Less Is More
“Life is really simple but we insist on making it complicated”
Everything that I’m grateful for right now, and how to practice an appreciation for the little things in life
A Newfound Appreciation for Normality
Everybody that I’ve been in contact with this week has all expressed the same sentiment – a sense of longing for the simple things in their normal life. So many of my clients, family members and friends are experiencing a newfound appreciation for normality. We all have something that we haven’t been able to access since lockdown began in March, whether large or small. I feel this is an opportunity to get really grateful for all those little pleasures in life we used to take for granted.
This week I managed to get to my yoga studio on Rutland Square, which was the most incredible moment ever. Opening my own yoga studio in Edinburgh this year was a huge dream come true – and being able to see it again on Tuesday after 3 months of temporarily closed doors was the most beautiful and emotional experience. Within about 5 minutes I was sitting on the stairs eating my lunch feeling like it was still February (but with an extra double serving of gratitude).
I recently shared a few little things that I’m really excited for on my Instagram, and this list is non-exhaustive. I am also really grateful in a way for the enforced ‘slowdown’ that has encouraged many of us to pause our busy lives and reflect. I know that lockdown has not been easy for a lot of people, whether its mental health challenges, losing loved ones, financial instability or looking after their kids 24/7, yet I think the majority of us are really looking forward to a return to normality.
Gratitude For The Little Things
Lockdown may have just given us a reason to treasure the simple things in our normal (pre-pandemic) routines – even our morning commute! That said, we don’t have to postpone the gratitude until everything is completely normalised again.
Maybe right now you can cultivate some gratitude for:
- Your ability to breathe, even when you aren’t thinking about it
- Any birdsong you may be able to hear right now
- The opportunity this year to witness winter retreat into spring, and spring unfold into summer (even if it was from your window…)
- Your first coffee every morning
- The release of tension as your roll out your shoulders and neck
See, we don’t have to wait for the perfect life/job/house/body before we feel content. Ultimately, we can create a richer and more fulfilling life by cultivating appreciation for the little things – they all add up.
How to keep the gratitude flowing (even when normal becomes a little too normal)
Have you ever looked back at a previous time in your life with nostalgia and longing? We’re often not aware of how lucky we are until the moment has gone. Working with an appreciation for normality allows us to honour every moment and each tiny detail in our lives. Here are some tools to keep your sense of gratitude alive.
Tune in and practice gratitude for each part of your body. This can be a wonderful and cathartic practice to do while lying down, and feel free to get really specific so that you can honour every part of you (thank you left pinky fingernail!).
Bring to mind 1-3 people/actions/things you are grateful for. Acknowledge each of them and give thanks every night before you go to sleep, or first thing every morning. This can be especially life-changing when you bring to mind the simplest of events each day. Practice gratitude for the person who held the door open for you. Honour that minute you chose to be present and not to unlock your phone. Appreciate the taste of the croissant you bought from the local bakery earlier that morning.
Tune in and get present as often as you are able. Set a chime/alarm every half hour if you need a reminder! Notice what you can see, hear, touch, taste and smell. It can be easy to be negative or critical. Instead explore whether you can do this from a neutral perspective, i.e. not defining anything as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Simply observe everything around you without applying any opinion, attachment or judgement to any of it. This can be a powerful tool to create a more positive mindspace.
Helping people get more appreciative of their lives is just one of the ways I love to coach. Rather than getting caught up in the frustration of feeling like your whole life is on the wrong path, I can help you transform the areas of your life that you actually are stuck in – and finetune the parts that are serving you. Find out more and enquire below.
Here’s to a full-hearted appreciation for the little things in life! What are you most looking forward to?