36 reasons for gratitude.

 

Tonight – on the eve of my thirty-sixth birthday – I took myself away from my family holiday in South Africa for a few hours to reflect upon what tomorrow and this number means to me.

 

Much like Christmases over the last few years, I specifically requested that no gifts be bought or offered for this birthday: I know I have enough already. I consciously choose the richness of experiences over anything that can be wrapped in paper.

 

I believe that with an in-built sense of plenty, this life can be approached with a more refined sense of consideration. In doing so I trust that the planet will receive greater respect, and as a result all the people on it will have a fairer share of it’s resources.

 

To mark my birthday, I decided to be specifically grateful. I came up with thirty-six reasons to be filled with gratitude:

 

  1. I am surrounded by love.
  2. I have a supportive, generous and kind family.
  3. I am blessed with friends that I can easily call family.
  4. I am as nourished as I choose to be – always.
  5. I woke up this morning.
  6. I had a bed to sleep in last night.
  7. I had a clean floor under my feet when I rose today.
  8. I am deeply connected to the blue mat upon which I complete my daily practice.
  9. I have a limited amount of breaths on this planet – I aim to make each one long and deep, and make them all count.
  10. I have a body that responds in kind to how I treat it.
  11. I am able to understand my own mind more each day; I increasingly see my own patterns, reactions, habits and nuances, and know how to work around them.
  12. I can walk – far, and unaided.
  13. I feel sand between my toes on a regular basis.
  14. I have eyes to gaze up at the stars on a clear night.
  15. I see my own relevance.
  16. I see my own irrelevance.
  17. I am able to communicate with my friends all round the world at the click of a button.
  18. I am a white male, and I admit to the privilege that this has afforded me since birth.
  19. I give thanks for the patience, determination and forgiveness of all those that are neither male nor white.
  20. I have a passport that allows me to travel and learn from an almost unlimited number of cultures.
  21. I fly, often.
  22. I know that in acknowledging and dealing with my own negative emotions I limit the destruction that they can cause further down the line.
  23. I have not consumed an alcoholic drink since 28th August 2016.
  24. My teachers are everywhere, everyday – all I need to do is remain open to their lessons.
  25. I have the gift of reasoning, so I know that we humans are neither worse nor better than each other, or any other species on this planet.
  26. I seek authenticity in all my relationships – personal and professional.
  27. I understand that every person on the planet has a different view of it.
  28. I am an openly gay man and I am free to love whomever I choose.
  29. I give thanks for vegan chocolate – daily.
  30. I have the ability to dream – big.
  31. I have seen sunrise and sunset from six continents.
  32. I see that depression finds its roots in lack of acceptance of the past.
  33. I know that anxiety is a fear of the future.
  34. I can say that drugs have been in my rearview mirror for 19 months now.
  35. I made it to thirty-six almost seamlessly. Almost.
  36. I started this list thinking I would struggle to fill it, when in truth I could go on…funny how the mind works, isn’t it?

 

With gratitude,

Nathan

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