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We’ve all heard how the practice of gratitude and mindfulness in our lives can benefit us. There are TED Talks on it, blogs about it, popular Facebook posts praising it, hashtags on Instagram and 30-Day-Challenges. I think these concepts were always on my radar, but until I truly implemented them into a daily practice, I never felt the radical effects of them.
I recently downloaded the app Secret of Happiness which sends you reminders in the morning to record three things that you’re thankful for and one goal for the day, and it sends you a reminder at night to record at least one thing that made you happy in the last 24 hours. I’ve only been doing it for about a week now, but already I feel the effects of it so deeply! (Oprah digs gratitude, too :]) I find myself being really mindful and present throughout my days, simply looking for things to be thankful for! I’m often annoyed by the crowds on the metro and having to walk up and down the hilly city of Rome to get to work, but by being more mindful, I can instead be grateful for my healthy body that is capable of standing even when I’d rather be sitting on the metro, and I can relish my strong, able body that walks many kilometers every day.
By recording things to be thankful for every morning and every night, I am reminded how GOOD life is. It’s so easy to focus on the negative things, and the things that aren’t going right, but if you consciously look for things to be happy about every day, those bad things don’t seem as big in comparison to the numerous little joys in life. Looking back over my entries into the app this week, here are some of the things that I am thankful for and have brought me happiness recently. :]
*The crisp fall air and the smell of the changing leaves in the park that I walk through every morning and evening to get to the subway.
*TEA AND CANDLES! I love lighting candles and savouring a hot tea to warm up as the weather changes.
*Bright blue skies and fluffy white clouds and sunshine. (People in the park might think I’m a little weird, haha – I’ve been breathing deeply and looking upward every day on my commute :])
*My students – I learn so much about patience and playfulness from them.
*Fall clothes! Tights and boots and scarves and hats and woolly cardigans and military jackets – yummmmm!
*Skype dates with far-away friends and how lucky I am to have friends in so many places…
*…and therefore Skype and Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger, so I can keep in touch so easily with Dresden, Berlin, Oslo, London, Philadelphia, DC, and San Francisco, among other places :]
*The kindness of strangers. On Monday, another English teacher and I were in the park with our 5-year-old students when a drunk homeless man began to harass and follow us out of the park. Two nice men driving past stopped to help us and drove us where we needed to go. Pay it forward, man.
*Jewelry as talismans. My new peace sign and tree of life charms given to me by my student, Benedetta.
*Hamilton: The Musical. It is rocking my world: teaching me history and speaking to my soul “all day err day” through the city!
*Discovering new kickass women like Amanda Frances to inspire and motivate me! Being open to accept new forms of inspiration in my life.
*DISCOVERING THE AWESOMENESS OF PRACTICING GRATITUDE!
Do yourself a favour and write down one thing (or more!) you are thankful for! And, as always, feel free to share them with me, too :]