I’m not a Buddhist monk, nor am I a trained philosopher. No, I’m neither of those two things — and I’m grateful for it. I’m grateful for it because I am nothing more than Sammy Davis — a living, breathing person with a pool of life experience which continues to flow into the river of my life, your life, and all other lives I have, will, or will never know.
We all live blessed lives — so why do we so often feel like we’re not doing what’s right, not feeling what’s good, not living in the moment and experiencing it with the joy that we know lives inside of us, yet we struggle so much to actually FEEL from deep within?
I understand — because I often feel the same internal stress. I belittle myself for not being conscious in the “now,” because that now moment may be my last. I have a tattoo of “carpe diem” on my left wrist which in Latin, means “seize the day” as a gentle and quite permanent reminder to live the life that moves me most.
But understandably, sometimes the life that moves us most isn’t always “plan A.” Or “plan B,” or C, or D … or really, any preconceived notions of what we SHOULD do to achieve joy at all. The “plan” of life is not to predict each step before we’ve taken the one immediately before it us. That may be a plan, but it’s not necessarily pleasure.
I’ve found that my person source of greatest pleasure in life is not when striving for success, but reveling in it. Not in wishing for accomplishments, but acknowledging success now. Not in wanting more, but in admiring what I have already.
Like you, I need checks and balances to encourage — and awaken — my ability to feel alive in my everyday. And one of my most fulfilling “checks” is to quite literally make one … a checkLIST of what I’m grateful for, that is.And so I introduce the first post in what I hope is a reoccurring weekly series on feeling grateful now to feel fulfilled always. This is where I will share my recognition of the beauty of life — no matter how small, trivial or obvious it may seem — so that I can inspire you to feel more alive, more awake, and ultimately, more enlightened with each step and every breath you take.
If you are inspired or moved in any way, please leave a comment below or leave a note on Facebook or drop a line over email! If we can share our lives with one another, we can positively empower the universe to bless and take care of us without having to push for “what we want.” In reflecting on what we have, what we need will always be present — no purchase necessary.
Have a great Friday and weekend, everyone! If you are feeling grateful today, share it in the comments below and I’ll repost in the series next week.
My Gratefulness Checklist
I’m thankful for … the ability to see people’s faces and examine their beauty.
When I’m most conscious of what’s around me, I have high sensitivity to the beauty of every person’s face. No matter whether you are an “attractive” person by society’s standards, your face possesses such deep beauty! The fact that a world exists — and owns such understood yet still uncertain technology which can create the body of a human being — is a beautiful thing in and of itself. And the fact that each one of us is unlike the other — and that no two people are exactly the same when produced naturally — honestly floors me when that truth sinks in.
We live in a world that is nothing but beauty, if we choose to open our eyes and recognize it. I am thankful for the moments when I recognize the beauty that exists in the flesh and blood of those who move their lives around me. I feel connected to all of man, without ever truly touching or communicating with all of him.
I’m thankful for … being unable to control my travel time with public transportation.
I’ve felt such moments of frustration waiting for the New York City subway train, especially because by nature, I am always 15 minutes late! I used to complain in my head, “If only I didn’t live in the city, I could drive everywhere I needed to go and actually be on time.” But with further inspection and self-examination, I’ve realized that public transportation is exactly what I need for me. It allows me to decompress with my iPod, or detox my mind from pressing thoughts of “onward, upward, GO GO GO!” with a book or magazine.
It’s hard not to feel like you’re “losing time” when the stopwatch of your life fails to stop and start according to your plan. But when I can take a deep breath and just let that train take me at the speed it wants and know that there is no emergency of arrival unless I choose to make it an emergency, I can enjoy those few minutes of peaceful travel without cluttered consciousness.
I’m thankful for … cold, snowy days to run in so that I may learn to battle the elements of all seasons as an athlete and person.
Around this time last year I chose to become a runner. Sure, I was running before, but I hadn’t chosen to become the living, breathing noun of the verb definition: A RUNNER. I chose to become a runner during the most uncomfortable season of them all — winter. And while there were many days I waited until noon to go on my daily run, I realized that with each cold day run, I was getting stronger. I may not have been getting faster, but my mental toughness was building because I could endure the weather and in doing so, stick to my personal fitness & focus goals.
It just snowed 3 inches last night in New York City and I have a half marathon in Central Park tomorrow. I had a moment yesterday of deliberation: “Should I do that half? Will it be worth it to battle the cold for 13.1 miles?” Yes, I almost decided to drop out. But in my gratefulness post today, I’m realizing how that run tomorrow — despite the 23 degree temps and crowded conditions of nearly 4,000 runners — is going to give me a chance to learn, to grow, and to become stronger … no matter my finish time.
I’m thankful for … Sammy Davis Vintage followers sharing their lives with me on Facebook.
This is more a thank YOU than anything — I am so grateful for the friends I’ve met through this brand who have taken the time and love to share their lives with me. I am surrounded by such encouragement and intelligence when I connect with followers on the Sammy Davis Vintage fan page.
What my connections with you has taught me most is that life is nothing more than relationships. We can set goals for work, set goals for fitness, set goals for acquiring material possessions and obtaining experiences to muse and remember … but without relationships, none of the above would be possible. Because without the compassion of others in our lives, we would have no life worth living, and nothing of our lives worth giving.
I’m thankful for ... recognizing the negative energy I create in my life, and knowing that I can disconnect myself from it at any moment.
Over the past two years, my relationship with my mother has been a roller coaster ride of ups and downs — but not from her point of view. From mine, and mine alone. Like any mother would, she has loved me unconditionally and would never, ever, tell me that what I’m doing in my life is wrong. However, I have suffered self-imposed moments of battle with my mother, deciding that she does not “approve” of my lifestyle and wishes it were something else.
I am so grateful to have recognized how I create the stress in our relationship because I’ve decided to create her point of view for me. It is nothing more than a figment of my imagination. It wasn’t until I understood this that I was able to release myself from investing mind share in this self-made negative energy. At first, I berated myself for being so harsh on my own flesh and blood. But with further introspection, I know now that I wasn’t criticizing my mother, I was criticizing myself. And in doing so, not giving myself the self-love that is always bottled up inside each of us, and which no one — not even our parents — can ever open unless we choose to pour it for ourselves.