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This past week, my parents came all the way from Germany to visit me in California for the very first time. We had a wonderful time together, chatting, laughing, sightseeing, cooking and eating together, and I was sad to come back home to an empty house after I had dropped them off at the airport again.

But overall, the feeling that has stayed with me more than anything else is a warm, expansive, yet humble sense of gratitude: I feel so blessed to have such wonderful family, such a lovely little home, beautiful nature all around me, a job I enjoy, enough money to live comfortably…I feel so blessed for all that I have. There’s so much to love in my life! πŸ˜ƒ

I think what caused this renewed feeling of appreciation is showing my parents around and experiencing their excitement, curiosity and wonder at seeing all the places they’ve heard of, but never seen before. I felt proud when they said that our apartment is really cute and cozy and shared their feelings of awe and appreciation when we checked out beautiful views of the bay, the ocean and the redwood trees. I felt amused seeing my dad’s childlike excitement at his first trip to Trader Joe’s, and nothing but love and gratitude seeing my parents meet my mother in law for the first time. She actually cried a little…it was a really touching moment.

This feeling of adventure and learning new things has been contagious to me! It has allowed me to step back from everyday life and see all the beauty and blessings around me with new eyes, and take some of the downsides of the Bay Area (like lots of rush hour traffic and not enough rain for instance) with grace and humor.

So often we are excited about some new found love or beauty, but quickly fall into a state of routine and normalcy. Especially when things get hectic and busy, as they often do in modern life! But it’s so important to step back and look at our lives from the distance, observe consciously and notice the beauty that lies in the small details. Instead of being stuck in our regular perspective, we find new ways of looking at familiar things and people. Both the birds-eye view of seeing the bigger picture and the microscopic view on the little details can be a refreshing and rejuvenating sight!

We are so used to always seeking a new thrill, the newest trend, a new type of sensory stimulation, when it can be just as satisfying to look at something familiar with new eyes. And this practice also helps us in the problem-solving department, as we learn to step back, look at the same situation from a new perspective and find creative and innovative solutions. Furthermore, this process can teach us compassion, tolerance, curiosity, gratitude, humility and grace. And in my point of view, it doesn’t hurt to add a little more of these “softer” qualities to the go-go-go mentality of the modern world. It’s all about balance!

My parents visit has definitely been a refreshing change of routine, and it feels so good to be filled up with gratitude, blessings and loving memories. Whenever you feel stuck in a rut, stressed out or bored, try looking at the things in your life like you’re seeing them for the first time. Try seeing your surroundings through the eyes of a child. Take some time to just be, have fun, laugh, and turn off your brain. Just for a little while πŸ˜‰ Connect to your heart and remember what made you fall in love with your partner, your apartment, your job or that shirt you’re wearing today. It makes all the difference in moving from depression, stress and worries into a state of love, wholeness and joy!

Please share in the comments: What are 3 things you truly appreciate about your life?

Have a lovely, rejuvenating week! πŸ˜ƒ


*This post was first published on http://www.energiesinmotion.com on Oct. 17th, 2016