I love November because gratitude and thanksgiving are emphasized so much more than any other month. Deep, daily gratitude is really changing my perspective lately. And not in a temporary way where I say thanks and then move along. Gratitude is changing my thought patterns, and hence my overall countenance. One of my favorite quotes of all time is by Julia Cameron:
The quality of life is in proportion, always, to the capacity for delight. The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention.... the reward for paying attention is healing.
When I read that quote, truly, I was changed. In a season where I could really focus a lot on what I don't have and how I'm not satisfied with my life, this quote introduced the reality that a quality life is not found in getting everything you want, but delighting in the radical abundance of what you do have. And how do we do this? How do we transform our disappointment into delight? By paying attention. What sings joy to you every day that you've not noticed? What little things are occurring around you that your busy schedule and general discontentment has blinded you from seeing?
The little rose bush that survived an onslaught of imposter mushrooms and is now, quietly, vibrantly, producing pink buds just for joy of it.
The neighbor's cat across the street who sunbathes on the driveway, stretched out in the sun like it's a luxury.
The car in front of you at the light that is rocking side to side ever so slightly because the college kids inside are jamming to a pop song.
The Vietnam Vet who sits down outside the lotto booth at HEB to excavate winnings from his scratch offs.
The lipstick you lost months ago that turns up in your car.
The new music from Ben Rector and Kasey Musgraves and Hillsong Worship that speaks to your now like no other soundtrack.
The way your dog trolls the house every day, checking in on trashcans to see if there's anything inside that would make getting in trouble for dumpster diving worthwhile.
The dish shaped mushroom outside the office window (who made an appearance in yesterday's post) that has been holding water for weeks and refilling with every thunderstorm.
You get it. Those are some of mine. What are yours? When we open the gift of paying attention, delight springs forth and, suddenly, the glass half full starts pouring over. Gratitude is wildly powerful. Let it's healing power enter your heart and transform your reality.
With all of this in mind, I thought it would be fun to do a gratitude themed 'Love It!' List this month. So these 5 things are items that I'm really grateful for. They make me delight in my life, and maybe they'll make you delight too!
1. Pink! I'm grateful for pink. Pink makes me HAPPY. A while ago I had the thought, "I need more pink in my life." It's so funny, recently my mom told me she had the same thought too. If we need it, this probably means you need more pink in your life as well. Maybe this is too much for you, but I like to put pink in my hair, specifically this one. It's fun. And happy. And non-committal (washes out in 4-8 washes). It's pink in my life, and I love it. FYI, it goes on bright (like photo 1) and fades out (like photo 2). If you don't like it bright, either lessen the time you leave it in or do a shampoo after application.
2. My Utmost For His Highest. I've recommended this here before, but I'll say it again in this post, too. I love MUFHH. I'll put it on my bookshelf for a few months, then pull it out again, then back to the shelf, then back to my current reads pile. It's just incredibly thought provoking and beautiful, and I've been really blessed by it lately.
3. Baths. I take a lot of baths these days. I think I read somewhere that it saves water because it uses less than a shower? But mainly I'm loving how relaxing and even luxurious they feel. It's a very treat-yo-self thing to do a few times a week and costs nothing! I spice up my baths with these little happies and it makes things all the more lovely.
4. The Artist's Way. Okay, yes, I recommended this on my October Love It List. But I'm still loving it. It is still helping me to uncover and pursue my dreams. And, it's where I read the quote from above that has changed my life!
5. Gratitude!!! I'm grateful for gratitude! Redundant? Likely. Don't care. It has seriously made me a more joyful person. Comparison has less affect and the sting of discouragement doesn't keep me down. To help myself cultivating gratitude and to help train by brain to give thanks instead of count wrongs, I made this gratitude tracker! This has helped me to pay attention and hence, discover a more quality life through the capacity of delight. And if you want it, too, I want you to have it! Just drop your name and email in the boxes below and it'll be in your inbox in no time!
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