zen habits : breathe

Make Today Your Personal Miracle

“There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” - Albert Einstein

I ran a 22-miler this morning in preparation for my second marathon later this month, and at about mile 18, the heavens opened up and poured water on me by the truckload. It was a Biblical rainfall, and I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face.

That’s not as dangerous as it sounds, running as I was on a deserted side road on a tropical island in the wee morning hours. I ran on, glad of the cool and amazed at how much water can come down on a person at once.

Then the rain stopped as suddenly as it started, and the clouds parted, admitting into the sky a God-like light that lit up the heavens.

I suddenly, without thought, shouted at the top of my lungs, “I’M LOVING LIFE!!”

The outburst startled even me, and I started laughing to myself. Where did that lunatic eruption come from?

It was this glorious lit-up sky, following the torrential rain, that made me realize what a miracle this life is. My legs were dead tired and aching after 18 miles of running, but it was a seriously beautiful run. I was full of love for this wonder we call life.

I then did something I like to do every now and then, which is count my blessings. Forgive the air of bragging that follows, but I thought you might be interested in my list of blessings:

  1. I am alive.
  2. I am healthier than ever before.
  3. I am strong enough to run a marathon.
  4. I am married to the most beautiful and loving woman I’ve ever met.
  5. I am loved by six of the most wonderful children I could ever have hoped for.
  6. I have an incredible family, with supportive and good-hearted parents, sisters and brothers, grandparents and cousins and aunts and uncles.
  7. I am able to pursue my passion, and live my dream of being a full-time blogger — without a boss.
  8. I have eliminated my debt, and have a decent emergency fund saved up.
  9. I live on a luxurious tropical island in a house with a gorgeous view of the ocean and sunset each day.
  10. I have a successful blog with the most encouraging, generous, supportive readership imaginable.
  11. I have a book deal!
  12. I live a relatively simple life.
  13. I have great friends, both online and off.
  14. I am alive!

That’s not a complete list of course, but it’s some of the highlights. It’s hard to be thorough when you feel like lying down on the road, curling up and going to sleep.

Why are you glad to be alive? Count your blessings — your list won’t be the same as mine, but there will always be things to be grateful for, and you should never compare your list with others. Just be glad of what you do have.

Today is a gift, for each of us. What are you going to do with it? How will you make the most of this life?

“Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive” - Elbert Hubbard



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