30 DAYS OF GRATITUDE (DAY #6)

Welcome back to our celebration of 30 days of gratitude. Each day we will focus on one area of our life to be grateful for. If this is your first day doing this I invite you to go back and do the days before this. You can do them in your head, write them down and home, but it is my hope you decide to share what you are grateful for with our community here on Secret2anamazinglife.com. There are no rules. Do one day or do all 30. Let us now look at today’s area of gratitude.

This is a bit tricky for me as I love nature in general. I will try to narrow down some of my favorite aspects for sake of this post. Without a doubt, sunshine leads the way here. I love the feel of sun on my skin. I find it both relaxing and energizing at the same time. The fact that I live in a city that was recently named one of the 10 gloomiest cities in the United States, means it is also rare here. That makes me even more grateful when it does arrive. I really enjoying seeing deer grazing along the side of the road as Margie and I drive through the park. I love green, which again is rare this time of year. I like watching fish in fish tanks. I find it kind of sounding and hypnotic. I love a good summer thunderstorm. I find it so primal and moving. The smell of the earth after a spring rain is amazing. The sound of leaves rustling in the breeze.

Nature, like so many of these topics we are highlighting in these 30 days, has so many things to be grateful for. We are only on day #6 and I have already learned something and had a profound insight. Once we begin to focus on being grateful for a certain subject, it seems to expand. You may try to pick your favorite thing in nature to be grateful for, and then one thing leads to another and then another. I could literally spend an afternoon thinking of things I am grateful for in nature.

How about you? What in nature inspires you to feel gratitude? I have friends that are runners, cyclists, campers, hunters and fisherman. I am sure they all love nature and would probably have a different thing they are most thankful for. I look forward to hearing yours. Whether you live near the redwoods, the Amazon or even on the coast of Greenland, nature is all around us and very beautiful.

CLICK HERE TO GET NEIL’S BOOK FILLED WITH IDEAS TO MAKE YOUR LIFE AMAZING

TAKE IT WITH YOU

Above you find two great nature photos. The top one is actually pretty neat. It is a photo of my lovely Margie taking a photo right outside Greenfield park before we began our nightly walk there. Later I will share one that we managed to capture while walking in the woods. The lower picture is of a great blue heron, which happens to be my favorite bird. It was taken just outside the post office I work at. I was walking to the bank and it happened to be right there.

One of the great things about technology is it can either serve to take us away from nature, or help draw us to it. I never would think of carrying a camera while at work, but did have my cell phone handy. In a world of selfies and social media I think using our cell phones to capture the joy of nature is a wonderful use of technology. While the debate rages on about the environment, I just enjoy finding new ways to enjoy it. Use your cell phone to get you out in nature! Capture all the natural beauty you can find.

I invite all of my readers to share some of their favorite photos in the comments below. I would love to see all the natural beauty we have captured. Whether it is an elephant in South Africa, or a squirrel in South Milwaukee please let us share your joy.

TIME TO ESCAPE

This was my view at about 7:30 this morning as I prepared to go for a bicycle ride. Only a small journey from where this picture is taken is a small clearing I like to go to and think, read or just relax. It not only provides me a nice walk in the park, but it gives me a place to recharge my soul.

In today’s busy world where we are constantly surrounded by people and technology, it can be hard to escape. That is why this weekend I recommend you have an escape. If you don’t have a special spot like mine, it may be a good time to start pondering where a good place for you might be. Ideally, this place should be a spot in nature. Losing all of the urban sounds that we experience daily will give you more peace than you can imagine. Even if you live in the heart of the city, find a park like I did where you may not be able to escape the sounds of the modern world entirely, but you can lose yourself by focusing on the sounds of nature. The wind blowing through the trees, birds singing, maybe even a small brook or creek near by.

The other caveat about selecting a spot is it should be somewhere you can be alone. As you can see in the photo above, you might have some visitors from time to time. In a world filled with constant interaction, whether it be in person, or now even on social media when we are by ourselves, finding time to spend with the person in the mirror is far and few between. Isn’t it great to spend time with others? Of course it is, but without spending time alone with our thoughts we can end up feeling lost. What do I mean by this? That is a great question. Let me ask you something and you tell me if it rings true for you. Have you ever found yourself feeling overwhelmed? Have you ever walked into a room and forgot if you were coming or going?

A lot of us are so focused on giving to others we forget to stop and think of what we may need or what our goals for our life is. We are focused on giving to our families, our job and our friends. There is nothing wrong with helping others and being a productive member of society. If we do that at the expense of ourselves we can end up feeling burnt out and unable to give anything to anyone.

Take time to escape this weekend. Spend at least 30 minutes alone and preferably in nature. If you are anything like me you will leave not only recharged, but with a sense of joy and inner peace you did not have when you arrived. Begin to think of your spot today and escape with yourself this weekend. I would love to hear how it affected you. Feel free to come back to this post on Monday and share in the comments below. Even though you will be by yourself, you never know who you will meet.