Being grateful

I woke up at 4:45 am Sunday morning and could not sleep or get comfortable. I thought about just getting up. Instead the thought that came to me was to just lay there and be grateful. A long list of things came into my thought and eventually I fell back asleep. I woke up an hour or so later, not able to sleep and still uncomfortable. So I did the same thing.

I have had pivotal moments in my life when I have woken in the middle of the night and could not get back to sleep with very strong thoughts about another person in my life. Whether I had an intuition that something was not right in the world, or a moment of pause about a specific individual. Early on when I would have these pitch-black-middle-of-the-night intuitions, well they freaked me out. Over time I learned to stop, be quiet, and listen. Depending on how coherent I am I might lay there and pray, or think about how I can support and think good thoughts for the world situation or individual that woke me from sleep.

Waking in the wee hours of Sunday morning was not about a person, but it was a full body reminder for me. Why did I have to lay in bed unwilling to get out of my cozy bed to take moments to be grateful for my amazing husband, family, friends, colleagues, home, work, etc? The list went on in my head. Even to specific worldly pleasures, such as my new favorite sheets that I was laying between. That utter euphoria I felt for all the goodness in my life (does not mean it was perfect) reminded me to take more moments in the day to acknowledge that goodness. Why not before I fall asleep at night? Or at least on those nights when I do not fall asleep the instant my head hits the pillow… Who am I kidding? That never happens to me.

This is a reminder for you and for me. Be grateful. Keep it inside or let it ooze out and tell those that you are feeling gratitude for them. Snuggle in your bed and appreciate the sheets that have you smitten. Watch the video of your niece laughing over and over again. Forget the struggles that you have for a few moments and just be head over heels grateful for all the good in your life.

Taking risks

Do we take enough risks in life? We take risks everyday. It might be in a meeting where you have to be courageous and say the tough things to another co-worker. It might be with a spouse or loved one, where you might need to be brutally honest with them about something and you know it is going to be a tough conversation. Most of the times when we open our mouth we take risks, it just might depend on how calculated we are before the risk is obvious to us.

You might take a risk by going on the blind date, or walking into a room with hundreds of people and you only know a few of those people. A risk really depends on what scares you, makes you uncomfortable, or maybe a bit squeamish. It means you might just be outside of your comfort zone.

How often do you take risks? Hopefully more often than not. If we do not take risks, we do not move our lives forward. If we remain comfortable, we rarely grow. That is what life is really about — allowing the risks we take to potentially change us and make our lives better. Yet, we do not know if that will happen if we do not put one foot in front of the other and take a risk.

What would a risk look like to you?