MANTRA: be GRATEFUL

Updated: Dec 29, 2021


An iridescent film on the water near Thorp Pond in the town of Gibraltar indicates the presence of iron-precipitating bacteria in stagnant pools of peat bogs.

Over the last few years I’ve come to rely on mantras to fuel my pursuit of mindfulness. Short phrases that serve as sparks in meditation. I am by no means the master of zen, and these are not traditional mantras in the sanskrit sense. I have found that these personally cultivated, non-traditional mantras help me to keep perspective on life. I’m sharing them because I feel they also fuel my creative process and the work that comes from it.


Today, I was all ready to post my thoughts about a different mantra but fate intervened. It’s been a long week. Hell, it’s been a long month. Then a slide into the ditch (thank you bald tires) and the ensuing flat tire put me over the edge. It’s easy to forget what we have to be thankful for when it seems like everything is going wrong. Be grateful is a mantra I need to visit more often and it seems like the universe was telling me that this morning.


I am grateful for the people in my life, the emotional support they provide, the community and fellowship that we share. I am grateful for my health, my relative prosperity, and the ability to pursue my creative dreams.


In every instance, instead of thinking I needed more, I thought of how bad it would be to have less. This can extend into photography equipment or creative skills. Photographers are notorious for always thinking that a certain piece of gear will solve all of their problems. Even worse is being envious of someone else’s work - losing faith in your own skills because someone else has more likes or followers.


It's a reminder to me that it’s what you do with the day that matters most, not what a coveted lens or skill-set might bring you instead. Yes, carpe diem, and all that crap, but actually being grateful for being alive is always where I start with my gratitude. And that's actually a really good segue into my next post…


Photo: Iron bacteria provides the iridescent sheen on a seep in the Thorp Pond State Natural Area near Egg Harbor, Wisconsin. ©2021 Brett Kosmider