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50 Everyday-But-Overlooked Things to Appreciate

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50 Everyday-But-Overlooked Things to Appreciate

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.

Our Bodies/Health:

  • 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.
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Meryl Davids Landau

Meryl Davids Landau is the author of the new spiritual women's novel, Downward Dog, Upward Fog, which ForeWord Reviews calls "an inspirational gem that will appeal to introspective, evolving women." The novel was recently recommended by Yoga Journal's Blog and Spirituality & Health. Read excerpts at Meryl also writes for O: the Oprah Magazine, Whole Living, Reader's Digest and other national magazines.


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2:26AM PST on Feb 6, 2015

Treasure what we have

4:40PM PST on Jan 30, 2015


3:29AM PST on Jan 29, 2015

Well, I appreciate that I have a home, food to eat, clean drinking water, that I'm pretty healthy, my fact I don't take anything for granted...thanks!

3:01PM PST on Jan 20, 2015

So true

3:16PM PDT on Apr 9, 2012

We are certainly surrounded by incredibly convenient things! Our ancestors had a lot more physical input for most of what we do today with minimal input. The other area I am daily thankful for, is the beauty that surrounds us. Sunsets and sunrises; flowers and those mobile flowers, butterflies; birds, insects, creatures which are so amazing when watched! If you are feeling blue, go and watch an ant trail for a while, or a wasp building a nest - I never fail to be fascinatd by how industrious creatures are! So much to learn from the natural world! And mostly, they are just finding things to eat and somewhere to be safe at night! Both simple and complicated at the same time! And VERY well worth beind thankful for!

8:00PM PST on Feb 7, 2012


5:01PM PST on Jan 26, 2012

most are true, some aren't, some with be our downfall

4:17AM PST on Jan 23, 2012

Thanks for the article. It made me stop and appreciate a lot of things.

3:47PM PST on Jan 18, 2012

It's always helpful to have someone open our eyes to what's around us.

1:52PM PST on Jan 16, 2012

I'm not sure why Nathalie Wood should be stunned by most of the things in these lists. Maybe because she's dead? If that's the logic of it, then I can assure you I'd be twice as stunned if she did get back from the dead herself.

As for Thomas Jefferson, he'd probably be stunned by the ammount of noise, pollution, probably by our devastating new weapons and ways of killing, for the lack of honor in current welfare, for how tobacco is regarded nowadays, etc...

One can be stunned for many reasons, both good and bad. As for sex, I'm pretty sure both Jefferson and Wood had the physiological equipment to enjoy good sex too; and although maybe less effective than nowadays (although this could be discussed if one goes back to some stories about the recent increase of teenage pregnancies posted here), in most eras and culture there have been ways to have sex and avoid pregnancies. The point is, up until now getting pregnant was not the nuisance it is now, but primitive pork-gut condoms have been in use for ages, so have been abortive infusions.

I'm happy the author is so grateful and happy, I admit I'm sort of blue today, but I do believe 3/4 of the listed things would not particularly stun anyone who is not in a "grateful" or new wave mood.

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