Life · lifestyle · mental health · mindfulness

Beautiful Day – the things we need to remind ourselves (Feeling Grateful Part II)

The other day I blogged about 5 things that I’m grateful for despite feeling under the weather. This gray overcast Sunday, I thought I’d do something similar and share some other aspects in my life that I am thankful for.

However, let me begin by saying that it can be incredibly easy to focus on the heavy and challenging parts in our lives. I’m not immune to that either, just so you know. We have so many worries that can put our minds into rumination mode and drown us in thoughts that distract us from feeling happy and being thankful. Family, finances, mental health, relationships, employment are a few common examples that hold us hostage from feeling positive. In my earlier blog, “A Moment to Myself”, I shared about taking some time to yourself to find space to reflect on the many great things in our lives. Find a day of the week, a certain hour maybe before bedtime, or early morning when everyone is still asleep and press “pause” to soak in the moment where worries are cast aside momentarily. I used to wake up early on the weekends and start doing chores, making my grocery list and to-do lists and my then girlfriend used to lovingly say, “Why can’t you just lay here in bed beside me and enjoy our coffee together?”

That’s one of many things I learned from that relationship was to savor the precious moments. Chores will always be there and never be finished!

What are you Thankful for-

So here’s what else I’m grateful for and see if you can relate:

  1. MY WEEKEND COFFEE! I really enjoy going for walk to the nearby coffee shop after I get up on the weekends. The time between leaving my front door and walking a couple of blocks (rain or shine) to the coffee shop does wonders for what’s inside my head. It clears up so many running thoughts and clicks “refresh” with some inspiring ideas. With my coffee in my hand, I leisurely stroll back home, sometimes taking the long way just to simply listen to the morning air and feel appreciative of the beautiful community I live in.

    img_1466
    Sunday morning coffee at home
  2. MY CAT, INORI. We adopted Inori from Bellingham, WA back in November 2016 and she’s brings so much joy to our home. Sure, she sleeps for about 20 hours of the day, but just watching her rest reminds me how simple and relaxed life can be. Inori was abandoned by her previous owners and found locked up in a cage all scrawny and dehydrated. I never intended to adopt her (I just happened to be browsing through the pet store for some unknown reason), but when I saw her behind that glass window gently sitting there staring back at me, I instantly knew I needed to bring her home with me. I actually didn’t even request to play with her or pet her on the first day I saw her. I went back home to Vancouver and researched how to adopt pets across the border and returned to Bellingham the next day to bring her home. Her initial name was Muffin, but my son gave her the name Inori which means “prayer” in Japanese. She’s become my angel and princess.
  3. VACATION TIME! Summer is around the corner and we have a few camping trips lined up followed by a vacation to the Dominican Republic! I’ve never been much of a beach/resort person, but another family asked us to join them and we figured it would be a lot of fun spending a week together with them. We spent last spring break in Portland with them and it was a blast of just hanging out at the hotel, going shopping and ordering take-out from places like Panda Express. We explored the downtown food trucks and of course paid a visit to Voodoo Doughnuts. This will be our first big trip and my first time to an all-inclusive resort. Typically, my son and I venture out to Whistler for a few nights during the summer time and hang out to escape the city, however, this will be the first year in a while that we won’t be doing that…I gonna miss you Whistler!
  4. MEDITATION. Through the years, I’ve learned the value of meditation. It’s a tool I use often to recognize what’s going on in my body and mind, especially when things get stressful and overwhelming. I know that meditation does not take away the stress, but it makes it so that they become more manageable. I remember years ago, before I learned how to practice it, I felt so much more irritable and agitated by little things. I like to look at meditation as “learning to know myself more” and it’s liberating and fascinating to realize how my body and mind can swing up and down so many times throughout the day. I use an app called “MoodTrack” which is an interesting way to visualize my changing feelings throughout the day depending on the circumstance.
  5. VIDEO GAMES. Yes, I consider myself a light-weight gamer. I don’t play online games and I’m usually on the console for a few hours per week, most of the time with my son. It’s one of my ways to relax or distract the mind and I’ve always loved playing video games growing up. Although it’s not a popular (nor sexy) hobby to publicly share sometimes especially as a man in his forties, I also know that I’m not ashamed of it either! Whether it’s hacking away in the Legend of Zelda or figuring out attack strategies in Final Fantasy, it’s simply a hobby that I enjoy! I just completed the Legend of Zelda, Breath of the Wild the other night (with my son’s help) and I’m super excited by my accomplishment…(cue the Zelda tune after completing an achievement…)

And there you have it! What are some of the things that you’re thankful for? Remember to allow yourself the time to press pause and soak in the great things in your life. Things can get really hectic and busy inside ourselves, so it’s so important to look after the most important person which is yourself! Thanks for dropping by today and enjoy the rest of your Sunday – Happy Father’s day to all the great dads out there too!

Jason

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Photo courtesy of Kristi MacFarlane Photography

4 thoughts on “Beautiful Day – the things we need to remind ourselves (Feeling Grateful Part II)

  1. You are right, there is a lot of things that can hold us hostage from feeling positive, After reading your two posts on being grateful. It has really allowed me to look around realize I have a lot of things to be grateful for, that tough times will happen.. but its never permanet.

    Liked by 1 person

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