Making Meaning

Making Meaning

It's been exactly a week since I started my journey in living with daily gratitude. Upon waking each morning, I stumble out of bed to write down ten things in my life that I am grateful for. The items I list don't have to be grandiose or expensive. In fact, many of the things that end up in my journal are of the simplest nature: a cloudless sky, a blissful meal, a compliment given by a passing stranger.

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The initial motivation behind my now established gratitude journal was written in a book given to me. The books describes the essential quality of gratitude in elevating our daily lives and attributes much of this to the law of attraction. Here's where things get a little woo-woo. The law states that what you manifest in your mind and your actions will come to you. I've had my qualms with this concept of the law of attraction, but the more I read about it and practice its ideals, I have noticed a great shift in my reality.

You can say it's increased awareness or simply just a matter of coincidence. To me, though, much more has materialized for me to believe that this is all just a notion of luck. Take this recent instance for example: upon fretting about money and the imminent debt that I will surely face in my future years, I cognitively focused on expressing my gratitude for what I already have now financially. "I must admit that I am extremely fortunate and grateful for all of the money and financial support i have received in my lifetime because I have been able to experience many wonderful opportunities and continue to do so presently" I wrote in my journal. The very next morning I received a text from my dad to check my email. The subject appearing in my inbox was that I had just received a monetary art award for a project I had created in high school. I was in awe. This stuff really does work! A few hours later I opened my school mailbox to find my final two paychecks from work, another source of income that I had totally forgot about when I was in a negative mindset. When we focus on what we lack, we stay in that physical state. Conversely, when we acknowledge all that we are grateful for from a standpoint of abundance, that only sets us up to receive more of that same positive energy.

These previous paragraphs were typed passionately on the bus ride to a brunch date with a fellow michigan student. Instagram has been pivotal in connecting me to like-minded people here within the university and Ann Arbor area, so I was excited to have just another person from whom I could seek advice. Yet much more than a connection was formed. To say our encounter was inspiring would be an understatement. In each of our small pockets of our day, we both found meaning and purpose in the presence of one another. Sarah Wood, an instagramer and University of Michigan student herself, guided me through my own path to self discovery in those two hours that we spent together. She did not chide me to seek inner resolve, but rather prompted me with existential questions, the very kind of conversation I have been searching for for my entire life.

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She challenged me with her questioning. At times I felt unsure and silly for not knowing the answers to life’s most human inquiries: What activities in which do I find meaning? What gives my life purpose? For once, though, I did not feel inadequate for not having the “correct” answers or any answer at all for that matter. Instead I felt rejuvenated. My life has done a complete 180 in just a mere 2 hours. Sarah helped me to find verbal clarity in my goals for my future and instilled upon me the importance of finding joy in the process rather than in the outcomes. She defined herself and her own line of purpose as leading the life of a joy soldier, sharing her philosophy of gratitude with those around her and practicing these lessons in her own life.

To bring this all full circle, I have now realized that Sarah came into my life at exactly the right moment. I was on the brink of breaking my gratitude practice, of relinquishing my daring goals for fear of economic instability. Through the law of attraction and exuding grateful energy, however, Sarah walked into my life and performed her joy soldier duties. She made me realize that life does indeed have a purpose, but that purpose is up to you. You have to define it. It is within you, only waiting to be uncovered.

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