I noticed recently that I love looking up to the sky through the leaves of a tree. It gives something of lying on the grass looking up at the sky on a nice summer day. Except that when you are actually lying on grass, there’s ants and other insects crawling up on you, the earth is too humid, the grass is pocking and itching… Standing under a tree and looking up has none of those inconvenients. And if you’re in a street, you have the benefit of other people looking up and wondering what you’re seeing… Or you look like a crazy person and if you know how to laugh at yourself you can have a really good time!
When I looked up through this tree I realized that looking up at the blue sky through the branches of a tree brings me joy. Not exuberant joy, more like a peaceful joy. And now that I am aware of it, I can do it more often. And for that awareness, I am grateful!
I was by the water on a pier and noticed a woman who looked in her seventies walking past me really fast. And a little later she came the other way, same speed. And then again. On the fourth time, I was ready. I fell into step with her asking if I could join her in her walk. She agreed and we both speed walked to the end of the pier. I told her that I admired her for exercising / maintaining her body. She replied that she is 83 years old and did not know how to walk slow. At the end of the pier, she had little pieces of wood that she moved to count how many time she had walked the pier. So we fast walked together another three time back and forth along the pier, talking.
What an inspiration! I have gratitude for this inspiring encounter.
I realize experiencing gratitude requires awareness.
In my search for more gratitude in my life, I look at what is enjoyable in the things I do. I was asked several times in the past: what brings you joy? And that question kind of eludes me. I think it is best to already be joyous in order to answer the question. If the mood is not there, we can consider other questions: what would be fun for me? What could I change about this situation to make it fun for me?
What else is possible?
Once we notice things that are fun to do or that bring us joy, it is easier to be grateful!
I read a post from Sophie Robert Mihalko where she said: “… instead of spending energy fixing what I could not have, I looked at what I could do to increase the joy of being…” Before that she wrote “instead of fixing what’s wrong, turn up the volume on what’s right”.
That seemed very relevant to gratitude for me. How can we turn up the volume of gratitude in our lives?
How can we increase the joy of what we already have?
I believe that noticing, being aware can be the first step. And what else is possible?