Begin and end each day with an expression of gratitude and thanksgiving. Every morning when you awake you have been given the gift of a sunrise and twenty-four hours to live. This is a precious gift. You have the wonderful opportunity to take this day and live joyously, with appreciation for everything that you encounter. Take a deep breath and be grateful for this exhilarating experience of breathing in life and love. Similarly, end your day with an expression of love, and a repetition of the word for peace, “Shalom.”
As the year draws to a close, it can be very easy to see life as a succession of years rather than a succession of days. If we lose our vision of how great days can be if we make them so, we can lose our ability to make each moment special. And as someone once said, each moment is a sparkling snowflake, and it will very soon melt and disappear, only to be replaced by another sparkling snowflake.
These moments become much, much richer if we experience them through the filter of gratitude. We make our own moments and our own days by the way we approach them, and if the seed of thankfulness is in our hearts, our experiences will be much, much richer.
We all have been given a great gift every single day that we have to experience the magic and wonder, the potential and possibility, of this wonderful world in which we live, the people with whom we live in it, and of our selves. We have opportunity after opportunity to make each day a very special one, yet we so often get "caught up" in all that's going on in our lives that we neglect our opportunities to get the most out of each moment, to make each day the special experience that it can be.
Love, gratitude, and peace. What better elements can we take with us into each day as we approach life anew? What better perspective can we watch life from? From which better starting point can we begin each day, each moment, each new chapter in our lives? We've been given all that we need to continue in this life and actually thrive in it, and if we can stop taking all these gifts for granted, then we can make our lives truly rich, indeed.
As the new year approaches, we can look ahead to a succession of moments, and each moment we can decide how to approach life and living. Each moment we can decide what we're going to do and how we're going to act. It isn't an entire year in which we will make our lives what they are a year from now--it's a series of many, many moments that will help to define the directions in which we go, and the attitudes we take with us as we do so.
Questions to consider:
How can we make love, gratitude, and peace integral
parts of our lives?
How can we learn to focus on each moment rather than
neglecting the moment and focusing on longer periods of time?
What do we have to be grateful for in our lives?
For further thought:
I've stopped thinking all the time of what happened yesterday. And stopped asking myself what's going to happen tomorrow. What's happening today, this minute, that's what I care about. I say: What are you doing at this moment, Zorba? . . . I'm kissing a woman. Well, kiss her well, Zorba! And forget all the rest while you're doing it; there's nothing else on earth, only you and her!
I don't make or generally believe in making resolutions. They seem to me to be setting yourself up for5 failure. Rather I have started to set goals that are attainable. Goals that I know are things that I would like to accomplish, or improvements I would like to make. Nothing as vague as "exercise more", or "go to the gym".
Expressing gratitude is something that I want to be more aware of this year. I want to recognize how lucky I am to wake up every day. I want to be sincere with everyone. Say what I mean and mean what I say. Most important I plan to be,"right here, right now". Living my life in the present moment. Not looking back or forward with worry or apprehension. I am going to take the moment and experience it as fully as I am able.
I recently read a blog where the writer expressed the new year as a clean slate. We all start off a new year with a clean slate and the ability to paint our next year any way that we choose. I like that idea. We make all the choices. The colors, textures...everything that our next year will be is all up to us.
May you choose the colors of your year and enjoy painting the slate of 2009.