A Chance to Pause in Gratitude

Take a moment to appreciate the little blessings all around you.

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We all get caught up in our daily to-dos, checking things off our list, and rushing to and fro. But there's nothing like being present in the moment, appreciating the company of those we enjoy and love and allowing ourselves to be spontaneous with our time.

The profound and life-changing moments, like the death of a family member or dear friend, compel us to take stock of our own lives, our health, our relationships, how we make choices, how we spend our time. Yet other, smaller-scale experiences—moments—can speak to us, too, about how we live our lives and how we can see those moments and experiences as lessons or reminders of our world around us. 

How about a seemingly out of the blue note or call from an old friend, who got in touch just because they were thinking about you or wanted to share a memory? How about watching a child’s soccer game and being enveloped by the joy and excitement they feel when their team scores a goal? Or how about a colleague finding your key card and returning it to you when you didn’t even know it was missing? Moments and experiences that take us out of our scheduled and programed thinking and doing can give us the chance to pause in gratitude, to be more present, to allow us to be more open to the kind gestures of others, and, even, to be kinder to ourselves. 

I so often come back to this quotation from the journalist Malcolm Muggeridge: “Every happening, great and small, is a parable whereby God speaks to us, and the art of life is to get the message.” The challenge, I find, is being open and receptive to the parables amidst the demands of our daily lives, demands imposed upon us both by ourselves and by the world around us. Perhaps having the faith that the messages are out there for us to receive is one way to begin getting the message.  

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