Renovating our home opened up my eyes up to the luxuries we have, even in our seemingly modest 850 square foot house.
Even as someone who made a career out of informing people of where their electricity and water comes from, I never gave a lot of thought to the physical structure of my home.
I have a new appreciation for floors! There are so many LAYERS- there’s the insulation, the sub-flooring, the cement board, the tile, the grout, the grout sealer. But you don’t see most of that. Same with the walls and plumbing. So much goes into making a house, it’s mind-blowing.
I made sure I took the time to cultivate the feeling of gratitude in my body. You can think about gratitude but in order to rewire your brain for happiness, it’s best to embody the emotion of gratitude. Psychologist Rick Hansen calls this “taking in the good” and he talks about how to do that here.
If you have difficulty accessing the emotion of gratitude, Jeffrey Platts offers another take and encourages thinking about the ways you are being supported in your life.
Some of the ways I know I am being supported as we work on our house:
- I live in a country stable enough that I can invest thousands of dollars into my home and not worry about being displaced or my home being bombed due to civil war and unrest, like so many people in the world are experiencing
- In our country, we have a stable banking system that allowed us to refinance our home and get a loan for these renovations.
- On most days, I have instant access to water (and HOT water at that) for drinking, washing dishes, cooking, bathing, using the restroom.
Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh talks about cultivating gratitude for the “non-toothache”. When we have a toothache, that is all we can think about. When we don’t have a toothache, we barely think about our teeth at all.
What is one thing you can say that you are being supported right now? What is working for you right now without a second thought?
Is a part of your body, like your eyes reading these words right now? A piece of equipment, like your computer, that turned on with a flick of a button?
Take a moment to come up with one thing, experience it in your body and leave a comment or ask a question below. How do you cultivate a feeling of gratitude? Do you have difficulty cultivating gratitude in certain situations?