After a recent daunting medical checkup, I decided to take a walk in nature at a nearby park. This has somewhat become a ritual for me after these unpleasant medical appointments. It calms my anxiousness and helps me to feel peaceful again.
While walking in the park, I try to practice ‘mindfulness’ as I observe the line of maple trees, passing clouds, birds and if I’m lucky, butterflies. I also make a stop at a nice little quiet cafe, where I love to sit, have a cup of coffee and read a book or just observe the surroundings. The beautiful flowers in the nearby gardens also brightens my mood. I make a point of sitting outside in the sun as sunshine cheers me up any day.
I’m always grateful to have the opportunity do this ritual to uplift myself and calm my mind. That day, after a nice relaxing nature walk, coffee and lots of sunshine, I felt good. With a smile I headed home.
However, as I walked through the park leaving nature behind, the worrying, negative thoughts started to creep back in. What will the future hold? Will I be OK?. Pretty soon, my smile turned into a frown.
Right that moment, I become aware of a teenage boy nearby being lifted into a van. He was paralyzed from neck down and was in a wheelchair. It looked like he had a fun day out in the park as he was smiling ear to ear.
That had a profound impact on me. There I was in a totally healthy body, consumed by my worrying thoughts about the future, frowning inside and out. And there was this boy unable to move let alone walk by himself yet he had nothing but a big smile on his face and was obviously happy.
It reminded me of Gandhi’s quote – “I cried because I had no shoes, then I met a man who had no feet”. Seeing the boy reminded me to be grateful for all that I have. To not WORRY about what has yet not happened and enjoy the present moment.
In life, we take too many things for granted (I had taken life for granted which I cherish now). We don’t realize what a blessing it is to just be able to walk, talk, or move on our own. Not everyone is as lucky.
I always write a grateful list at the end of the day with even the smallest of blessings like having a sunny day. That day, I wrote how grateful I was to be healthy and in a able body.
How often are you grateful for what you have?. Too often we start valuing things when we are about to loose it. Let’s not forget to count our blessings in life while we have them.