I was reminded recently of bringing more awareness to the subtle and often overlooked moments of our days, the small graces that can bring us joy or a sense of calm in the midst of chaos, with 2 simple questions: What are the small graces that you are awake to in your life? What practices help you tune into them? Having a daily gratitude practice helps tremendously. I no longer neglect to notice the warmth of the morning sunlight beaming in through the windows or the effortless ease that comes from sipping a hot cup of tea at the end of the day. Rather, I’ve become better able to pause and take these moments in with deep gratitude and a greater feeling of presence.
It’s these separate moments that make up the hours of our days, weeks, months, and years that can be the most fulfilling and joy-inspiring. One of the things I find most valuable about keeping a record of what I’m thankful for is seeing how certain items pop up over and over again: my dog curled up in my lap, quiet time to unwind, a home-cooked meal, to name but a few.
Even when the world around us feels unpredictable or anxiety-inducing, we have such daily reminders to help us recenter and focus on what keeps us going. It’s a lot harder during particularly turbulent times in our lives, especially those with no end in sight; but it’s also all the more enriching when we can tune in to these moments of reprieve and allow them to transform us, even if only for a few minutes.
There are always going to be pieces of our lives that feel incomplete, that need fine-tuning, or that leave us feeling discouraged. The good news is that there too will always be an abundance of graces to pull us through. It’s only our receptiveness to them that comes and goes, never their presence or undeniable capacity to lift our spirits.
I’ve started counting on these small moments more, and while they don’t always fill me to the brim with feel-good vibes, their cumulative impact has been notable. In fact, if you expect these moments to routinely bring you to an all-time high, you’ll be disappointed. But if you remain open to their availability and allow yourself to witness the subtle shift they bring to your daily routines, aggravations, and exchanges, you’ll begin to see them more, and come to find the place within yourself where they reside.