I was standing at my farmhouse kitchen sink washing dishes after dinner. The girls were watching a show and for a peaceful moment, I stared out our window at the view. The sun was setting and I could see a glimmer of pink on the horizon over the golf course. And it was then, with sudsy hands and a sink full of dirty dishes, that I realized how grateful I was.
How lucky am I to have a family to provide for?
How lucky am I to have a beautiful kitchen to prepare healthy and organic foods?
How lucky am I to have this view, of the lovely green grass and the prettiest sunsets?
How lucky am I live in a clean home, and have room for guests?
Six months ago I didn’t see life like this. I was resentful, tired of the heat of South Florida. I was feeling bad about my health and didn’t see any way to start feeling better. I was battling anxiety and struggling to get through each day.
The mounting responsibilities of bills, kids, work, and all the chores of home life weighed me down. I felt burdened, unloved, and unappreciated and had lost my way once again, away from the love. And my mindset and body reflected all of these things.
But then we were given a gift, but at the time I didn’t know it. Her name was Irma, and she was a powerful storm. She shook us off our axis and forced us from our homes. She left behind a week’s worth of work cleaning up, and yet another six weeks until part of our community had healed. We collected things for our neighbors to the north and south that lost everything, helped to get food donated to those in need, and did everything we could to help those around us.
And in that time I healed too.
After Hurricane Irma, something strange happened, I saw life through a different lens. Life was clearer and more beautiful than I could ever remember. We still had a home, and food, we still had our things and we had each other.
And I was reminded once again to live life first and fully through the lens of gratitude.
You know how you see all those quotes like, “Gratitude turns what you have into enough.” I never got it before having kids. I was a glass half empty kind of girl, full of sarcasm and pessimism. When we were going through infertility I briefly found gratitude. It was the driving force of our hope that kept us going for seven years. After the baby came though I lost those glasses, the ones that enabled me to see life through our blessings. Thrown into motherhood through sleep deprived goggles, it was easy to see the pain and turmoil instead of the joy.
But after the hurricane, now I finally saw and appreciated our lives, and all of the people in it. I finally realized that we had everything we needed right here.
And the funny thing is, that once I learned this powerful lesson again, I began to stop resenting and start accepting. Accepting the tantrums. Accepting the hot flashes and weight gain. Accepting and allowing each day to unfold without any expectations.
And that is when my cup runneth over. That is the moment that opportunity began to pour in. It wasn’t when I was trying, or fighting to make it to the top. Hustling, grinding, and stressing about all the minutia. It was there in a serene moment washing dishes that I finally learned to stop trying.
There are so many books, and quotes, and speakers who all say the same thing. They talk about the Law of Attraction, finding the magic in the mess, and the beauty of the imperfection. But it took years of journaling, struggling, and learning the same lessons over and over again until I finally understood and saw what I already had before me.
“Gratitude is the open door to abundance.”
“The secret to having it all is knowing you already do.”
“Expect nothing, appreciate everything.”
Now I get it. Now I live life looking through the lens of gratitude, and even on hard days, it’s still beautiful.
Our new gratitude journal is here! If you would like to start your own gratitude practice, then you can purchase yours now!
Gratitude is the topic of our podcast episode 20 of Cold Coffee, please give it a listen!
If you liked this post, then please read How to Fill Your Cup When Life Gets Overwhelming.