It is important that we take time to reflect on the choices that have brought us to where we are today.
The decisions that have helped form us into the person we have become.
The values that we hold dear to us and help shape our worldview.
This idea is not a new one and is certainly not mine. My therapist, who I thankfully speak with twice a week, created a list of questions for her patient’s to contemplate in an effort to identify the meaning in their lives. Not only does this practice serve to help you identify meaning, it also serves to highlight the things in your life that you are grateful for; the day to day thoughts, interactions and experiences that may go by, seemingly unnoticed.
Being grateful for what you have, both in the tangible sense and more importantly in the spiritual and emotional sense, is sometimes difficult to do. There is so much in our lives that is taken for granted. With that in mind, I am looking forward to formally detailing the meaning and gratitude in my life.
My therapist provided me with a plethora of questions to consider. I was immediately drawn to this one;
List one of your favourite experiences for each of your five senses. Describe the underlying values you associate with each of these experiences.
Sight – Nature
Watching clouds float across a blue sky;
Capturing a crimson sunset on a cool day;
Seeing the colours of autumn, brightly displayed upon giant trees;
Watching baby birds being fed in a nest high upon my eavestrough;
Being mesmerized by the waves rolling in and rolling out.
Nature is beautiful. It provides an opportunity for me to stop and take notice of the beauty all around me. It makes me smile. It makes me happy. It is serene. A calmness comes over me; I am still.
Sound – Laughter
My children’s laughter.
Just the other day, I stood at the top of our stairs, leaning against the wall, listening to my son laugh and laugh and laugh. His friends were over and they were having a great time. Hearing his laugh, hearing the happiness in his voice, was magical and overwhelming. I could listen to my children laugh all day.
A child’s laughter is the purest form of innocence and youth, and a reminder that in a blink, they will be grown and they won’t need you the same way. They won’t need your cuddles, your kisses on boo boos, or snuggles in your bed when they have a nightmare. Cherish these times with your little ones. Cherish their innocence and remember you are never too old to laugh. Even at yourself.
Smell – Fresh Balsam Candle
You probably thought I would have noted something more maternal; the smell of my children when they were babies perhaps. But no, I love the smell of this candle. It is the Bath & Body Works Fresh Balsam candle.* It. Is. Heavenly. I could smell it all day. The crisp, clean smell of winter evergreens. It reminds me of nature and of Christmas. The smell of family, togetherness and tradition. It reminds me of home.
Taste – Chocolate
I love chocolate. Milk, dark, white, semi-sweet, bitter. You name it, I love it. I value the people who harvest the cocoa beans and the brilliant bakers who transform the cocoa beans into velvety, rich chocolate. I cherish how it makes me feel; calm and happy. It is like a drug.
Touch – Hugs From My Children
There is nothing better in this world than hugs from my little ones. Their warmth; their unconditional love; the type of hug that only a mother and a child can share. Nothing can compare to it. Love in its purest form. The love between a mother and her child is unparalleled. To hold their hands, brush their hair, snuggle, cuddle and hug. It reminds me that I am loved. I am important to someone. I mean something to them. They love me, unconditionally. Just as I love them.
This was such an interesting exercise, one that should be done every single day to ensure that you never lose sight of the love and kindness that is all around you. Perhaps I will start a gratitude journal where I can write one or two things every day that I am grateful for; nature, laughter, candles, chocolate and my children. I am truly blessed.
*I have no affiliation with Bath & Body Works nor have I received commissions for mentioning their product. I just love their Fresh Balsam candle. There. That’s it. My legal disclaimer.
© The Flip of the Switch, January 2016.