The Power of Gratitude

The forest and ocean view from our first Hawaiian home (a 10′ x 9′ Coleman tent!)

As everybody knows, Mark (my partner) and I ended up in Hawai’i in mid-January.  We found our way here through an organic farming organization.  From my first moment on this island, I knew I was truly home. I wake up every single day thankful for my ability to live in the paradise of my dreams. Some people have different ideas of paradise whether it’s a big, bustling eclectic city; the snowy Canadian countryside; or living in the red rocks of the Arizona desert.

My paradise has always been Hawai’i. I fall asleep every night, and wake every morning with a great sense of thankfulness and gratitude for the energy that brought me here. It’s the same energy that will keep me here.  I have found that, when we stop being grateful for a person, place or thing, those things tend to quite naturally drift away from us.

Mark and I began our Hawaiian life working on a farm in Honoka’a (north side of the Big Island). Unfortunately, even in my gratitude, things didn’t work out with that location. The people we met were amazing, and I forged new friendships.  The farm host had never had volunteer workers before, and they didn’t follow-through with their promise of food, etc.  We lived rather rough for our first 2 months here; though, again, I was thankful for the use of propane stove and camp-style kitchen and bathroom facilities. I was even more thankful that I wasn’t punching any particular time clock, I woke up to the nature every morning, and I had a most beautiful view of the ocean below.

It was in that state of gratitude, and need for change (due to money running out quickly!), when we found our current situation. Mark and I are now the on-site caretakers at a beautiful estate on the Kona-side of the island.   I wake every morning to the beauty of Keahou Bay below, and I get to see the incredible Kona sunsets every single night.

This is the ocean sunset view from our cottage lanai (patio) every night!

In return for our hard work and effort around the estate, our new employers have placed us in a brand-new cottage built on a hill just above the main house. We have all new appliances and furnishings (something I’ve never had in my adult life). I have so many things to be grateful for: the ability to cook on a beautiful glass-topped stove; the “natural rain” shower head in our beautifully-tiled bathroom, the small dining table on our lanai where we eat our meals…

An attitude of gratitude isn’t always effortless. There are days when it seems much easier to complain about the the pain, the things we feel are missing, etc. I simply always try to make it a point to find those things I’m grateful for every night and every morning because I am now in my paradise.  There are days when the physical work seems like an incredible drain on our bodies, and it can be difficult to remember why we did this. I always go back to my dream. I had been telling people for years that I would scrub toilets and make beds for a living if I could only watch the sun set in Hawai’i every night. I am living my dream. I got what I asked for, and I have to remember to be grateful for it. The Universe provided, and it’s now up to me to sustain the dream.

Don’t get me wrong. I want more. I want my own place so that I can have a dog in my life again (I REALLY miss my dog). I want to make more money (through writing) so my friends and family can visit me, I want to live in my own small house that I can decorate on my own, and I don’t want my work to be so physically demanding. At the same time, I am grateful that I currently work so hard. I am losing a lot of weight and getting healthy fast. I am finding things, outside of my wants and desires, that I am truly grateful for right now because I believe the positive energy of thankfulness tells the Universe I’m ready for more to come.

If you find yourself in unhappy circumstances, you mustn’t wallow in those circumstances. You must find those things that you can still be grateful for (even if it’s something as simple as “I’m grateful I woke up today”). Only YOU can affect the changes in your life. Being grateful for that life is a great place to start.

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