Just Breath: Generating Gratitude

Each day I try to think about things I am grateful for in an effort to bring light, meaning, and purpose into my life. In my search for wisdom, I continually come across multiple sources that state that generating feelings of gratitude can elevate your mood, your vibration, and your whole mindset and approach to life, no matter its various ups and downs. It’s what I want to manifest through meditation. Sometimes it can be hard to think of things to be grateful for in the thick of stress, juggling responsibilities, and dealing with life’s chaos, but I would encourage anyone that there is always something to be grateful for no matter the situation. I know it can be hard sometimes, I’ve definitely been in those mindsets where it feels like the world is against me, but just putting in a couple minutes effort like when we wake up in the morning to think about gratitude can make all of the difference as our day goes on.

I heard a quote recently that impacted me in a profound way and made me think. I am paraphrasing now but it went something along the lines of this: If one cannot find something to be grateful for, the fault lies only within oneself. I thought about this and then I thought about simply breathing. The one thing we take for granted constantly and yet is essential for this life and this existence.

            Just breathe. Take in a nice, deep breath. Do you feel the air entering your lungs, do you feel your belly expand? Now exhale, slowly. Do you feel the air moving past your lips? Do you feel your body relaxing, releasing? That which you have just done is a marvel and a wonder. It’s amazing to think of all of the infinite factors and processes on our planet, on a global scale, that make a simple breath possible. It’s a global effort, from symbiotic weather patterns and the distribution of water and minerals to plants photosynthesizing to microorganisms deep in our oceans expelling oxygen. It’s all working together and here we are basking in its cradle.  

The planet is a giant organism that somehow maintains this stable 21% oxygen environment, and has sustained it for millions of years. We are in a universal oasis. Travel a hundred miles up and you are living in a very different world. From there to oblivion it seems is an environment entirely unsuited for nearly all life, let alone human life. The universe is mostly a chaotic storm, and here we are, nestled on a humble, nourishing blue-green earth. A dynamic earth constantly in flux and yet maintaining an environment for us to live and breath in. Earth provides the supportive backdrop from which all of our potentiality can spring.

When I reflect on that fact, when I understand that we live in a perfect environment to sustain us with food, water, and oxygen, I become truly grateful. When I think about all the potential that can come from these energy sources, I become truly grateful. The miracle of this whole thing blows my mind. The building blocks that have to stack for us to be able to not only live but to reach for the sky. Everything that is automatic to us, everything that has to go a certain way to maintain a stable oasis where we can breathe without even thinking about it is phenomenal. THAT you can always be grateful for; this world that is shaped by a million, a billion, a trillion different things at any given time, all allowing us to exist in this form with all of our potential for love, creativity, and exploration.

So, let’s take another breath. Let’s understand the miracle of the environment providing us with oxygen in just the right amount. Let’s understand the wonder of our body’s capability to take in these things from the environment and convert them into energy, into movement, into inspiration, into action. Everything we do, we do because the environment gave us the energy necessary to do so. All of our actions came from the environment and they will return to the environment. I think it is important for us to be mindful and grateful of every action we take, for each action has a long history leading up to it and will echo out through the ages of time and influence things far beyond our comprehension.

We are a vessel in a much larger phenomenon of energy. What power! What beauty! What majesty! I don’t know about you but thinking about this makes me feel big, like I am not just contained to this body but that the environment is an extension of myself. I am an ecosystem within an ecosystem, in symbiosis. I am alive and breathing. You are alive and breathing. I try to wake up every day and truly delve into these facts, think about their significance, and reflect on how lucky I am to have this form.

Gratitude is all about perspective, and that’s what life is, a game of perspective. This precious perspective as a human being, this dynamic, flowing energy on hand against all odds is something true and fundamental to be grateful for every day, every minute, every second. We can each start with the seeds of gratitude and grow and nourish our lives like the miracles that they are. We can align with our purpose and our higher selves. We can cherish this moment. We can let the majesty of its essence inspire us with gratitude, and the knowledge of its impermanence call us to purposeful movement. I hope this day finds you well, and fills you with love. This life is beautiful. ❤

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