Life is sweet

Virtues abound in our world.  Virtues are the positive qualities of people and the things around us.  We might not notice or appreciate them since we have become so accustomed to their presence in our environment.  Our minds may be focused elsewhere, consumed by news from family and friends or media sources.  Quite possibly, we are immersed in thought over events that happened yesterday or considering what might happen tomorrow.   Whenever our awareness is not in the present moment, we are not fully engaged and appreciating the virtues of our surroundings.

It is ironic that our sense of appreciation diminishes with increased abundance.  Whether it involves material possessions, conveniences of life, activities or time spent with others, we can easily lose sight of the inherent virtues around us.  Stop for a moment and consider the things you value in your life.  What would your life be like without them?  How would you feel if they were not available to you?  What changes would you have to make to compensate for their absence?  Once you realize what is really important to you, you will begin to embrace what I call ‘cup half full’ thinking.  It is from this perspective where true appreciation lives.

In contrast, ‘cup half empty’ embraces a scarcity mentality with a focus on what you do not have.  Cup half empty comes from a negative mindset while cup half full embraces a positive one.  It is a simple concept that is a great visual tool to carry with you.  Is your cup half empty or half full?  How can you maintain a positive mindset?

We can build appreciation by slowing down our pace in life and practicing discernment with negative influences from our world.  Stop in the midst of what you are doing and really take notice of the virtues in your surroundings.  Take a moment to express gratitude for them.This is easy to practice while out in nature.  Pause during your walk outdoors to enjoy the beauty around you.  The longer you remain in one place, the more you will notice subtle details.  Maybe it is the coloring of the sky, the sound of a bird or the scent of a flower.  Maybe it is the sight of dewdrops glistening in the sun, lush green foliage or squirrels scampering between trees.  All is well in these beautiful moments as you sink deeply into a place of gratitude and smile to yourself.  Life is good when your glass is half full and then some, brimming over with the sweet savory nectar of life.

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