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January 9, 2023

How to Appreciate the Little Things.

“The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little.” ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn

~

There are so many things we can appreciate about each day.

There are so many moments, little, individual, fleeting moments that can make our hearts feel light, that can bring us joy, that can make us smile—little moments where we feel connected to ourselves, to life, to God, to the present.

Often, we tend to think of feeling happiness or joy in terms of the big things—in the dreams we have, in the things we want to achieve or experience or do. And while we all have dreams for a reason, it’s also true that even if we achieve them, we’ll still want and desire something more when we reach that future place.

Our minds will always want, desire, yearn for, and crave. Even if we reach one milestone, experience that one thing we’ve always wanted to do, something else will always take its place. Some other desire will enter our minds. There will always be something else we want to do or have or see.

This is natural, even inevitable. We grow. We expand. We have desires. Our mind will always have desires. It’s something we need to understand.

But within this space, it’s so important to appreciate where we are, to find contentment and appreciation and gratitude for what we have right now.

Even when life feels hard, even when we’re going through periods of intense pain or change, we can still soften, breathe, and feel connected to the moment, connected to ourselves. If we can sit with ourselves, allow ourselves to take care of ourselves in the ways that we need, we can feel love and some element of lightness, even if we’re also feeling the heaviness of pain.

Our lives are made up of moments, a continuous series of present moments. Each moment leads to the next. We can choose to breathe into them, feel into them, and allow the fullness of our experience to fill us.

We can choose to use each moment to connect more deeply to our experiences, to life, to ourselves.

We may not yet have all of the “big” things that we long for or dream of, but there are little beautiful moments happening each day, little, fleeting, wondrous moments that can fill us with lightness and presence and appreciation, little individual moments that make up our days—and consequently our entire lives.

It’s easy to get caught up in what we don’t yet have or in where we want to go. It’s easy to get consumed with what isn’t working and what is causing us pain. It’s easy to get lost in our thoughts and become disconnected from what’s happening around us, the present-moment-truth of where we are and what we’re doing. And it can be too easy to get too caught up in just going through the motions of life and the things we have to do that we miss out on the fullness of what we’re experiencing each day.

To be present—whether life feels wonderful or painful—is beautiful. It’s the most beautiful thing—because when we’re present, we’re present with ourselves. We’re present with our experiences. We’re holding space for ourselves and this moment, the present moment, the only moment we’ll ever truly have.

The more we’re present, the more we bring ourselves back to the present, the more we’ll start to notice all of the beautiful little things we experience each day.

There’s so much beauty and wonder and potential in the little things. There’s so much we can appreciate each day, so many little things we can appreciate about each day.

It’s in a good cup of coffee or a good night’s sleep. It’s in sunshine and breathing in fresh air. It’s in listening to our favorite song or whatever song fits the exact mood we’re in. It’s in hearing the right words at the right time, in hearing something that moves us or touches us in a way we didn’t even know we needed.

It’s in the peace we feel after a good cry or how good it feels after a full-body laugh.

It’s in seeing a leaf fall delicately from a tree or connecting with a loved one. It’s in the moments when we simply sit and feel ourselves breathe. It’s in a cuddle with a pet or doing something that we love. It’s in taking the time to move with intention, slowing down enough to do what feels right to us.

It’s in hearing the birds chirp and feeling a warm breeze on our skin. It’s in seeing beautiful flowers or watching a sunrise or a sunset. It’s in a good meal or a drink of water or in spending time with people we care about.

It’s in the baby step we take toward our dreams, in beginning to learn the things we want to learn—each moment of learning and understanding along that path.

Our days our made up of little moments—little individual moments that make up the collective experience of our entire lives.

These little moments, these little things, are big things.

~

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