Be present. Be grateful. Be here now.

Me: "I'm having the best weekend ever."

Him: "I'm glad... You know you say that all the time, right?

Me: "Yes. But do you think that makes it any less sincere?"

Him: "No. Definitely not."

 

Every weekend should be your best weekend ever. In truth, every day should be your best day. Today is the only day you have.

As the summer season draws to a close, it's easy to get wrapped up in the idea that winter is just around the corner. The long, warm, sun filled days will become shorter and cooler. Dinners will move inside, beach days will require sweatshirts. It's easy to want to hold on to the beauty of summer, but doing so means overlooking the splendor of fall. The air becomes crisp, the harvest abounds and the trees set on fire with brilliant color. 

We have a choice. We can mourn for what we're losing or we can find the beauty in the moment, in the presence of today. This choice is made clear at change of season, but it's also a choice we always have available. Do you choose to be present? Do you make the decision to seek out beauty and stillness and experience the day and the moment for what it is? Or, do you choose to think about tomorrow, or yesterday, or that weekend you had months ago that for you was your best weekend ever? Planning for tomorrow is great, and reminiscing about yesterday can be wonderful. But actually living, that can only be done in the here and now.

 Be present. Be grateful. Be here now.

If you look at every day with a lens of gratitude, the choice to embrace the beauty in the present becomes a lot more obvious. Practicing mindfulness and gratitude leads to the direct experience of being better connected to life and the larger context of what is happening as your personal experience is unfolding. Cultivating a sense of gratitude provides access to the joy and wonderment of life and leads to a better appreciation for the whole. It is the antidote to scarcity and loss and provides relief from the mundane drama that is endlessly available. Being grateful is just as important to your health as is eating kale, or drinking water. If gratitude comes naturally to you, then you're already on your way. If not, it can be easily cultivated with practice.   

Get a journal, take a moment, and write it down. 

Each night before bed, write down three things you are grateful for on that day. You might think of someone you love, or a moment of beauty experienced in nature, a quote you saw that plucked a heart string or a conversation you had that day. Taking the time to remember what you're grateful for promotes happiness, decreases stress, and increases ones ability to appreciate the beauty in every day. It builds a better foundation for love, faith and a better perspective. 

Take a few moments now and make a list of all the things you are grateful for. The list usually starts easy enough- family, friends, shelter from the elements, food on the table. If you get stuck, picture yourself going through your day- can you be grateful for having two feet that you put on the floor when you get out of bed? For the toes that help you balance so you can walk across the room? For the hot water that turns on in the shower with a simple flip of the wrist?

Open up your eyes to the beauty in the present. There is so much to be grateful for.