Seeking Joy in Life’s Daily (Often Overlooked) Treasure
“If you want to feel rich, just count all the gifts you have that don't cost money.”
I am so thankful for the gifts of my life, that are free and unfettered. Good health, stable home life, love that abounds, pets that adore, country living, wondrous nature, my own creativity, the ability to give and receive, sparkling night skies and waters, the overall magic and wonder and mystery of life that is always visible when I open my spiritual eyes to see. I am in deep gratitude for the lavish riches of life!
If you want to feel more abundance, if you want to feel more prosperous even if you don't have much money, take time to savor all the things in your life that don't cost anything. Feeling grateful is the antidote to feelings of lack, because we are focusing on what is there, what we have, rather than what we don't. We can take stock of many, many things that are abundant in life when feeling scarcity and immediately feel better. Below is a list of 50 things I am grateful for that don't cost a dime. Join me and make the list longer!
1. Waking up to a new dawn each morning with brand new possibilities
2. A friend who loves me unconditionally
3. Loving and accepting someone unconditionally
4. Taking a walk in nature
5. Sunflowers brightly blooming in the summertime
6. A profusion of Golden Delicious apples on a tree in our yard
7. The beauty of reflections in water
8. A newborn infant's eyes
9. The devoted, unfailing love of a dog or cat
10. Dramatic sunsets on the beach
11. Laughing and being silly
16. Being willing
17. Being nurtured and nurturing
19. Free will!
20. Gazing at a night sky
21. The realization that life is infinite
22. Enjoying the sound of a stream or river or waterfall
26. Peace, quiet, serenity
27. Appreciating the change of seasons
28. All the colors of the rainbow
29. Music and rhythm and harmonious singing
30. Hugs and kisses
32. Fresh clear water to drink and swim in
33. Wildlife – deer and jack rabbits
34. Feeling oh so deeply and passionately
35. Baby lambs, puppies, and kitties
36. The beauty of snowflakes falling
38. All the colors of the rainbow
40. Fragrances like lavender, rosemary and thyme
41. Library books
42. Positivity and optimism
45. Kind deeds and compassion
46. Non-judgmental understanding
47. Peace like a river
48. Honesty and integrity
50. Living in gratitude
10 Inspired Ways to Quickly Regain Joy and Peace
Whenever I nosedive into feeling worried or harried or completely stressed out, I have a surefire method to counteract these undesirable feelings. It works every time! It can be hard to start – I might tell myself I don’t have enough time, or it won’t work, but those are just feeble excuses. When I actually sit down to begin, this practice I’m about to share always helps my mood improve and become more positive. Scientific studies 1 have proven, without a doubt, that if we start focusing on what is right, what feels good to us, what there is to be grateful for, we can and will shift into more happiness, peace, joy and even better health!
I know it sounds almost too good to be true, but it has worked for me over and over again, and in this article, I will share some of my own Top Ten list. And I invite you to try it too.
I call this tool My Grand List of Gratitude. Start a huge list of everything and everyone you are grateful for. I find that I can never run out of things to add – this list can be endless, and even ongoing.
As I write my list, I usually start with being grateful for the love in my life and my family. Studies have proven that we humans inherently need love, connection with others, and community to flourish2. Since this is true, I list all the people starting with my wonderful husband, the gift of my great adult stepchildren, darling grandkids, my beloved sisters, and my parents who are now deceased. Family is such a given in most people’s lives, and in my own, I am supremely grateful for the loved ones who are so close to me. I even give thanks for my first husband! Sure, we ended up divorcing, but because of that process, I met someone more compatible, and came out a stronger woman and more independent.
These are the chosen family in my life who I treasure so much. I am part of a spiritual community, and we all support and love each other. Very grateful! Other people to be thankful for could be business associates, your boss, or a best friend from childhood.
The list here can be literally infinite. I am a nature girl, and I give thanks for all parts of nature – the seasons bringing change like clockwork every few months; the beauty of rivers, trees, lakes, ocean. All the myriad of different animals. All the flowers that bloom, whether wildflowers or dahlias, sunflowers, irises, lilac, roses, wisteria or name your particular favorite! I know every person can find something in nature to feel grateful for, whether you live in the city (maybe a beautiful nearby park, or your own container garden), or the desert or plains. Everyone gets to see sunsets and dawns, cumulus or storm clouds, the night skies. All of nature is such a gift to all of us.
4. My Body
How it works atomically is a miracle! I am thankful for my strong, healthy body which sees, hears, touches, feels, and smells. Our bodies are such an intricate system, and I marvel at how well mine works.
In my list, I must include my furry friends; a border collie, hound dog, and two cockatiels, but your list may include cats or horses or tropical fish. I am so grateful for our pets’ unconditional love, how they are always in the now, and for how joyful they naturally are.
6. Work Life
I happen to be a freelance book designer, and I so enjoy the variety of books and authors I work for, as well as the freedom it affords me. You may be working for a corporation or a small business. Friends from work could be on your list, so could the perks of benefits and holidays you receive; and if you’re really lucky, you love your meaningful work and can be grateful for that.
I truly believe every single person is creative in their own way. So list what you are gifted with as a person. In my case, I am grateful for the art I enjoy doing – pastels and photography, and my writing skills. But it could be your affinity for numbers, your way with people, serving others, or whatever it might be for you.
8. Innate Qualities
I am grateful for my determination, my caring heart, my sensitivity, my intuition, my natural optimism, my sharp mind, and the way I do my best at everything I endeavor. I know each person has their own unique and special list.
9. Modern Day Life
We can be thankful for electricity, stoves, refrigerators, cell phones and the internet. The internet in particular has helped the whole world be connected in seconds. Facts can be revealed in seconds. Quite amazing.
10. Past Failures
Yes, this is a valuable area of our lives to be grateful for. I have found that all mistakes I’ve made have brought me to where I am today. Things that I have been disappointed about, or failed at, made me stronger and I have used these lessons to be a better person.
Your list can be one word for each thing you are grateful for, a sentence or even a paragraph about each thing. The next time you feel down in the dumps, give making a Grand List of Gratitude a try. I absolutely promise you will get yourself out of the doldrums. And I honestly believe with all my heart we can never run out of things to be grateful for. Life is SO abundant, and the possibilities for our list literally endless. Start by making a list of 5 things, 10 things, 25 things, try 100! You’ll probably find it hard to stop. And I know you’ll be automatically happier and more peaceful.