September my Birthday Month! I have chosen to unwrap the gifts of life as there is so much to celebrate beyond boxes wrapped with ribbon and bows. My list of gifts probably look similar to yours; home, health, family, friends, work, play, pets and a spiritual practice. Each and every one of those have shifted and evolved over the years with many coming full circle. I am certain that at the ages 10, 20, 30, 40 or 50, I did not envision my life to be what is it today. While I would not wish for my fabric of life to be different, I would welcome the chance for a few "do overs" to my responses. At some point along the spectrum, I learned that "life is not about what happens to us, but who we choose to be when it happens to you". Nothing is for certain and within each moment there is a gift to be discovered if we pause and reframe our perspective.
There are many amazing gifts we can unwrap under the layers of life. It is so easy for our thoughts to be highjacked by unpleasant experiences or mantras of anger and hurt in the world. Yet, with practice, it is equally easy to rise above and look for threads of joy. We can learn to tap into our creativity and expansive energy to find rays of light within the packages void of ribbons and bows. When we move towards expansive energy our outlook will change. And more importantly, we can influence the outlook of others. One of my favorite go to's is The Universe Has Your Back. (The title alone is so empowering.) Gabby Bernstein reminds us "When you are in a state of joy, you leave a positive imprint on everyone else." The quickest way to find a state of joy is to begin with gratitude.
Make a list of the gifts you have in the palm of your hand and celebrate! The gift of your hands that provide both work and play. The gift of sight to see colors in your world as simple as sunrise and sunset. The gift of your feet to feel the earth and to dance. The gift of breath both calming and invigorating. The gift of space to create as home. The gift of family to have and to hold. The gift of friends who listen when you need support and offer words of encouragement or a kick in the butt to keep you going. How different would your life be without these gifts. Once you have compiled your pages of blessings, make a list of what inspires you and makes you feel alive. Keep both lists nearby and refer to them often. So with each trip around the sun you have found yourself to be more curious than afraid and your responses to life leave that positive imprint on those around you.
It has been a challenging year my friends, I hope you are in good health and vibrant spirits. The simplest acts of kindness can make the most significant difference these days; phone a friend, write a letter and put some confetti inside (my sweet niece did that for me a few months ago and it brought a huge smile to my heart). Seek Joy!