things you are thankful for. When you remind yourself of the positives in your life, you are opening yourself to happiness instead of sadness because you are opening yourself to positivity instead of negativity.
I remind myself that I am grateful for the following:
My good health – I work out to try to stay healthy in the body, which is the vessel for my mind, which I also keep healthy by taking in knowledge via multiple ways; reading, traveling, talking to others. I believe the body and mind (and to an extent, “spirit”, not of which I refer to in a religious manner but possibly closer to my inner soul or personality) need each other to exist in harmony. I want to invest in my body and mind and never take them for granted because who knows if one or both will one day be taken from me.
My family – They have all been supportive of my choices in life. Although I haven’t always been transparent in everything going on in my life, I am grateful they are there for when I have needed them. They are supporting pillars that hold me up. However, my main pillar will always be myself and only myself, which is why I take care of my body and mind.
My travels – The opportunity given to me to travel has shaped me into who I am today. I believe everything I’ve experienced through my five senses during my travels have done positive things for me. They have provided me happy memories to look for in times of sadness. They have allowed me to gain perspective on life and what I want more out of life and what I need to remove from it. My travels have shaped me into a more well-rounded human being as I’ve learned more and more to empathize and be compassionate for those around me, especially those who are less able and less fortunate. I want to make it a primary goal in life to do whatever is in my means and power to help these people.
All the people I know and have met – I am grateful to everyone who has come across me in my life, no matter how short or long their presence has been. Even the shortest presence/encounter with a person produces a butterfly/wave effect that touches other parts of me and helps add a little bit in the shaping of who I am as a human being.
My shortcomings – I am grateful for everything I believe is a weakness or shortcoming I have. They have provided me motivation to work on myself and to become the best version of myself in this life. Each morning, I want to look at myself in the mirror and say “I am proud of who you are”. There is so much I can continue to improve on and this desire to self-improve will never stop until the day I die. My opponent in the mirror doesn’t allow me to be complacent.
All the negative and challenging events – I am grateful for all the challenging/negative/bad things that have happened to me. The only way one can find strength in themselves is to experience pain and suffering because “pain is weakness leaving the body”. Without suffering, there cannot be growth. And I want to grow. So if anything bad or challenging wants to happen to me, I welcome it because only then can I learn what I am truly made of.
There is SO much more I am grateful for. I know I am lucky to be here today, living. Did you know the odds of us existing is 1 in 10^2.7 million? That’s 1 in 10 (with 2.7 million zeroes behind). In other words, ZERO. None of us are supposed to be here. But yet, we’ve beaten the odds. I realize I am lucky to not have been born with a huge physical or mental disability, that I was not born into a world of severe poverty and lack of opportunity. I know those people who are in those positions need a lot more help in life. But I also realize that in context of those people, I have great power and like the saying from Spiderman, “With great power comes great responsibility”. Responsibility to myself, responsibility to those around me, responsibility to the world. I cannot be complacent in this life. I want to make my zero-probability existence count for something.
Thank you, beautiful sunrise on the Atlantic, for showing me that yet another day has begun as I reminded myself to be grateful for everything that will come my way today because each of them will continue to help me grow into a better version of myself, no matter if they are positive or negative things.
Let’s practice gratitude. It is powerful stuff.