Gratitude as a Gateway to Presence
“The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance. The wise grows it under his feet.”
― James Oppenheim
This week I returned from a silent meditation retreat in the wild. We were kayaking around islands in the sea of Cortez in Mexico, camping on beaches, living simply.
We spent our mornings watching the sunrise together and our nights watching the stars. No phones, no books, no talking, no distractions. Just presence in nature.
Moving at that slower speed gradually opened my heart and my eyes to the incredible beauty and abundance that is always right here under our noses. The feeling of the soft breath moving in my body, the play of light and shadow, the music of birdsong.
It all took my breath away with delight. My heart never felt so full. There were many moments I was brought to tears with happiness over the simplest things.
I realised that what I was practicing was constant gratitude for life. I was appreciating it, enjoying it and savoring it all – each bite of food, a warm blanket against skin, feet that can walk. I realized gratitude is a powerful gateway to mindfulness. To appreciate something or someone fully you have to be there fully and accept (or even celebrate) it fully.
The sense of contentment and joy has stayed with me since I am home. It’s as if I see everything with fresh eyes. I see how each day is so precious. How each moment is unrepeatable, fleeting, and so full of beauty if we can just slow down a little to see.
I’d like to share with you the below video to contemplate to invite more gratitude and presence into your day. It is by Brother David Steindl-Rast on how to make each day of our lives ‘a good day’ through the power of gratitude.
Wishing you a GOOD day : )
With love, Melli
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