Yesterday I took a day of silence to quiet my mind, and be more mindful of my speech. I went to meet up with a friend around noon or so, and on my way I passed a gentleman that was collecting funds for a local homeless shelter. This gentleman turned to me with a smile and said, “Smile! You woke up this morning!” I was caught off guard by what he said, but I quickly realized I was so mindful of keeping silent, that I was forgetting to smile. Even more importantly, he was reminding me that we always have a reason to smile. We always have something to be grateful for, even if it is simply the fact that we woke up in the morning.
As I pondered his words, a quote from the Buddha came to me;
Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.
Gratitude can be a powerful part of our practice when we use it, and should always give us a reason to smile. It is also a wonderful way to start off each day. Think about all the little things to be thankful for from waking up, to flipping a light switch (you can be thankful for electricity, and for the hand you flip the switch with). Throughout my day, I also like to keep a gratitude rock in my pocket and every time I touch it, even if by accident, think of something to be grateful for (any found rock will do). I wanted to hear from all of you in the comments, how do you practice gratitude each day? What keeps a smile on your face?