Daily appreciation may sound grandiose or even a little woo-woo. But, let me ask you a question: Have you ever heard people say, “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone”?
After a breast cancer diagnosis and hysterectomy surgery, I know all too well what it feels like to know when my health is gone. I have to say that it felt rotten (understatement of the decade), but the Shining Moment is that I now have a much better understanding of the value and joy and uniqueness of waking up every morning and feeling good. Now there are certainly days when I wake up and think about all of the things that I have to do. That’s part and parcel of life. The memory of my experience(s) with earth shattering illness, brings me back to a sense of appreciation. Here are a few other things that I do when I need a gentle reminder (or a kick in the pants!) to appreciate each and every day.
- Look at nature. I am amazed by how much beauty shines through. For example, this morning when walking in my neighborhood, I saw the most gorgeous yellow flower peeking through my neighbor’s nearly dead garden. That was a Shining Moment for sure!
- Move my body.I have been slow to return to my normal level of exercise (running, hiking, tennis, yoga), but I am enjoying things that I wouldn’t normally do, like walking and restorative yoga. They bring a different kind of peacefulness from my more intense workouts.
- Listen to birds singing.What can I say? It’s awesome!
- Breathe deeply. Easier said than done when I’m stressed, but the more that I practice doing it, the more quickly it comes naturally. Often, I inhale for 5 counts and then exhale for 5 counts…and repeat as necessary!
- Let it Go (yes, just like Ava in Frozen!) When I find myself endlessly going over past mistakes or worrying myself into knots, I realize that sometimes I just need to say, “Listen, I can’t do this, and I can’t control it, and what’s going to happen is going to happen.”
The best and biggest thing that I do each and every day is make a Shining Moment list. Sometimes this list begins with the things listed above and sometimes it is the bigger things, like my health. Whatever I include reminds me of how much I truly appreciate my life, no matter how challenging things can (& do!) become!