Some people wake with a smile on their faces, and others not so much. I’m most definitely not a morning person, and naturally sway towards seeing the glass half empty, as opposed to half full. I have to work at rewiring my negative thoughts. Sometimes it’s as simple as making the effort to smile at a stranger I pass on the street, and the joy a smile in response can bestow. A confirmation we are not alone, that in some way we are all connected as humans. Other times I’ll write, then go back and edit any negative remarks or connotations into positive ones, and my mood seems to follow. When all else fails I make grateful lists.
The first time someone suggested I try this, I retorted with a string of strong explicatives. Life as I knew it was over. With 20/20 hindsight it was just the end of a chapter, but at the time I felt I’d lost everyone and everything that mattered to me. “Can you feel the sun on your skin?” she prodded. “Yes, well put that down on the paper,” and so it began with little baby steps. Miraculously, I started acknowledging more things that made me happy, and found it easier to let go of what didn’t. Reprogramming my thoughts ensures that glass stays half full.
It gets easier with practice, but I’m still a constant work in progress. Life happens and it’s easy to slip back into old familiar thought patterns, so I was particularly enchanted with my friend Lisa’s post about The Atoms of A Life this morning. She was referring to the moments in our lives that culminate into who we become. I deliberately keep happy memories in silver picture frames dotted around my home, and I suppose I do that with this blog as well, but it dawned on me how powerful a visual grateful list could be.
Let’s try it! I’ll post one photo on Sundays of something that uplifted my consciousness (my visual grateful list). Something that made me smile, giggle, or feel inspired to help start the next week on a positive note. My hope is you’ll either respond to that photo, or share something about your week that did the same for you in the comments section. If a personal grateful list can make a difference, imagine what a collective one could do!
Here’s my ‘Atoms of Gratitude’ photo for this week:
Growing up with a mother who was also an artist instilled an appreciation for all things artistic. I mentioned last spring that my daily walks with Daisy have become more like treasure hunts for new street art in the neighborhood. This week we happened upon a crew at work. I know some people view this as vandelism, and I respect your opinion, but it brought color into a gray rainy week for me. What brightened your week?
“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away” – author unknown