Little affirmations to start your day
photos by Daniel Gabrielson
"I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream." - Vincent van Gogh
Last night, I walked outside late at night and for the first time in a long time looked up at a sky freckled with stars. I walked a little longer on the path outlining my house, not taking my eyes off the sparkling wonders. I couldn't shake the feeling that if I looked away for just a second, they'd disappear.
Sometimes, like anyone else, I take things for granted. Without even realizing it, I look over the really good things in life and dwell on the not-so-optimal. But last night, for no good reason other than a sky full of light, I felt really lucky.
There's something about the night sky that makes me dream a little bigger. Maybe because it's so vast and filled with opportunity, or maybe it's the grandeur of it all. Either way, this morning while ordering a morning coffee at a local Starbucks, I peered out at familiar palm trees and not-so-familiar faces. I started to remember little things that make me feel lucky, and how I could remind myself of these things each day:
Write a list: I sat down at my usual seat at the coffee shop this morning and pushed my computer to the side. Emails could wait, and so could this post. Instead, I took a sip of my coffee, turned on some feel-good tunes and opened my notebook. Over the next twenty minutes, I etched out things that I'm so incredibly thankful for. They seemed to pour out onto the page faster than I could write them. This little affirmation not only got my day off to a great start, but it set the tone for some new inspiration and big ideas.
Smile: This is one of those list items that seem so obvious, but completely necessary at the same time. It's easy to lose your smile on hard days, but when you make the effort to bring it back, it can change the whole day around.
Talk to a stranger: I love talking to strangers. Everyone has a story, and most are the things you'd least expect. In the journalism department of my college, there is a woman who works on administrative aspects. One day, I sat down and talked to her for a few extra minutes. Turns out, when she's not holding the key to coveted journalism classes, she a devout surfer. She helped me gain a little perspective, and to this day I constantly wonder about stranger's stories.