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See Life Differently: A Way to Make Life New Through Presence + Appreciation

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See Life Differently: A Way to Make Life New Through Presence + Appreciation

By changing how you approach life, you influence how life approaches you. Let this post inspire you to step away from your busy life and see life differently, with attention and appreciation.

“Believe in your heart that you’re meant to live a life full of passion, purpose, magic and miracles.” — Roy T. Bennett

We tend to think every day is the same. We fall into invisible holes and when we realize where we are, we can feel like we’re crawling our way out.

We go through the motions and treat our lives, and the people in them, like this shall not pass.

We don’t mean to, but we are creatures of habit. Yet, habits aren’t as concrete as we treat them, either. Stubborn, maybe, but certainly not unchangeable.

What if we woke up and said “thank you” before anything else—to life for having us, for our bed for being there, for the sun shining through the window, for the people we call our friends? Life, then, might feel new.

We could walk outside regularly and stop to breathe the air fully. We could feel the sun on our skin and see the animals play as if they might not be there tomorrow.

Gratitude and mindfulness are two habits that make every other habit feel more enriching and alive, less rigid and more changeable. They make us feel more powerful as we see life differently through their lens.

A change of scenery can do wonderful things for our mental health.

Again, I heed the call to leave the glow of the screen and practice my fairly new habit of venturing elsewhere to write in a journal, on actual paper.

At first, I meant to share something different with you today, but I caught myself in one of those invisible holes—stuck. I felt trapped by certain habits and not as vibrant as I wanted to. Planting myself in nature—long enough to appreciate what I was seeing—led me down another path.

Now, I practice a new habit: when I feel stuck in any way, I wonder how I could see life differently.

I practice the ability to root myself in the present moment, totally and wholeheartedly, whatever it is I’m doing. This is a habit, so one time is usually not a charm. One time can, however, stick with us through the stuck moments, reminding us of what’s possible until we heed the call to go to what feels better: lightness, this moment, gratefulness.

I feel my new habit helping me to be more present in the rest of my life, and I feel my appreciation growing too.

From presence of mind, a grateful heart grows. Just as true: from gratitude, mindfulness spreads.

If I step away from my computer and leave my phone behind, I’m quickly reminded that there’s a great, big world to explore. I don’t need to go far to see it. Every room in my house offers a different view. Every step along the street is an adventure; the key is to see it like that.

The key to living differently is to see life differently.

Contrary to what some thought patterns want to tell us, life can be new without a grand achievement. We really don’t have to wait for “the big day” to feel good about how far we’ve come.

It’s like we’re secretly waiting for life to hand us a golden ticket that says: “You’re enough now. You can enjoy life now. All is working out just fine.”

Without true presence plus appreciation, though, I doubt I would stop long enough to even absorb what the golden ticket said, if one happened to land in my mailbox.

Do you ever feel the same way? Do you wonder how life could feel new when you feel like you’re barely accomplishing enough to make it through today? Maybe, we can still work on our goals, but just approach them in a new way, and then they might energize us rather than drain us.

I think there’s a way. I think so because I’ve walked that way before, and I’m being reminded right now that it’s real, and it’s worthwhile, and it’s a life-giving way.

At the risk of sounding too simple, it’s gratitude and mindfulness that can change our lives from the ground up.

One of the most beautiful things about gratitude is that you can use it as a starting point to enter life mindfully. Pause here, though, because the relationship is mutual: you can enter gratitude through mindfulness too. Whichever way you enter, life tends to feel vibrant all over again—somehow, like new.

Abundance isn’t something to attain, but something to tune into.

It’s easy to forget how rich we are just because we’re alive.

Financial wealth is nice, but it seems so trivial in those moments when I feel blessed just to be here, breathing. That blessing precedes every other blessing—and every other burden, for that matter.

I guess I needed to feel the sun on my face and the wind in my hair to remember that the blessing of being alive long precedes and far outweighs any goal I set out to achieve.

The goals are still worthy if my heart is all there, but the heart needs to be refreshed often, sustained.

You don’t have to wait until the goal is behind you to feel the life that is in you and all around you.

Even though this isn’t what I meant to write to you today, I hope it serves you.

I hope you stop long enough to appreciate who and where you are. I hope you try out gratitude sincerely enough until you feel like everything has returned to you, renewed.

. . .

Tell me:

Which of these thoughts did you need to read today?

Tell me in the comments. I read every single one, and I'd love to know!

You’re never too late or in too deep to change the way you approach life.

With love,


P.S. Want to embrace this season more fully than you’ve been doing? No matter what? Get my book Morning Affirmations for light when you need it most. Get my book Sleep Affirmations to fall asleep knowing all really is well. You’ll feel… better.

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