Looking Back (#222)

July was a month full of learning, challenge, and helpful reminders. My brother had just left England and I struggled to transition back into life here in the UK. I felt homesick in ways I didn’t expect and didn’t feel fulfilled at work.

It took me some time to find a good routine that worked with my demanding schedule. I found my groove at times and felt burnt out at others. I really had to remind myself to be present and take life one day at a time.

I listened to a number of different audiobooks, each with different themes and morals that I reflected onto my own situation. Those were helpful and reignited my love for “reading”. The stories and authors inspired me to work on my own writing habits so I can hopefully publish something of my own one day. Who knows!

I’m incredibly grateful for this summer. All the ups and downs made these past couple of months one to remember. Tomorrow is my last full day and I’ll write a more comprehensive reflection then. Until that point, I’m grateful to be exactly where I am.

08.01.18

Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. Catching up
  2. Walks through London
  3. Being an RA at BSU
  4. Positive people
  5. Texts from my family
  6. Sunny days and clear skies
  7. Gratitude
  8. Summer grilling
  9. CLEAN WATER! Check out my project and see how you can get involved!
  10. Talking things out
  11. Video games after school with my friends
  12. Carpools to UNH camp
  13. Time
  14. Wiffleball in the yard
  15. A good night’s rest
  16. Stretches before bed
  17. My audiobooks and podcasts
  18. After gym dinners with my friend Peter
  19. Good advice
  20. An empty email inbox
  21. Change
  22. Learning about music history
  23. American peanut butter
  24. My time in England
  25. This very moment
  • As always, check out my first blog, 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I’m writing this list and why I want you to start yours.

    Featured image of the London eye. Loved visiting the city and had a great time exploring and walking around when I did.

    An Incredible Adventure (#213)

    Every list I post, #25 on my list of gratitude is an acknowledgment of the present moment. Thoughts and fears can take me away from being present. Anxiety and uncertainty for the future meshed with a disappointment in failure from the past, remove me from the here and now. Being mindful and being present is a practice. What I’ve learned is this search for meaning, my expedition for happiness and understanding doesn’t have to span the globe. My adventure starts right here, in this moment.

    “You don’t have to wait until tomorrow to find peace and joy. Breathing in, I feel alive. Breathing out, I feel at home.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

    Gratitude grounds me in the here and now. Each breath that fills my lungs brings the miracle of life into my body. I’m learning I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be and the meaning to life I’ve been seeking, is what I define it to be. What a blessing it is to live another day, to see another sunrise, and to share love with the people and animals we care the most for. Our adventure starts here and you don’t have to wait for any kind of special permission to start again.

    07.23.18

    Today I’m Grateful For…

    1. My breath
    2. Lessons from Happiness by Thich Nhat Hanh
    3. Home cooked meals
    4. Gym sessions with Peter
    5. A clear sky full of stars
    6. The sound of train outside my window
    7. Rain, falling on my skin
    8. My friends, the people who helped me get to be exactly where I am
    9. My cat Ned, my best friend
    10. Old vinyl records
    11. Getting a good sweat at the gym
    12. CLEAN WATER! Check out my project and see how you can get involved
    13. Thunder storms
    14. Mindful eating
    15. Shared laughter
    16. A full moon and a quiet night
    17. The warmth of the sun
    18. New music from my discover weekly from Spotify
    19. Second chances
    20. Love through understanding
    21. Patience
    22. A good night’s rest
    23. Summer jijutsu lessons and learning new things
    24. My family
    25. Every moment from today, but especially this one

    As always, check out my first blog, 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I’m writing this list and why I want you to start yours.

    Featured image from an old hike with my friend Lucas. So many moments in this lifetime to celebrate, how lucky am I to get to share them with people I love.

    The Best Version Of Myself (#211)

    After finishing John Wooden’s A Lifetime of Observations today, his ideals and lessons gave me a lot to think about. His book focused on; character, compassion, preparation, faith, patience, leadership, and hard work among other teachings. His words resonated with me. Listening, stirred a feeling inside that makes me want to be my best.

    I will never be a perfect person. I need to allow myself the grace to make mistakes. All I can do is give my maximum effort in all circumstances. That much is in my control. I’m grateful for the lessons learned throughout my life. Learning and improving every day means being patient with my process. I’m grateful for the people who instill these lessons in me. At the end of the day, I’m the only one who can foster and create the best version of myself. I’ve been given these tools to succeed and it’s my job to make a change. I’m grateful for my process. It’s all part of the journey.

    07.21.18

    Today I’m Grateful For…

    1. Good communication
    2. Home cooking
    3. Laying with my cat after a tough day
    4. Access to fresh fruit and vegetables
    5. Good role models
    6. CLEAN WATER! Check out my project and see how you can get involved!

    7. Late night mac and cheese
    8. Feeling refreshed
    9. Sharing gratitude
    10. The friends who inspire me to “run with the fastest”
    11. Taking it one day at a time
    12. My family
    13. Car rides with the windows down and the music up
    14. Bike rides through campus in Amherst
    15. Weekend hikes
    16. Making folders on Spotify to organize my music
    17. My process
    18. Catching the sunrise
    19. Adam, my supervisor at UMass
    20. Carpools with Carley
    21. That cozy feeling in the winter
    22. The feeling of sand between your toes
    23. When people give their time to a cause
    24. Signs from the Universe
    25. The precious present

     

    As always, check out my first blog, 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I’m writing this list and why I want you to start yours.

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    Featured image of the pier from Southend. One of my favorite days in England. It was just me in that moment. The wind, the water, and time to reflect. 

    200 Days Of Gratitude (#200)

    The title says it all. I believe gratitude has allowed me to be present during 2018 in ways I’ve never experienced before in my life. The blog in combination with my daily journal emphasizes everything I feel; the good, the bad, and the gratitude.With less than half a year remaining, I’ve learned some really valuable lessons from gratitude that I hope you all can apply to your own lives. Here are three that stand out to me.

    Breathing

    My background in anatomy and physiology wants to believe it’s the simple process of air entering and leaving the lungs but it’s become representative of so much more for me. Monk Nhat Hanh says in a fantastic podcast with Oprah, “Enlightenment is already there when you breath in”. Breathing for me has become the physical manifestation of patience. It calms me down and brings me clarity. The optimal mindset for finding gratitude in each moment.

    Little Moments

    I’ve learned I won’t always set personal records at the gym, I won’t be in the best mood 24/7, and the sun certainly won’t shine every day of the week. Finding little moments to appreciate and focus on helps bring new perspective to an otherwise gloomy or overwhelming day. Gratitude hasn’t eradicated my fears or completely quelled my anxiety, but it helps me see it past it at the end of the day. What this means is I get to start each and every day with a clean slate and a good attitude. Gratitude does that.

    Accepting Change

    This might be the biggest one. Change happens EVERY DAY. For me personally, I’ve been so resistant to the idea of living a different life and moving on. I loved my undergrad at BSU. I loved my life living on campus. I loved my routines and found comfort in what I hoped would last a lifetime. I’m not sure if gratitude taught me how to deal with change better, maybe that’s come with experience and age. What gratitude has taught me is how to be present when change is occurring. As we plunge further into the unknown, I know I can be grateful I’ve not only made it this far but I can appreciate how I got here. With the help of family, friends, mentors, and so many others, I know because of gratitude – I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be in an ever changing Universe. 07.10.18

    Today I’m Grateful For…

    1. A few deep breaths
    2. Sharing podcasts and audiobooks. So many lessons learned from intelligent people open to sharing their experiences in our digital / technological age.
    3. Clean water. Going to Cambodia changed my life and inspired my journey in more ways than I initially comprehended.
    4. Friends who inspire my best self. Too many of them to list here but I am constantly inspired by these people and their unconditional support keeps me going.
    5. Great music. It feels like I have headphones in all day long and because of inspired and passionate artists, my mood benefits.
    6. My cat, Ned. Although I miss him dearly this summer I know he’s waiting for me at home and the time we spend together never fails to bring me happiness.
    7. The sunshine. The warmth on my skin simply walking from my apartment to work is a little thing that makes a huge difference.
    8. Home cooked meals. Not much I have to say about just how much I love and appreciate food and sharing it with others.
    9. My family. They’ve helped me get through my toughest times and this list wouldn’t be complete without them.
    10. Frank and Holly. The first two people to really teach me about “Loving my process”.
    11. Safe travels. I’ve been to a lot of places so far in 2018 and I’m grateful I’ve made it to all them in one piece. We live in a dangerous world!
    12. Holding hands. It takes a lot for me to let others into “my space” which makes the feeling extra special for me.
    13. Time at the gym. A chance to clear my head and feel refreshed after a long day sitting in the office.
    14. Vibrant sunsets. Something about the color in the sky acts as the perfect reminder everything is going to be okay even when it doesn’t feel like it.
    15. Kind strangers. There’s a lot of negativity in the world and when people I’ve never met demonstrate patience, care, and positivity, I really appreciate that.
    16. Time to journal. Similar to the gym, it’s the perfect opportunity to clear my head. A fantastic tool for my mental health wellbeing.
    17. Learning new things. I hope this is something I can do every day of my life so I’m appreciative of when I can identify this and build those skills for the future.
    18. Colored ice pops in the summer. I mean, nothing even came close to helping beat the heat than a couple blue ice pops.
    19. Nature. I love being outside and I’m constantly in awe of our planet. The serenity of it all is definitely something to be grateful for.
    20. New experiences. This goes hand in hand with embracing change. I wouldn’t be here if I lived in my comfort zone for the rest of my life. This is where the learning happens.
    21. The sound of rain. Nothing calms me down more or help me fall asleep faster. Definitely grateful.
    22. Clean laundry. I try not to take things like this for granted when others don’t have that access. Lots of things feel like a luxury when I know others have so little.
    23. My continued education. I’ve had a great experience in grad school so far and I’m thrilled to see what my final year brings.
    24. My grandma. For reasons I don’t want to get into, I’m grateful for the memories we’ve shared and how much she loves me.
    25. The here and now. Not much left to say. Grateful just to be here.
  • As always, check out my first blog, 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I’m writing this list and why I want you to start yours.Featured image of one of my all time favorite places. So often my mind goes back to here when I think about gratitude and patience.

    Unexpected Learning (#158)

    05.30.18

    Today I’m Grateful For…

    1. My parents
    2. Talking things out
    3. Unquestioning support
    4. Being home
    5. My health and well-being
    6. A quiet night
    7. My brother and sister
    8. The feeling of being home
    9. Calming music
    10. Getting things off my chest
    11. A second chance
    12. A little understanding
    13. A good audio book
    14. A clean room
    15. An organized schedule
    16. Tattoo reminders
    17. A clear night sky
    18. A good pen to write with
    19. Friendly faces
    20. My mental health tools
    21. Free counseling at BSU
    22. Nights at the train station
    23. Falling asleep to thunder storms
    24. My friends who read the blog
    25. The present moment

    As always, check out my first blog, 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I’m writing this list and why I want you to start yours.

    Featured image of my family. Feeling especially grateful for their love and support today. Picture was from last summer.

    A Day Well Spent (#150)

    After more than 25,000 steps with my friend Stenie we navigated our way from Brixton to London and had ourselves a fantastic day. We caught up, laughed, enjoyed the sun and did the most American thing ever by getting fish and chips by the London eye. It was marvelous.

    I’ve been doing more research on gratitude and found some really interesting stuff. The science behind “positive psychology” is still evolving but something I’m hoping to incorporate more into the blog going forward. There are leading researchers and experts on gratitude I would love to interview and exchange thoughts with that I’ll post here as well! I would love to make this more interactive because I know for me, Gratitude isn’t just about the individual, it’s about the culmination of feeling.

    With 150 lists now under my belt, I’m feeling motivated with June right around the corner.

    05.22.18

    Today I’m Grateful For…

    1. Stenie Simon, one of my best friends
    2. The London bustle and hustle
    3. The sunshine
    4. Getting my steps in
    5. Catching up
    6. Delicious street food
    7. Help from home, using my phone and the Internet has been a struggle here
    8. Learning about different languages
    9. Comfy pillows
    10. Shea 2 friends from my first year at BSU
    11. Clean water
    12. Fresh fruit and vegetable markets
    13. Videos and pictures of my cat
    14. A little direction
    15. The feeling of clean teeth
    16. Just being here in England
    17. My family
    18. Opportunities of all kinds
    19. Going with the flow
    20. Vibrant sunrises and sunsets
    21. Getting involved at BSU
    22. A reminder to be patient
    23. My time in Cambodia
    24. People who volunteer their time
    25. Right here, right now

    As always, check out my first blog, 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I’m writing this list and why I want you to start yours.

    Featured image of a faraway shot of Big Ben overlooking the Thames (I believe lol).

    Highs and Lows (#135)

    Highs and lows are apart of life, that’s how we find balance. Didn’t have a great day but for me, it’s still important to make time for gratitude. Start again tomorrow with the new sun and new opportunities.

    05.07.18

    Today I’m Grateful For…

    1. Seeing my dad today, hard to describe how much I love and appreciate him, even when we fight and argue
    2. All of my family, their support and love is unwavering
    3. Friends that have checked in and tried to motivate me
    4. Time at the gym, getting a good sweat was exactly what I needed
    5. Healthy foods and healthy habits make a healthy mind
    6. Clean water and my time in Cambodia
    7. My supervisor and getting to work with him again next year
    8. The end of semester countdown is now in single digits
    9. New music and people who share
    10. Walks through campus
    11. The warmth of the impending summer
    12. Growing up playing soccer with some of my best friends
    13. Acoustic guitar and stretching before bed
    14. Hand-written notes and letters
    15. Love and everything that comes with it
    16. Sharing gratitude and those who write their own lists!
    17. My process and being exactly where I am because it’s exactly where I should be
    18. Positive reminders and helpful hints
    19. A couple deep breaths
    20. New opportunities
    21. People who inspire confidence in myself
    22. My ugly ID picture that always gets a laugh when people see it
    23. Quiet spots and peaceful moments
    24. Homecooked food
    25. Today, and being right here

     

    As always, check out my first blog, 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I’m writing this list and why I want you to start yours.

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    Featured image of another nature landscape. What can I say, I enjoy being outside!