As I continue to deepen my practice of mindfulness, one recommendation that keeps coming up is keeping a gratitude journal. It can give you a new perspective on what is really important and what you truly appreciate in life.
I have seen it in action all last year as my friend Kenn posted a photo on FaceBook daily of things that he had gratitude for. I am someone who spends most of my day writing and am a visual person. I found that taking a photo is a really fun and interesting way to put together a journal.
It has inspired me to start my own gratitude album here, #365Grateful. #NoFilter #Unvarnished
It has started to snow and we could have the first real accumulation for this winter. I always smile at Ace's reaction of sheer joy when there is fresh snow. It makes me grateful to find joy in such simple things.
The weather has taken a turn for the worse and I forgot my lunch in the fridge at home today. A Freshii has opened in my office building and today I am grateful to be able to get a healthy lunch without having to venture far.
My parents both passed in 2009, less than six months apart. A couple that I am friends with invited me over for tea and introduced me to this book by Pema Chödrön. In the intervening 10 years I have gone back to that book many times and explored more of Pema's teachings. Today I am grateful to Zach and Joachim.
Before I left Vancouver to move to Toronto I sold my car. I really don't need one often. Today I am grateful to The Bone House for having a free and reliable delivery service for the Muppet's food. Ace is grateful too! This month he is having the duck.
Today I am grateful for just a few moments of silence. There is no noise coming from my neighbours or outside. There is nothing but quiet.
Today would have been my mother's 75th birthday. I am grateful for all the lessons that she taught me, especially to be self sufficient.
Today I made a great chicken tortilla soup in my slow cooker. It was a great antidote to the cold temperatures outside. I am grateful to have access to bountiful healthy food.
Today I am grateful for my personal trainer. We have only been working together for four weeks but I am already starting to notice a difference in my body and posture. She has been tailoring the program to strengthen areas where I have been riddled with injuries. It's been great adding weight training to my running.
As the temperature drops and the nights get colder I am grateful to have safe, warm and comfortable shelter in a city that is increasingly becoming too expensive for many people.
We have a temperamental elevator in my building. It's been out of service twice for extended periods of time since I have lived here. This morning the door clunked a few times as I was heading out for my run. I am grateful that I did not get stuck in it.
Today I am grateful for Starbucks, and not for the coffee. If you have ever been a runner you know that sometimes nature will call and you have to find a place to answer. All Starbucks stores that I have encountered in these situations have been accommodating.
Today I am grateful for unseasonable warm January weather. Normally by now it's long johns and parkas. Had a great run this morning and wore just a light jacket to walk Ace tonight.
Today I am grateful for all the meditation teachers that I have had. Whether in real life, recorded or virtual, learning from them is helping me to my road to enlightenment. No matter how long that road may be.
Today I am grateful for my doctor. A year and a half ago he recommended that I take up running as a way to manage stress and get exercise in with my dog. From not being able to run around the block to setting a new personal best time for running 10 K today, it has changed my life immensely.
Today I get to have my cheat meal and I am grateful for Bangkok Pad Thai. What I am even more grateful is for restaurants who understand and respect my allergy to crustaceans. After a few close calls I had stopped eating in Asian restaurants. Thai Fantasy on Yonge near Wellesley is the first and only one I have been to in a long time. I completely trust them but still bring my Epi-Pen.
With the shorter days, I am grateful for all people, businesses and the city for lighting up the darkness.
This time of year I walk Ace mostly in the dark. Today I am grateful for all the people who clear their walks after the snow.
Today I am grateful for the King street. Since the start of the King Street pilot it has been so much more reliable, it has the new streetcars and unlike the Queen streetcar, I have never felt uncomfortable or threatened!
Everyday I am grateful for my dog, Ace. He is so friendly, energetic and affectionate. From running, playing, fetch and swimming he is just a joy to have.