Listening to a musical piece that moves me. A bowl of Spaghetti. Watching a rainstorm out the window. It’s the simple things in life that bring the most joy, peace and contentment.
I’ve been watching Headspace Guide to Meditation on Netflix. Narrated by a Buddhist Monk, the series takes you through a different type of meditation each episode. Near the end of each episode there is a guided meditation to put into practice what has been explained. Last night’s was about gratitude, something I’ve practiced every morning for many years. Upon waking and before I get out of bed, I go through 5 to 10 things I’m grateful for. It’s a positive way to start the day, before emails and mundane human chores take over. “Thank you for mine and my family’s health. Thank you for my home, my husband, my kitties. Thank you for the opportunity to live in a beautiful city like Vancouver”…and so on.
I was talking with a friend recently and she was saying how she had been feeling a bit down and ungrounded. I asked a few questions and quickly realized her emotional state had nothing to do with anything aside from the fact that she had been denying herself of carbs, yes! carbs!. In the spirit of “being healthy” and “losing weight”, she had been depriving herself of something that brings her joy; a cookie. a scone. She admitted she was craving these things so badly. Oh how sad.
I shared a anecdote with her from about 7 years ago (right before I met my husband). There had been a lot of change going on in my life. If you know me even a little, you will know I-don’t-like-change. As a naturally anxious person, new situations, people and anything I can’t somewhat control is enough to push me over the edge. I was struggling with a lot of anxiety about the future. A friend of mine who is an Ayurvedic practitioner stopped by one afternoon. She arrived with a basket of goodies for me: dark chocolate, organic goats milk, cardamom and spices, a jar of Manuka honey. She made me an Ayurvedic drink with the milk and spices and suggested I comfort myself with all the things I wanted to eat and do and so; I spent the rest of the weekend doing just that. I turned the phone off, covered the clock and slept when I was tired, woke when I was ready, meditated, went for mindful walks stopping to identify medicinal herbs and flowers along the way. I read and had baths. I ate when I was hungry and ate only things that brought me comfort (not worrying about calories). Within days a feeling of peace and contentment enveloped me. Who knew something as simple as a short period of physical, spiritual and emotional nourishment was exactly what I needed to ground and come back into myself. I’m so grateful for the simple things.
This afternoon it snowed, finally! I love snow. I love the silence that comes over the city when it snows; everything slows down, there’s magic. I made myself a cup of tea and sat next to the window looking up at the sky and following one snowflake at time until it disappeared down below. Even though the snowfall was short lived, I felt deeply grateful for it. Then the sun shone the rest of the afternoon because that’s how the weather is on the coast.
Tonight while I made dinner my husband played with the cats and I had to stop what I was doing and just smile at the scene. Melin cozied into the corner of the couch next to a pillow, belly up, batting at the string my husband held over him. These are the things that make me the most happy, most grateful. Have you heard to saying “collect memories not things”? this moment reminded me of that. Thank you.
What are you grateful for? What little things do you gift yourself with in order to feel safe and grounded? What do you enjoy doing that makes you feel most like yourself?
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.