I have been a collector of quotes for as long as I can remember.  I tuck them into pockets, scribble them in notebooks, create folders in my email, pin them in social media accounts…. pretty much saving them wherever I can find a spot.  I find comfort and inspiration in the written word and I realize when someone else has felt what I’m feeling, and even felt it deeply enough to write about it.  Reading the quotes often feels like coming home to the truth of a good friend, and I relax in the pause while savoring the words.
I found one of my old quote notebooks recently.  It was pushed way back in a desk drawer.  I was smiling as I opened it – eager to read something that had felt good before and probably would  again.  I met this old friend on the first page:
I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘if this isn’t nice, I don’t what is‘.  ~ Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
And a few pages later there was a gratitude list.  Gratitude for the small moments in life – the moments that every day life is made of.  Allowing gratitude to be for what is rather than what I want it to be.  It is truly these ordinary acts of magic that sustain us and our joy.  The highs come and go, but can you find something to be grateful for right this second?
In my old journal, I had written about a sweet text with a friend, a full tank of gas, licks from my puppy, the smell right before it rains and a regular ole Monday night dinner with my family.
This process of gratitude can be hard, right?  Those things that are going wrong can feel So. Very. Big.  And the little moments can feel quite small when trying to measure up.  Allowing yourself to focus on small moments of gratitude can feel ridiculous and like a luxury we can ill afford.  The negatives can be seductive and greedy in their need for attention, as if, when we notice them more, we get closer to a solution.  But we don’t.  We simply continue to feel bad.
Would you like to learn a different approach?  Try this.
Find something small to notice.  Maybe it’s the taste of your coffee, the check out line with no wait, the smile you share with a stranger, the places in your body free from discomfort, the meals you will eat today, or the inhale of a pleasant fragrance.  Let it be small and then let it become grand.  Follow up with a thank you to whatever feels natural to you.  You can thank your higher power, life, yourself, others, whatever resonates with you.  Just say thank you.
Can you sink deeper into gratitude today?

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