Gratitude + Wonderment

“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.” – John Milton

A few weeks ago, some friends and I attended a weekend seminar entitled Superpower You. The goal of the weekend was to name our inherent superpowers and use them to be more unapologetically, gloriously ourselves. Through a series of exercises, work sheets, conversations, and a few tears, I now know my superpowers.

I reconnected with something that was natural to me as a younger person but disappeared over the years. Wonderment. I used to be in love with the world (cheesy, I know). But a younger, less dulled and numbed Rinal saw the beauty, magic, and awesomeness in ordinary moments and extraordinary opportunities. Somewhere along the way, I lost that (probably in law school). What I realize now is that in those youthful moments of wonder and awe with the world–whether it was a beautiful sunset, devastating setback, or the lovely smile of a friend–I was practicing gratitude. Without realizing it, I stopped, took it in, and expressed appreciation. And that filled me with incredible joy.

At the seminar I made a promise to myself to start seeking that again, actively making space for wonder. That means I leave my headphones and cellphone in my bag on my short walk to work so I can look up at people and things passing by. I prioritize being in places where I know I feel wonderment, even if it’s as simple as walking the track at the Midtown YWCA where I feel a part of community as soon as I walk through the doors instead of using my building’s lovely gym. It means I save up for a new experience in another part of the world.

That’s the thing about gratitude, it doesn’t have to be some drawn out exercise or daily reflection or tedious task. Let it be easy. Take a few seconds to stand still and marvel at those everyday epiphanies. Do it now. Yes, right now. Take a second. Close your eyes. In this moment, what do you have to be grateful for? 

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