What I’m Grateful For: Walks with the Doggo
One of the quirky things about humans is our ability to get used to almost anything. It’s an essential piece of our survival as a species – we can get accustomed to incredibly difficult circumstances and adapt and learn to thrive in very harsh conditions – but this same ability to habituate causes us to quickly get accustomed to the GOOD things and take them for granted in a remarkably short time. You get a new car, a new pair of jeans, a new accessory for your office – and initially you are so happy! But SO quickly, the newness wears off and that burst of happiness is gone and it’s back to the same-old, same-old.
There are only two real options – you can keep jumping from new item to new item, chasing the elusive burst of happiness – OR you can begin a lifelong practice of intentional gratitude. If you take the time to remember that you loved that car, you chose it, you worked for it, and take a minute to be grateful for it and for the hard work that got it, your joy in your car will be renewed on a regular basis.
Like today, when I went – yet again – on the same walk in the mountains with my dog that I have done literally HUNDREDS of times. The same road, the same dog, the same hills. But today there was a raven that flew over very close, and a small plane that flew low overhead. The road was icy but I had good boots that kept me safe. The air was freezing but the sun was very warm. The snow is melting slowly and spring is going to come. I didn’t have much time but I had enough to take a walk. The dog was as happy as he always is, bounding and jumping around. Today I am just as grateful for that walk as the first time I did it, almost two decades ago.
I saw on a bag of tea once, a quote. “Happiness is wanting what you already have.” A life of gratitude is how you cultivate the ability to want what you already have. It’s such a small thing, but it’s the difference between a life lived in joy and happiness, or the very same life filled with unmet longings and dissatisfaction. And it’s only up to you to make it happen.
What I’m Reading: Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday. I’ve just started this book, so I don’t have much to tell you yet. But I love this author’s writings on stoicism and this looks to be one of his best yet. It’s about finding and cultivating a deep stillness in mind, soul and body. I’ll tell you more next week!
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Quote I’m Pondering: “If the mind is disciplined, the heart turns quickly from fear to love.” -John Cage