The Art of Living with Gratitude

Gratitude came to visit one day and my life hasn’t been the same since. What began as a tap on my sleep-riddled brain, morphed into this life force that propels me forward daily. Without it I am in isolation. Going through the motions without connecting to others or with myself.

Gratitude is an interesting concept based on awareness and readiness. Being consciously aware of what is good. Name it. Anything. Waking up, seeing your family, having a job, feeling loved, getting an education, a place to rest your head. A cup of coffee, French Fries, a puppy’s wagging tail, qualifying for a student loan, time spent with a friend, a support group, the blue sky. Gratitude is readiness to acknowledge that life owes you nothing, and to the degree we receive anything, we should be thankful. It is helping and inspiring others, whether known or a stranger. Practiced daily gratitude becomes intrinsic. WARNING: you’ll never be the same!

Gratitude is encouragement and appreciation. When you feel good you want to promote that feeling to others. Encouraging a friend to pursue a long-dreamed about goal. Supporting a small business to survive and thrive. Appreciating what is around you and giving care to – everything. Your family and friends, your belongings, strangers, animals and the environment.

Gratitude is a push-forward and a circle-back. It’s giving and receiving and when done with intent, moves in a continuous motion, touching, expressing and expanding. It’s optimism and energy, like feeling the warmth of the sun on a cool winter’s day.

My favorite kind of gratitude is sharing something unexpected. Good words, thoughtful actions, simple gestures, secret surprises. I’ve long enjoyed the art of finding that perfect and unique some-kind-of-gift-or-trinket that fits a personality.  It’s opening the mailbox expecting bills and junk mail only to find a handwritten card or better yet, an unknown parcel. A smile before you know what’s inside. Bonus if your nose is filled with the scent of something delicious or delightful before the box is opened. It’s the realization that someone thought of you.

I love gratitude most in modesty as I silently give without expectation to receive, for I am full already.

-Lisa Skrdlant

Lisa is a guest contributor who runs a small business called, BBM Strategic Marketing.

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