MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “grateful”

Live with a grateful heart

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We should be grateful for friends to whom we can turn and say “I’m gonna moan for 20 minutes straight” and they’ll just make you comfortable and listen to every complaint you make.  We should be grateful for people to whom talking feels like therapy. For the family we choose to support us when life turns upside down.

We should be grateful for so much more than we actually do.

Because we don’t realise the instability of the modern world. How things may change in an instant. How plans rarely work out and how we’re often forced to forge different paths ahead.

When we get too comfortable to move, alter, or evolve, life will usually find ways to push us out of it.

We may need to reassess our entire theory of the world, but it will probably be for the best. If we’re not obliged to exit our comfort zone, we will never realise the potential we have.

This social-media-driven world has manufactured a mentality where everyone – every single person out there – has a voice that they too often than not use to proclaim how perfect and outstanding they are. Yet, it is those who have nothing to say that usually shout the loudest, and those who have nothing to show for that proclaim their greatness. Others simply try to prove their worth in actions, not hollow speeches.

We live in a contemporary state of constant disappointment but not surprise. Because we’ve learned to expect the worst, despite fighting for the best.

Regardless, however, there are so many things to still be grateful for: our good health, the family around us, the friends who embrace us, and the love we receive from the people we truly cherish.

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On Gratitude

The Law of Attraction states that we entice what we emit, i.e. positive thoughts will bring positive outcomes. But the fundamental of all positive psychology ‘secrets’ is that of gratitude. The feeling of being thankful for what we already have. The appreciation that will help us receive more things to be grateful for.

Gratitude is a selfless act that leads to the improvement of your well-being. Grateful people are more open, more communicable, more pleasant, less neurotic, less stressed, more optimistic, happier, and with stronger interpersonal relationships.

Saying ‘thanks’ lies in far more than what you express with words. It’s about the actions that occur without speaking.

It’s about being thankful for the invisible safety net in your life formed by that indispensable network of family and friends around you who will be there for you no matter how much you yell, disappoint or push them away. It’s the people you know it’s ok to explode around,  because they’ll still be there with the outburst calms down. It’s those who help you through quarantines and lockdowns, but who are also there before and after them. Those who help you bounce back up when you don’t have the mental strength to even pull yourself up when you fall. Those who will do whatever they can to help without expecting anything in return because they know you’ll do the same if needed.

It’s important to feel grateful for the things we take for granted. Because it’s those little things that help us survive. And it’s those that we need the most to be happy. And grateful for it.

Longing to return

©MCD_Velika

On the first day back from a holiday you’re usually overwhelmed with an unbearable denial of having returned. It’s as if you refuse to accept that the break is over and you have to return to routine, because you need to work to earn the money to be able to then have a break.

The extent to which you’ve relaxed and had tremendous fun during your holiday is often linearly proportional to the time it will take you to come to terms with the fact that the break is now over. It’s a harsh awakening, consenting to now having returned to what you’ve tried for months to escape from.

But in truth, why are you doing something you so badly need a break from anyway? Sure, we all need a change from everything once in a while, but shouldn’t you be spending most of your days doing something you like, that fulfils you and which you’re good at? Shouldn’t you be longing to return to this too after your break? If you feel you’re incarcerated and forced into functioning in a job you don’t want to get up and go to, then you should rethink your priorities.

The point in life is to have a job that is more than that. One that you’re passionate about, and even if it is not exactly what you want to be doing, it motivates you to be the best you can be at it. One that inspires you to raise the bar higher, because you can.

Holidays are great. And we all need the time to switch off, calm down, change scenes and rethink many aspects of our lives. But let’s be rational: there are people who can’t afford to take a break, mainly because they have nothing to go away from or don’t even have the financial capacity to do so.

So be grateful: for the work you have, the ability to earn a living, to travel, to escape routine, to have friends to experience things with, but most of all, to have a home to return to after it all.

Sneaky Perils

©Sandra Crook

Sometimes a danger creeps up on you out of nowhere. You don’t see it coming. You don’t even hear it. But it’s there sneaking its way into your life, preparing to harm you.

If you don’t act, you won’t survive.

Be grateful for that small thing that revealed the peril. You can now fight it on your terms.

Breathe. Be thankful for each new day that comes. We fill our lives with too much anguish and only appreciate it when it is hurt.

Listen to that ebb and flow of the waves and be certain that this too shall pass.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

A Platanus of history

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©MCD

There is a quote that says, “imagine if trees gave free WiFi; we’d all be planting like crazy. Too bad they only produce the oxygen we breathe”.

Trees are more important and vital for our lives than we believe or even give them credit for. They contribute to their environment by providing oxygen, improving air quality, climate amelioration, conserving water, preserving soil, and supporting wildlife. They produce the wood we use to light our fireplaces in the winter, make our furniture, even the paper we write on. Yet, we cut them down without second thoughts.

It is no wonder then, that when we come across a tree that is centuries old we treat it as a wonder of nature. We stand before it dumbfounded, gazing at this stupendous sight. And it makes you truly feel small and insignificant.

There is a place in North Evia, Greece, somewhere along that nature-blazing road that has you driving among trees, on your way towards the Kyreas River, in between the villages of Prokopi and Mantoudi. There is this place where a sign will direct you to the “Great Platanus”. A plane tree that residents will tell you has been there for centuries. It is “a tree of huge dimensions”, as the sign reads, a “monument of nature”. A Platanus Orientalis. It is 22-23 metres tall, with its trunk’s circumference reaching 18 metres, its trunk diameter at 5.5 metres, the surface of its stem at 900 square metres, and its shadow said to be once stretching over 2.5 acres. Its age is estimated at 500-600 years, although some say that it exceeds 2,300 years! It is said that this is the most ancient Platanus in the Balkans, perhaps even the whole of Europe.

20171028_133927Its tree trunks are larger than what can fit in your wide-open arms. It stands imposing before you and, even though lacking in foliage and somewhat deserted and with broken branches, the vastness of this tree is not diminished. Rather, it is a refreshing site in a world full of asbestos and tar. There is also a huge hollow in its trunk, big enough for 10 or more people standing. In it, you suddenly forget all the problems that trouble your head daily. You take a deep breath and simply be grateful for being alive. For being there. And for being able to witness this. Just think about all the changes this tree may have witnessed. It was there before you and will probably remain so even after you.

20171028_133932As with all over-aged creatures, there are myths and legends surrounding this tree. For example, it is said that if someone falls asleep in its hollow, they will fall ill or harm will come to them, as goblins will come out and cast a spell on them. In another legend, if you are found at midnight under the tree, you will hear voices, music, violins and clarinets, and see fairies and goblins appear dancing at the shores of the river. In yet another, it is said that at midnight two large rams come out of the platanus and start noisily fighting each other. This tree is often associated with fairies and goblins as it was believed that, being over-aged, it was also haunted.

No matter the stories, however, the reality remains that this, like so many others, is part of our natural heritage and should be protected and preserved. We devote so much of our time, energy and funds to things that matter less, yet we abandon those that benefit us more.

N.B. All photos are mine, taken in North Evia, Greece, on 28 October 2017.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Gratitude

 

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