It’s the Little Things: Gratitude & Joy!

A couple weeks ago during a walk on the beach I looked up and watched a flock of geese weave It's the Little Thingsin and out of beautiful patterns in the sky before settling into their familiar ‘V’ formation as they flew North for the Summer.  It was mesmerizing, like a ballet.  During that same walk, I moved a starfish from the beach to a rocky tide pool, took a ladybug who was stranded on a rock in the sand to a nice leafy spot on the cliff & turned a bug who was upside down, legs in the air, right side up.

I love; making friends with dogs playing on the beach, a strong tree or a beautiful flower and watching children splashing in the waves always makes me smile. Have you watched the intricate dance of smoke after blowing out a candle? Slowing down to notice what’s around us can fill us with gratitude & joy for the awe and beauty in nature and our world. A surprising benefit of gratitude can be strength when we face an unexpected challenge.

Expecting the unexpected…

It's the Little Things

The last few months have made me even more grateful and appreciate good health, modern medicine and life in general.  Just before before a long planned Rhine River Cruise I pulled a muscle in my back and could hardly move, but luckily healed just before we were set to leave on our trip.  After a great time on our vacation seeing amazing sights, my husband and I got home and caught us some ugly, nasty colds that seemed to hang on longer than necessary!

Next up, I decided to get a mole removed that had been hanging out on my cheek.  I had it checked a couple years earlier and got the thumps up that it wasn’t a problem, just an “age spot”. So I figured it was still nothing more than that when I went back recently to have it removed. But this time was different, the mole changed to a melanoma, which opened up a whole new bag of doctors and appointments. Not exactly what I was expecting but compared to other types of cancers I’ve seen loved ones deal with, I am grateful it wasn’t worse.

On my soapbox for a minute…please don’t wait to get a suspicious mole checked out.  This article explains the difference between a typical mole and a melanoma:  How to Spot an Atypical Mole by the Skin Cancer Foundation

On the Bright Side…

Life throws us lemons and wants us to learn how to juggle.  We ride out the lows and soar with the highs as each experience adds to the richness of who we are.  I told a friend that after my surgery to remove the melanoma, I’ll make up a great story of how I got the scar on my face.  The scar will not identify me, just like this entire outer shell, this miraculous body which serves me so well, is not who I am.  I AM the Spirit/Soul/Being that resides in my body and experiences love, compassion and pure joy.

Gratitude with a capital G… 

Feeling GRATITUDE during difficult times can be a challenge, but meditation and finding peace on my path to Zen have taught me that I am capable of facing any challenge, big or small. I will never go back to the dark place I used to live because I now have an unshakable inner peace.  I’m not It's the Little Thingssaying I never have a down day but now I can recognize it for what it is and know it will pass.  I can roll with negative emotions a little more, explore them and release them. This quote by Dhiman says it well: “feel what you need to feel and then let it go. Do not let it consume you.”

Writing a “gratitude list” is one of those things I always mean to do, think about doing, but never get around to doing.  I THINK about what I’m grateful for, and keep a running mental list, but don’ put pen to paper in proper written form. But I give myself credit for BEING grateful!  Being grateful for our blessings throughout the day by stopping to take a deep breath and embrace how fortunate we are can add more joy to our lives.  If I were to write a gratitude list today, a portion of it would say this: “I am grateful for the skilled doctors (all women by the way) taking care of me on this melanoma journey and during surgery this week, my family for being there for me, my friends for reaching out and everyone who loves and cares about me.”

It's the Little Things
A person becomes 10 times more attractive not by their looks but by their acts of kindness, respect and honesty, and the loyalty they show.” TinyBuddha.com

One more thing…
I wrote another article for Brad Krause’s Blog on Self Caring at selfcaring.info titled “Overcoming Depression: Heart vs. Head” if you’re interested, check it out.

Till Next Time…
Peace & Love 
D’Alene

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