Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude

With my stress levels careening out of control from too many obligations and not enough rest (sound familiar?), I'm feeling the need to pause and reflect. One's daily life is an ongoing spiritual journey and controlling one's state of mind is an ongoing spiritual practice. It's easy to always focus on what's wrong, what could be better, what's not living up to expectations, and what we wish was different. But countless studies have espoused the power of mind over matter and have found that people who are positive and cultivate an attitude of gratitude are much happier than those who do not.
In a conscientious effort to be one of those happy people, I've taken the time to create a list of what I'm grateful for right now and share it with you here:
  1. Belly dance - even when my mind is running a million miles a minute with my endless to do list, when I take the time out for a dance workout or workshop, I focus on the music and my movements and I become refreshingly present in the moment.
  2. My boyfriend - seeing me reaching my max stress level, my boyfriend showed up at my apartment today with Thai food, helped me clean my apartment, and drew a bath for me, all done on his own initiative!
  3. Cupcakes - with the recent explosion of cupcake bakeries (Cupcake Royale, Wink, Trophy, New York, to name a few), a personal-sized piece of creamy deliciousness is never far away. The mint chocolate chip one I had today was the perfect prescription for over-taxed nerves.
  4. My health and my home - sometimes in the busy bustle of the everyday, it's easy to take certain fundamentals for granted. But having a roof over my head and being of good physical health are priceless.
  5. True Blood - I recently watched all 12 hours of the second season in four days, and while not great literary writing or Emmy worthy, it was sinfully enjoyable down to the last drop.
What's on your gratitude list? I challenge you, however great or small, to formulate one item of gratitude per day. Include it in a prayer, post it below, say it aloud to yourself, share it with a loved one, shout it from your car window, update it on your Facebook page, or write it in a journal. May your month of November be a bounty of blessings!

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