Gratitude in all things

Where have you been today? What did you bring with you … the momentary connections made and snapshot glimpses of wonder, of humanity, of the divine? And what love or compassion or gentle kiss of kindness did you leave behind? 

Each fully embraced instant, each point in time brushed with the light of awareness, can be an opportunity for gratitude. The fleeting glances shared by strangers in moments of togetherness, or longer lingering connections between loved ones over a meal or car ride to anywhere. Taking in the extraordinary ordinariness of places we frequent, like the local market or coffee shop or bus stop, or the wonder that comes with experiencing something new. With mindfulness, all of these experiences make us who we are … they fine tune our view of the world and of ourselves in it … and are opportunities for appreciation and awe. 

It is in these spaces and places, our everyday wheres, if we take the time to harvest gratitude and appreciation, we can use our mindfulness practice to cultivate joy. At the gas station — nodding a good morning to the stranger on the other side of the pump, grateful for the return nod and moment of connection. At the doctors office — sending thoughts of thanks to the staff for their help. In traffic, wishing patience and safety to your fellow travelers, grateful to know they they too are heading somewhere that matters to them. 

Where are you now? Can you take a moment to tune into the fullness of now, noticing each of the qualities of the present with your full undivided attention? The sights and smells, yes, but the felt sense of presence too … how does it feel to be right where you are? How can you take the pieces of this moment that you are grateful for with you to savor, and how can you leave something of love and appreciation behind? Bus Stop — by Laure-Anne Bosselaar

Stubborn sleet. Traffic stuck on Sixth.
We cram the shelter, soaked, strain
to see the bus, except for a man next to me,
dialing his cell-phone. He hunches,
pulls his parka’s collar over it, talks slow and low:

It’s daddy, hon. You do? Me too. Ask mom
if I can come see you now. Oh, okay, 
Sunday then. Bye. Me too baby. Me too.
He snaps the phone shut, cradles it to his cheek,
holds it there. Dusk stains the sleet, minutes
slush by. When we board the bus,
that phone is still pressed to his cheek.With gratitude,

Nicole Davis is a licensed psychologist practicing at  Therapeutic Oasis of the Palm Beaches  Dr. Davis starts with the core belief that each person already has everything they need to live a life of joy and fulfillment, and that therapy is just a process of uncovering their inherent wholeness. Dr. Davis gently invites her clients to uncover their strengths in a safe and non-judgmental environment. Dr. Davis completed MBSR facilitator training through the Center for Mindfulness at UCSD. Dr. Davis is also a 200-hour trained yoga teacher registered with Yoga Alliance