Ritual of gratitude

GentleOrdinarinessI found this quote in a box of chocolates while I enjoyed one with my tea a couple of days ago, and I felt it summed up my last week perfectly. In my immediate reality there were no big breakthroughs, no massive news, no colossal changes, no gigantic discoveries, no tremendous challenges – just an ordinary week, mostly doing the things that I do nearly every average week.

And yet, I know that when I choose to be aware, even the most ordinary day or week can become full to the brim of the most extraordinary moments. Moments of pure magic that will never repeat in the exact same way again.

Over the last 12 weeks I have been following a personal ritual that I feel has really helped me to capture those fleeting moments – I do it by making a daily gratitude list. In my special notebook I write down every day the things that I am most grateful for and that made each day special. The incredible thing that I noticed is that since I started my little ritual of reflecting on each day through the lens of gratitude, every day has become something that I am genuinely grateful for. No matter what happens, no matter how difficult or … ordinary it might be.

So here is what my ordinary week looked like through the lens of gratitude:

  • On Monday I was so delighted with how warm our home was – Madrid winters aren’t exactly fierce, but I felt so cozy and happy that we had a fireplace going. I also absolutely loved the way my husband held me across my back while we went for a walk with our dog Pepe, so very very affectionately.
  • On Tuesday I was really enjoying how productive my work had become since turning off all annoying reminders from my inbox. I no longer get distracted every time a new message comes in and can check my e-mails when I have finished whatever other task I might be focusing on. I was also feeling very thankful for the thought that my mom is coming to visit us next month.
  • On Wednesday we sent off our annual programme reports at work and the relief of the deadline met made me very happy. It was also a day when I was wearing my contact lens and felt so amazed at how beautiful and detailed everything was around me.
  • On Thursday I woke up after a scary dream and instantly felt grateful for having a sister. I think everyone should have one! The evening walk with Pepe was particularly pleasant as it was very sunny and beautiful outside. It was also a rare day when my hair was not as tangled as it usually gets now that it’s so long, and I loved that!
  • On Friday after a super productive week (still thanks to my new routines with less disruptions), we had a really nice date with my husband and went to our favourite Mexican restaurant followed by finally watching the Hobbit film. Both – my date and the film – were simply mesmerizing and I couldn’t take my eyes off of them!
  • On Saturday I stretched and did some yoga in the balcony, took a few extra minutes to enjoy my daily freshly squeezed vegetable and fruit juice, and then relaxed the rest of the day – all the things I felt grateful for at the end of it.
  • On Sunday we cleaned the house and I felt so overwhelmed with gratitude for what an amazing housemate my husband is! 🙂 I finally bought a new pair of jeans that I have been wanting and that are comfortable enough to do yoga in. And to finish my week I had a hot bath with some tea and a funny book!

Nothing big happened, but just thinking about all of these small pleasant moments again makes me smile and feel so thankful. There are times for big events, emotions, ideas and experiences, but last week for me was a perfect reminder to enjoy gentle ordinariness when it comes. Let’s all do that more often!

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