Yellow DotI think gratitude is all about the little things. It’s finding the beauty and joy in the seemingly ordinary moments. The kind that might pass right by you unnoticed if you’re not making an effort to be present. If you’re really there in the moment, you can’t help but find your heart fill as you realize how grateful you are to have been there to witness such spectacular simplicity.

For me it’s in the brief minutes after arriving home from work before the sun sets, glancing out the kitchen window and seeing the black branches of the trees highlighted by the pink and blue sky. It’s finding that the miles aren’t so far apart when your baby niece blows you kisses during a FaceTime date. It’s realizing that just another Monday morning is worth breaking out the special tea. It’s noticing how beautiful a bouquet of flowers is even as they begin to brown at the edges. It’s breathing deeply the scent of a freshly baked loaf of bread as you pull it from the oven.

I took a yoga workshop once where the teacher made a simple yet profound statement that has stayed with me all these years later. “Where the mind goes, the energy flows.” Practicing gratitude puts me in the mindset that grows the positive areas of my life. It provides balance and shifts my perspective.

Practicing gratitude reminds me that I have everything I need even with the constant social messaging that I need more to be happy. It reminds me to focus on the good things that are all around me even when I’m having a lousy day. It reminds me to take nothing for granted because being part of the human experience means that hard times will come and I will need this practice to get through them.