Appreciation can change a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary; so said Margaret Cousins, activist and freedom fighter.
We need to make time to thank the people who make a difference in our lives. Giving thanks to others for their kindness and consideration is also a major key to our own happiness. It works both ways.
Appreciation and giving thanks go much deeper than that though. Gratitude is one of the most powerful emotions that we can regularly practise and it is relevant to all aspects of life. Being grateful for the simple things is a good place to start: our health, our family, our food and so on. For each one of us it will be different things that we are grateful for. Actively and consciously giving thanks for the important things and the small things in our lives naturally leads us into a positive state of mind. It’s a case of counting one’s blessings, as opposed to focusing on what we think is missing.
Yesterday my sister in law and her husband dropped by and they came bearing gifts – two jars of homemade chunky orange marmalade and a handmade cotton woodworking apron for Mr B to wear in the workshop. What a marvellous surprise. And so thoughtful. This lovely couple retired from work last year and they have taken up new interests and hobbies, and travelled quite a bit too. They are enjoying and making the most of the extra time and freedom that retirement has given them, after working long and hard for many years. And they are grateful for the good stuff.
So today I want to say thank you for the delicious marmalade that you spent the time making for us, and thank you for the cotton apron you sewed, which will save sweaters and jeans from future ruin no doubt.
Today, right now, I am grateful that I can work from home doing something I love; to be sitting at my desk looking out over green fields whilst happily munching on toast and orange marmalade, and sipping licorice tea from a china cup and saucer.
I give thanks for the peace and quiet of this place I live in, and for the beauty and endless miracles of the natural world around me, and for the clean air I breathe.
Good old Mr Einstein had it about right I reckon when he said – “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
Do you count miracles?