Words & threads

The future stands still, but we move in infinite space.

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Life Appreciation

At one point or another, I was induced with the idea that I needed a personal mantra. The source for this idea was probably some article about stressed out people in a magazine, and me being a very stressed out person at times, found the idea fitting but also cheesy. Nonetheless, I came up with “Exhale stress, inhale appreciation.” I was thinking of a word to encapsulate all negative feelings I harbor, and a word to explain most good feelings. Stress- not sorrow, not anger- is what that came down to: stress about school, general anxiety about using my time wisely and following the right path, stress about friendships or lack thereof, etc. It also seemed that all good things came down to the idea of being grateful, of stepping back and recognizing that life is pretty amazing.

I interpret the idea of a mantra as something that comes up as a core thought, but leads to an action. For me, and probably for most mantra-makers, this is the breath. Literally, I breathe out releasing stress, and on the next inhale feel my mind filling with appreciation for my life. Although I may have just painted a picture of this mantra being very important to me and playing a big role of my daily life, it is really not that at all. And this is precisely why it’s special. I created this phrase long ago, yet at sporadic times of need it surfaces. It’s grounding and somehow, in an intermitted way, has a lasting effect on my mental framework.

If we can appreciate what we have in a specific moment, all of the negative energy in the world can subside, even if only episodically, and in that moment we are experiencing the purest form of happiness.

When I break it down further, I see why I am thankful. There’s more than could be thought consciously in my millisecond-long mantra, but its all down there and tied into that breath. This is the way I can reconcile a life of privilege and a life of self-inflicted stress.

Truly, I believe that this concept can be true for anyone, relative to his or her life. Regardless of class, the amount of food you have, how much you can spend on jeans, who you have relationships with, or what your education is, you still should have something to be thankful for. Even if, or even better, the thing you are thankful for can be the Earth, your life, or a memory.

What I'm Thankful for in 2014

On Tynan

I think that gratitude is an essential part of a good life. If you don't appreciate the people, places, and things that make up your life, you don't have much motivation do anything. I feel the weight of gratitude every day. Many times a day I think of how fortunate I am to be where I am, and how so much of that is due to other people. I can't write that post every day, but I think I can get away with it on Thanksgiving.

I'm most thankful for my family and friends. The two categories of people are intertwined because I feel like I'm best friends with many of my family members, and that many of my friends are so close they may as well be family. Genetics make clear lines, but in real life they're one big group of people I love.

I traveled with a lot of friends this year, and I'm particularly grateful for that. Sharing my favorite places around the world and discovering new ones with friends are among my favorite things in the world. I'm very fortunate to be able to do a lot of that.

I made only a few new friends this year, but I feel like I became closer with a lot of friends, often as a result of traveling together.

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