There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle. Albert Einstein
I used to feel disconnected from the magic and miracles of life until I made a commitment to the practice of being in an (almost) constant state of gratitude.
What I’ve learned in my daily practice is this: When you shift your focus to seeing the magic and miracles in the little things, you open the door for your whole life to transform.
Long ago, I kept a gratitude journal. Every morning I would list five things I was grateful for. But after a while I stopped journaling lists. Because everything I listed was a thing, not a feeling. It began to feel like a young girl’s night time prayer: “I am thankful for Mama, and Papa and of course the new baby brother that I don’t even like.”
My gratitude journal became a chore. And of course that’s not what gratefulness is all about. Gratitude is a feeling – a deep gut level acknowledgment of beauty, magic, miracles, grace, and love.
So I stopped keeping a list – and just started living from this feeling state as much as I could each day, every day.
Most days it is pretty easy to come from the state of wonder and magic, seeing the beauty in the most simplest things – ocean waves pounding the rock wall, a friend’s smile when you walk into the room, or a baby’s joyous laugh and gurgle .
And, I find that I can be in gratitude for even the hiccups of life. Even on the most tumultuous days such as today -when a close friend loses a son – and all the old sorrows of my son’s death come tumbling to the surface.
If I stop and allow the deep emotions of my loss and hers to intertwine in a dance of grief, longing, sorrow, and compassion, I find the magic and miracles – there – right below the surface. The magic of having someone else who understands the deep searing pain of losing a child. The miracle of knowing that my son and hers are alive as soul-brothers in another realm. The gratitude that I can walk by her side as she navigates this year of becoming something else – something more – something deeper and wiser and oh so exquisitely beautiful.
Every day there’s a chance to step into, and live from, this state of gratitude. Even on the darkest of days, such as today.