Today as I sit in the early morning hours, looking out at the landscape, bare trees, leaves of gold and red, I feel grateful for this life I have – the potential of the day, what might unfold, and the ability to effect that unfoldment with my own desires of what I want to be.

I am not always in touch with this gratitude. I often find myself wanting more, wanting something different, wanting it sooner. That is when comparing my life to my fantasy of what could be, or comparing my life to others that seem better off, or feeling anxious that time will be gone and I will not have achieved all that I had hoped, comes in and robs me of the experience of feeling the full heart of gratitude for all that I currently have. When I stop, settle in to the present and look around, there are a multitude of riches in my life.

It is so easy to get caught up in “not enough” thinking – don’t have enough, not doing enough, not good enough – with the cultural/media messages that so subtly and not so subtly try to convince us that our lives are lacking if we don’t have it all, buy that product, buy that experience.

We can get caught up in not-enough thinking when we have partial peeks into other people’s lives through social media where what is posted are the successes and wins of their lives, not the struggles and disappointments that are also part of everyone’s life. We can get lulled into the illusion of that edited presentation and feel something is wrong with our lives that don’t look quite so glorious all the time.

When we come back to ourselves and tune in to our own trajectory, we find the exquisite beauty in the unique way our life is unfolding – right timing, right action, perfect just for us. And then gratitude arises for our successes and connections, and even for the struggles and disappointments that reveal more of the depth of our being and what holds meaning specifically for us.

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.

—Melody Beattie

Connecting to the heart of gratitude opens us to the fullness of all that is here right now – the beauty of the earth, the love of our family and friends and the ability to experience a whole spectrum of colorful emotions and states of being that result in a full, exquisite life.

Diane Ingram, PCC, is a Coach, Coach Trainer, and Speaker for Personal and Professional Development. She is a regular contributor to Pawling Public Radio and the author of five books, most recently The Gift. To learn more, visit online.