Why did Julie Andrews sing about her favorite things in ‘The Sound of Music’? Because she and the Colonel’s children were all distracted from sleep and frightened by a storm. It was probably a metaphor for the political storm building in a much more significant way around them. But we’ve all got “storms” of some sort brewing in our lives or proximity. We can deal with them if that’s an option, but often we have to ‘weather’ the storm: Be heartier and more long-lasting than it. When this is the case, we need pleasant distractions – Or better yet, a genuine desire to note what is uplifting. And when considering this, we shouldn’t judge the quality of the elevating entity by its size, because we’d just be selling ourselves short.
I like to call them ‘little blisses’, and I made a list of some of my favorite things today. Because noting all the sweet and bold things from which we glean pleasure on a daily basis, the significance of our actual burdens lessens somewhat and our trivial worries become that much easier to spot and swat away. Remembering the everyday things makes us stop and appreciate them, and appreciation evokes a state of grace, like a kind of everyday sacredness.
Sure, some days aren’t so productive and some don’t end so rosy, no matter how hard we try. I, for one, did not awake feeling like Julie Andrews bathed in bliss on a mountain top. But I did what needed to be done just to maintain the status quo of my life. It wasn’t until my day was nearly done that I began counting my blessings, inspired by curtains blowing in the wind.
When inspiration and meaning seem out of reach, do whatever it takes to remind yourself of the preciousness in the world and look to all the places where the sacred may reside. Light a candle (number five on my favorite list) and say a prayer or affirmation. Order take-out and give the cook a rest. Take your kids to a park and soak up the nature sounds. Or write down your woes, honor them, and then let them go for the night.
Because when we start looking at what makes us happy – instead of what doesn’t – we invoke little bits of joy. And before you know it, when you look around at what’s truly there, there are a thousand things to love in one instant. And this graceful, appreciative way of looking at our lives brings us back down to an earth that is nurturing, supportive and always providing something for which to thank our lucky stars.