Does my day begin with gratitude and joy because I choose my day to begin that way?
Or does my day begin with gratitude and joy because that's the way I'm made?
It's the old 'which came first--the chicken or the egg?' But it doesn't really matter which came first. What matters is the creation of the story.
Stories Create the Meaning
Our stories create the meaning in our lives. If you want your day to begin with gratitude and joy, create stories to put gratitude and joy into your day, and continue to build upon those pleasurable stories. You are the creator of your own stories.
The Chickens and The Eggs
See those beautiful eggs among the affirmation hearts? The story is those eggs were a gift from my friend, Deb, with whom I share a love of chickens. I am often the recipient of a carton of freshly laid eggs from her chickens. Seeing those eggs with my affirmation hearts makes me smile. It makes me think of the relationship I share with Deb and her chickens.
Deb never just hands the eggs over to me. She opens the carton so we can admire the individual eggs she has arranged in some artistic manner for my enjoyment. Each egg is a work of art, worthy of closer examination before I crack it open for breakfast. And of course my appreciation for the artistry of the eggs makes them taste better too.
Something to Crow About? Egg-actly!
But the story of Deb's chicken eggs doesn't stop there. I have years of chicken and egg stories to build upon-- those snippets of memories that make me smile.
Ten years ago, Debi gifted me, 'Extraordinary Chickens' by Stephen Green-Armytage, a glorious photo book of exotic chickens. Looking through this book makes me think about the funny chickens I've known, like Aunt Sophie, the bantam hen my father thought looked like his aunt, who nested on a goose egg and hatched out 'The Oaf; and Brooster, the Rooster, a bantam rooster so full of testosterone, I had to carry a bucket to put over him to keep him from attacking me every time I took food scraps to the chicken pen.
And it always makes me smile when I think about the time Deb and I put chairs in the chicken coop to share a glass of wine. She had just finished rebuilding her chicken coop and we decided to celebrate. There we sat with the chickens, as the sun went down, telling stories and admiring the plumage and personalities of her gregarious chickens. Our bursts of laughter fit right in with the cackling of the chickens.
So, as I reached into the refrigerator for one of the eggs this morning, my day began with gratitude and joy. I am grateful for the chickens that lay the eggs that nourish my body and soul. And I am grateful for the friendship, memories and stories I have with Deb.
What are your stories? What positive memories do you have that fill you with gratitude and joy? How can you build upon them to increase your gratitude and joy? What are you grateful for? What makes you joyful? What makes you smile?
Small daily pleasures over a lifetime add up. Don't put off till tomorrow what you could enjoy today.