As a goal driven person, I sometimes find it difficult to be fully engaged in the moment. My husband, old roommates and co-workers can attest to this. I’ve often had to tell people to say my name before actually starting a conversation otherwise there’s a high probability I’m not listening.
I like to think this is because I have an active imagination and entertaining inner-monologue (for the record, I didn’t just admit to hearing voices in my head).
I also think it’s a coping mechanism for things like being stuck in an office for 8+ hours a day, but that is a separate rant about balance. This post is about gratitude and how it helps us live in the moment.
I can vividly remember being on a practically deserted and incredibly beautiful beach in Mawi on Lombok, Indonesia – the water was turquoise and emerald in a cove surrounded by rolling hills and jutting rock walls. A primitive fishing village sat just beyond the beach where we posted up.
We had nothing more to do than read, sunbathe and take turns going in the water to wrestle with the waves. It was paradise, but alas, I was thinking about the next stop and not feeling very grateful. It feels blasphemous to put that in black and white.
Now here I sit, three years later, willing myself back to Mawi Beach and thinking the saying must be true: the grass is always greener. Or is it?
As we actively move forward with travel planning and booking tickets, I am making a conscious effort to stay present; to not get lost in the excitement of planning and be fooled into believing the grass is only greener on the other side.
I am so excited about what the future holds I don’t want it to take away from the preciousness of every day and the realization that the grass I stand on today is, indeed, green. And it’s not just green because I live in rainy Seattle.
At the outset of 2014, I started a journal to log at least one thing I am grateful for everyday. It contains plenty of superfluous tidbits like being thankful for the Seahawks beating the 49ers in the playoffs and for Gold’s gym actually having an awesome yoga teacher.
The journal is also serving as a reminder to cherish all the things I know I’m going to miss when we are abroad: seeing family and friends, homemade sushi, spending a lazy night on the couch watching a movie.
In the 21 days that I’ve been keeping my gratefulness journal, I’ve already noticed a change in my perception of the most mundane things… like driving to work.
Yesterday I was in awe of the intensely beautiful thick fog and mossy, lush trees in the city. It feels good to be in awe at present moment. It even improved my attitude about being on my way to go sit in an office all day.
For me, I’m realizing that the journey before the (travel) journey is to begin to understand how a grateful heart changes perception and to find balance between anticipating the future and embracing the present. I think I’m on my way.
I guess this post is about balance afterall.
Link to an awesome TED Talk on gratefulness: http://www.ted.com/talks/david_steindl_rast_want_to_be_happy_be_grateful.html
**Originally posted to Blogger on January 22, 2014**
|Mawi Beach from the main road.