Gratitude Meditation II
Daily Meditation #86 — 5/19/2022
Each morning around sun-up, I slip my ancient, beaten loafers on and go into my mud room. I’m usually at least one cup of coffee deep by now, and some days I’ve been to the gym as well, so I’m chipper.
As I open the giant plastic tote of birdseed, I usually am humming or whistling. Using an antique, tin pail that has apparently been juggled around the family, I shovel a bit of seed in and make my way outside.
The cool morning air, flaming crimson sun popping over the horizon and the frequent dew, untouched on the grass bombard my senses almost every day. Some mornings it’s raining, Other mornings it may be an icy winter day, but there’s always something beautiful going on.
In the summer, no matter how early before the sun in the wee hours you can hear the sound of robins singing.
The morning truly is magnificent.
I walk around my house, shaking the seeds and often whistle various songs as I fill the feeders and scatter the food in the yard a bit.
Going back inside, within minutes I have squirrels, doves, and plenty of sparrows swarming for their breakfast. I’ll often enjoy my coffee in silence and just watch them so furious, so focused on finding each and every individual seed. I laugh at the antics of the squirrels — how they “Slav squat” while they eat, their different little dominance hierarchies, and their body language.
All these thousands of tiny things I notice.
They bring a truly immeasurable amount of joy to me and I always feel overflowing with gratitude for these moments and details.
Gratitude is a habit that can take many years to deeply cultivate, but is truly life changing in the fact that — like we discuss nearly daily — it changes your perception.
It gives you new lenses with which to view your world…
It all begins with presentness. Awareness of the now. Attention mindedness.
When you dial your focus into the world as it is right now, right before your eyes, you’ll notice new things and the beauty of the art of nature.
The way the shadows of branches dance on your walls.
The feeling of paper beneath your fingers.
The rustling of leaves in the trees.
The smell of the petrichor and worms after the rain.
The many different subtle tastes in each bite of food.
And then, with this newfound detail, you will realize how much there is to be grateful for.
Shift your focus away from bitterness at the outward world which you cannot control.
Shift your focus inwards to that which you hold dominion over, finding peace with the now and gratitude for the plenty you surely have.
Follow for daily philosophical meditations.
These are distillations from my coming book “YouDaimonia: the Ancient Philosophy of Human Flourishing.”