Photo by Krikit/ Flickr
Imagine Thomas Jefferson, or even Natalie Wood, coming back to life today and seeing all that we have. They’d be stunned by the abundance and ease with which some of us live our lives (and that’s true even in this trying economy). Yet we barely notice the “wow” factor, taking our amazing world for granted–or worse, filling our brains with thoughts of what’s gone wrong.
I’m a big believer in the physical, emotional and spiritual power of appreciation. For one thing, it just plain feels better to think good thoughts than bad or neutral ones. (I’m convinced that feeling good is an important way to stay connected to our higher essence.) For another, I know that focusing on what’s working in your life brings more of it to you. Whether you think, as I do, that it’s by the law of attraction, or simply that identifying what you enjoy motivates you to go after more of it, there’s a greatness behind gratitude. “Don’t waste yourself in rejection, nor bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good,” Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, echoing this notion that all gray matter is best spent pondering the positive.
Don’t think you have much to appreciate as the new year gets underway? Here’s my back-of-the-envelope list of fabulous things to applaud. No doubt once you give it some thought you can easily add 50 — or 500 — more.
- We breathe,
- circulate our blood,
- remove waste and
- grow new cells all day every day without trying.
- Legs take us everywhere we want to go.
- Fingers write, chop, type, fold, feed and do a million other things we ask, without fail.
- Should something burst or shrivel inside us, doctors open us up and fix it.
- Stick tiny pieces of plastic in your eyes and suddenly you see brilliantly.
- Or, have laser surgery and skip the plastic altogether.
- Our life expectancy is so far beyond what people could have imagined even 100 years ago.
- Our physiology includes the ability to have delicious, mind-blowing sex.
- Sex that no longer inevitably leads to pregnancy if we don’t want it to.