Everyday Gratitude

Tryptophan is probably not the ideal brain food you need when sitting down to write a blog post. But then again, I suppose that is the point of this project, if it was easy to achieve it wouldn’t be an aspiration, and simultaneously a challenge.

But luckily (or appropriately), this day of giving thanks has influenced today’s blog prompt.

Day 24: Giving Thanks

Seeing what others have – and don’t have – around the world often helps us appreciate our own good fortune. What are you thankful for this year ?

Today, I had the good fortune to volunteer down in Asbury Park for the annual Thanksgiving dinner they provide to those in need of a warm meal, a little hospitality and a friendly face. It was such a lovely way to spend the afternoon, seeing members of the community come together to transform a Salvation Army gymnasium into a dining room. From the musicians on hand to provide the ambiance to a photographer (my boyfriend, Marc) on hand to take portraits for dinner guests, it was an afternoon that offered a glimpse at the best humanity has to offer.

Kindness, compassion and gratitude.

So often we go through our busy days focused on ourselves, what we need to get out of it or how we feel about a certain situation we’ve encountered, that we fail to appreciate where we are or the beauty in sharing it with others. With events like this Thanksgiving dinner in Asbury, I’m reminded that it’s less about how these moments help me appreciate my good fortune, but rather it reminds me of how much we all have in common. After all, the line that separates the server (me) from the diner is pretty narrow. After all, how quickly could your fortunes change? You may find yourself on the other side of that line.

It’s in this realization, where gratitude springs forth. I know I’m most thankful for the opportunities I’ve been given in my life, and, more importantly, the family and friends who offer unconditional love and support. It’s wanting to live an intentional life, one that is filled with extending kindness and compassion to others, being humble and showing gratitude at the blessings that spring forth in our day-to-day lives.

Earlier today, I came across this quote a friend posted on Facebook, which I thought summed it up rather well (and besides, many of you know by now, I’m a sucker for a good quote).

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” ~ Melody Beattie.

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