Appreciating everyday life, learning from crisis in Japan part 2

17 Apr

“You appreciate something that you lose… and then get it back.”

The biggest personal impact due to the nuclear problems in Fukushima was the disruption on the everyday life. Suddenly things I take for granted were challenged:

  • For some days, I didn’t feel safe to breathe outside without a face mask
  • Tap water had some radioactive substances and stores were running out of big water bottles
  • At stores I wanted to know from which region the vegetables were coming from
  • Trains connections were cut, and we were concerned of the blackouts in our area

After a brief period of anxiety, things in Fukushima have luckily started to settle down. The situation in Tokyo has been also stabilizing, and the concerns I felt have been mostly countered. The warm spring air smells good when walking to work, the tap-water is again totally clean and fresh, food is delicious as always and we know that the lights will come on when turning the switch.

The brief period of scare gave way to a deep appreciation of the everyday life. It’s so easy to take many of the daily necessities for granted, and I feel like re-awakening to understand their value again. Life feels richer, even though there is nothing new there. Just the good old everyday life; and a little more appreciation!

However, I know that if I don’t pay attention, this newfound appreciation will be quickly forgotten. To counter this, I want to build my awareness and practice thankfulness towards everyday life through 3 habits:

  1. Using my senses: when drinking my cup of morning green tea, I will deliberately pay attention to fully feel the warmth, to notice the green and to taste the bitterness
  2. Slowing down: when coming back from work, I will spend 3 more minutes to walk more slowly, thus giving myself a possibility to be present in the moment and feel the surroundings
  3. Thankfulness journaling: I will continue writing down one thing I am thankful about every morning, to consciously remind myself of the positive things in my life

What about you. How can you ensure being aware of the richness of your everyday life, showing appreciation to the things you have and experience? What are your habits to do that?

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One Response to “Appreciating everyday life, learning from crisis in Japan part 2”


  1. Volunteering in Tohoku, learnings from crisis in Japan | Life of purpose - June 18, 2011

    […] Appreciating everyday life, learning from crisis in Japan part 2 […]

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