Wednesday, October 07, 2009

My Life Through Rose-Colored Glasses

I'm about half-way through Week 2 of my Gratitude Journey via The Gratitude Challenge, and this week's exercises have been focused on paying attention and staying positive--two things that most American's seem to have problems with. (And when I say most Americans I'm pointing directly at myself.)

While the exercises for the week weren't specifically written ones, I thought I'd take some time here to explore what I've been discovering as I practice being present and positive.

I'm really grateful to have all five of my senses.
A few nights ago I was making dinner and I really paid attention to how my senses heightened the experience. There were the sounds: the sizzle of oil and the crackle of onions as I tossed them in; the rhythmic sound of the knife slicing through the vegetables and then hitting the cutting board. The smells were rich and tempting: onions, apple and curry, all earthy and sweet. The feel of the strength in my hands and arms, their repetitive movement as I chopped, stirred and tossed reminded me of all the things I can do because my body is healthy and whole. As I spooned the mixture into a bowl, the slightly varying shades of beige and yellow, shads that would normally blend together and seem dull, were bright and vibrant. And the taste--oh, the taste--how something so simple could combine to make a satisfying and nourishing meal amazed me.

Walks can be meditative, if I let them. Today, I used my lunch break to walk to the post office. It's a gorgeous day here in Maryland and I was pleasantly surprised by the warmth of the sun. The breeze was the perfect contrast, cooling me before I got too hot. I could smell the blossoms of fall foliage and the decay of early fallen leaves. The sensation of my feet hitting the sidewalk in time to the song I hummed made me smile.

Choosing to be present helps me to be positive. By paying attention to each moment, I'm learning that just as the positive moments pass, so do the negative ones. I don't have to be bogged down by negative feelings or frustrated by less enjoyable moments. Instead, I can experience them and let them pass, knowing that a new moment is already on its way.

It seems this week has me looking at my life through rose-colored glasses. Things won't always be happy or perfect or exciting, but somewhere amidst whatever I'm experiencing I now know that I can find a glimmer of gratitude to keep me going.

What sense experiences make you grateful? How can being more aware of these experiences help you live in a more positive way? If you'd like to take The Gratitude Challenge, you can start any time. Just visit the website and sign your own pledge. You can also read more about what I'm grateful for by following my Gratitude Journey.


Dawn Herring said...

I just loved your detailed rendering of your 'living in the moment' and really paying attention to your activity, using all of your senses.
Laughing with my daughter, listening to music with her that I also enjoy, and really paying attention to my husbands kind words make all the difference sometimes.

Thanks for sharing your experience.
Dawn Herring
JournalWriter Freelance
Be Refreshed!

Ami said...

Thanks, Dawn. Not only are these great exercises in gratitude, but I'm also learning to pay closer attention to things that matter, which I think is improving my writing. :) Thanks for sharing your gratitude, as well.

Melanie said...

That all sounds lovely. You're inspiring me to try to be more 'present' for day-to-day little moments.

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