We recently watched a video on Facebook that showed a woman who lost her accounting job, could no longer afford her apartment and wound up living in her minivan with her adult daughter and 2 dogs. This really hit home because this took place in Santa Barbara.
How did she end up like this? It barely matters; plenty of people live near the edge. It can take no more than the bad luck of a failed transmission, a downsizing or a medical emergency to be pushed over the edge, and climbing back out isn’t easy.
Our take away from this is don’t take things for granted. At any moment, everything can change. Maude is perhaps a bit more aware of this than many people. She lost both her parents young and suddenly. She has lived with an awareness that the present is precious and at the same time, all there is. Be grateful for the roof over your head, the shoes you wear, that you haven’t lost your phone charger. You get the idea: take a glass-half-full attitude toward the world, because what you look at determines what your world looks like. Remember your driving instructor? Wherever you look, that’s where the car goes.
You can be proactive about this, too. Make a point of connecting with things in the world that enliven you. Connect with nature. Stop for tea. Get a new toothbrush. Enjoy the smell of the first rain for weeks (Phil loves its name of petrichor.) You know what’s best for you.
If you’re in a relationship, make sure you apply it there, too. Nobody is perfect, but don’t stare at their flaws; just accept them as part of the package. In fact, more than that, don’t just tolerate them – think of them like wabi-sabi, the Japanese appreciation of the worn, the chipped, the faded, those qualities that are the character of an object.
Your day & your relationships will be richer if you add gratefulness to your daily activities #quote Click To TweetWe believe in celebrating our relationship and making sure that this celebration is a part of our everyday lives. We take time apart just for us, and to share our present with each other. We consider this a sacred space and we take care to make sure it is on the agenda along with all the big and small things that must be done. Too many relationships (and this applies to all of our intimate relationships, family and friends) do get taken for granted. Spending time with each other gets put on the back burner till everything else of “importance” is taken care of, and often that time never comes. For a really successful relationship, you must prioritize the relationship, making it something you spend time celebrating, and taking gentle care of. You must water your garden to keep it fresh, green and growing!
Added to our celebrating is that we are actively grateful – for our lives, for our opportunities, for each other. Your day and your relationships will be fuller and richer if you add gratefulness to your daily activities. A gratefulness journal is a wonderful and easy way to practice this. It’s nice to start the day writing or meditating on what you have, all the riches that are your life, and to end it with what happened that day that you are grateful for.
So we will be off in the morning adventuring, celebrating together and generally being grateful. We wish you all the precious awareness of every moment.