A long time ago, on an adventure with my Dad in Hawaii, we decided to swim way out into the ocean. I was only about ten or eleven years old and thankfully a very strong swimmer. We just kept swimming and swimming until we reached a rock formation that stuck out of the water and had a shaggy, torn-up flag attached to it. I laid my head down on the water, floating in my aquatic home. After a few minutes of just allowing myself to float in the vast Pacific Ocean I turned to my Dad, “Dada, I love the water because the water is where I feel closest to God.” I don’t remember my Dad’s response, but I am sure he was somewhat dumbstruck by a ten-year-old with a spiritual connection.
Whether or not you are religious or believe in God or the Universe or a higher power of some kind maybe you know that feeling. The feeling when you look at something and gratitude fills your body from head to toe. Where you find peace in the crazy world and feel so small and insignificant, but at the same time infinite. I feel like this every time I am near water. Any body of water, really. Well, anything larger and less chlorinated than a swimming pool. Sometimes it’s just a fleeting moment, or maybe you get chills, or maybe you feel so excited the only thing you can think of to do is just dance.
Sometimes gratitude finds me like that, completely by surprise, but more often than not I craft my gratitude to bring that feeling of infinity to me wherever I am in the world.
During the pandemic, we have been out of touch with a lot that makes us realize what we are grateful for. Or maybe we have found entirely new things to be grateful for. Either way, if you have a touchpoint as I do with the water, just remember you have a powerful imagination. If you can’t get to your “water” then craft that space in your mind and feel that feeling. Think of what it feels like to have the sun hit your skin, to hear waves crashing in the distance, or to look out at the horizon in all of its never-ending glory.
When you can find a touchpoint like that in your mind it’s easier to then remember everything you’re grateful for. From the tiniest little thing, like watching my puppy sleep peacefully, to the most massive things in the world like my work, my family, my friends, and nature. All of it. Any of it. Recognizing what you’re grateful for sends out incredible signals that tell the Universe to bring you more of those things that make you feel grateful, or at the very least having gratitude be your focus can bring momentary peace.
What I am getting at here is that gratitude can be found within you constantly and that infinite feeling is still there when you take the time to go on a trip in your mind. (No, regardless of what this might sound like I do not do any kind of psychedelic drugs.) Maybe visualizing isn’t your thing, but a great start is taking the time to write down three or more things you’re grateful for every day. This habit gets those feelings of being infinite closer to you as often as possible, so even on those days when you wake up and think good night nurse we’re still in the middle of a f*&?!%$ pandemic you can find temporary, and sometimes, lasting solace.
Here is the quickest way I find to infinity:
1) Think of that place that makes you feel giddy and infinite
2) Think of all of those feelings you get, write them down, or just be present with them
3) While you’re in your infinite home start thinking about what you’re grateful for and make a list either mentally or in a journal, notebook or on a post-it note
4) Wake up the next day and repeat, or, if you’re short on time…read your list from yesterday…I’m all about making life easy.
Gratitude opens the doors to so many things. Literally, there is science to back this up. Just use the google machine and see what you find when you search “benefits of practicing gratitude.” Whatever your background whatever your beliefs inner peace is something I think we would all want if we could attain it consistently. No, I am not the most peaceful human you’ve ever met, but, when I practice being grateful I get a heck of a lot closer.
Happy weekend, friends! I hope your days are filled with things that bring you joy. Just remember to be grateful for them. I love you. XOXOX, CAMDW