Rearranging furniture

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JOYFUL GRATITUDE #143

Another week has flown by and September has arrived, carrying with it memories of the back-to-school season with its deeply ingrained urge for renewal (new clothes, pens, notebooks…).  Instead, Paolo and I did some furntiture re-arranging in our appartment, which turned out to also be the perfect opportunity to give the bookshelves a much-needed scrub and donate some books to the little free library to make some space. The perfect autumn cleaning!

We decided to experiment with a new layout we had in mind, using only furniture we already have to see if the set up works for us.  As I type, my laptop is now placed on a table which receives lovely natural light, and my posture is greatly improved compared to when I sit in my usual writing spot on the sofa, cross-legged with my laptop balancing on a cushion on my knees.

So far I’m really enjoying the fresh perspective and it also feels like our living space is suddenly much bigger.  It’s a pleasure to see how a small change can make such a large impact. Now, I just need to keep my good resolutions of keeping the desk free from clutter:)

Joyful gratitude 101

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JOYFUL GRATITUDE #101

Today I am grateful for the fact that as humans we have the capacity to imagine and create a better world.  Since JOYFUL GRATITUDE 101 sounds like the name of an introduction course, I started to imagine over the last few days what the world might look like if practicing gratitude was taught as a class in schools and universities, rather than a topic we gleaned from self-help books later on in life.

Imagine if practicing gratitude was presented to young people as an important activity for mental health, just like doing regular sport is for physical health? What if a fraction of the time spent on advanced math, was dedicated instead to learning how it is beneficial to take time to appreciate everything we have?

Imagine if instead of fixating on what we were lacking, we learnt early on to shift our focus onto what we are blessed with.  Imagine if we learnt from a young age the subversive act of mindfully resisting the feeling of scarcity and FOMO, and trained ourselves to zoom in more systematically to all that we do have going for us.

Maybe it could help turn tough periods into slightly easier times (particularly adolescence and being a young adult, but also later in life) and allow us to more readily reframe the messages we constantly receive from (social) media and advertising about how we are not enough. Maybe it would allow people to bring their precious creative gifts more freely into the world. Maybe it would create space to be aware of and help those who are not as privileged. Probably there are many other side effects I cannot even dream up.

At this stage I don’t have the keys to change the education system, so all I can do is ‘be the change I want to see’ at my own level.  I’m loving writing weekly about the big and small things I am grateful for, and hope maybe it can inspire some readers out there:)  Even so, to be honest I still easily get sucked into feelings of scarcity and comparison if I don’t watch my mind, so I’m trying my best to be mindful over and over again about looking out for the good things.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, how has practising gratitude impacted you?