1. Waking up.
Do you have any idea how many people have that everyday miracle, silently stolen away from them in the night? Too many. And sometimes completely without warning. You woke up today. You get to have now. You’re already one of the lucky ones. Believe that.
2. Fresh air.
It’s easy to take something that we do more than 25,000 times a day, mostly without even thinking about it, for granted. I get that. But the next time you step outside your door, just take a minute to focus on your breathing. Take in that clean, fragrant sweetness of the green grass, variety of trees, bouquet of flowers, and the cotton clouds overhead, infusing together to create that soft smell of fresh air. Just remember that while it should be like this everywhere in our world, it’s not.
3. Clean running water.
You open a tap, and floods of crystal clear liquid spill out. Cooling, quenching, warming, cleansing. So simple, and basic, but we continue to rely on this process day in, day out. You don’t have to travel ten miles each day to find clean running water. It’s right there at your fingertips. Next time you open a tap, be mindful of this.
Please do not take this blessing for granted. So many children have this basic right robbed from them at birth, sometimes just for being born a girl, and wish for nothing more than waking up bright and early Monday morning to begin school. Something that others of us loathe. I was guilty of this. Because, at the time, I just didn’t get the big picture. Learning something new… being educated… An incredibly smart lady once said something that stuck with me forever – ‘smart is sexy, and it’s the only kind of sexy that lasts.’
5. Your body.
How many of us are all too familiar with tearing ourselves down based on what we look like on the outside? Yep, me too. But we’re forgetting just how strong each of us really are. Your legs, long or short, allow you to run, to wherever you choose to go; your hands allow you to create magic, through words or colour, on a page; your arms allow you to stretch out wide and unite yourself with each new day; your nose, no matter what shape or size, allows you to take deep breaths, in and then out. How could you not love a body that allows us to do all of these incredible things, over and over again? Learn to love the body you were given.
6. Loved ones.
Your Mum, your dad, your brother, your sister, or your best friend. It doesn’t matter how many you have, because all you ever really need is one. One person who loves you, and one person to love; that is more than enough to fill our souls with the light and warmth which they crave. So if you have just one person in your life who loves you, you are already winning. You’re winning at life, because, what could possibly make any of us richer than giving and receiving love? In the end, love is all there will ever be.
We can say yes, and more importantly we can say no. We can choose to be artists and models and actors; we can choose a career over getting married and starting a family. We can believe in whichever higher power we believe in, or choose not to believe in anything but ourselves. We can love whoever we fall in love with. You might scream, well of course we can, but many people are punished simply for making any one of these choices. Be thankful that you really do have a choice.
Because who knows? Today, you could write a business plan, or finally begin that book. You might fall in love today. You might finally succeed at something you’ve been working towards, or you may even fail. Some you will choose; others will choose you. It’s all so very uncertain, but that’s what makes it so damn exciting, doesn’t it? When you climb into bed this evening, something will have changed within you. You will have grown. You will have learned. You will be stronger than all of your yesterdays.
9. The chance to start over.
Did you make a bad choice? Did you hurt someone you love? Did you fall in love, but were afraid to tell the person whom you fell in love with? Like I said, if you’re one of the lucky ones, you’ll wake up to a beautiful new sunrise tomorrow, a new beginning, where everything starts from zero again; and you will have the chance to do anything that you choose. Anything. You just have to decide to start.