“The struggle ends when gratitude begins.” ~ Neale Donald Walsch


As we enter into the month of November, with Thanksgiving upon us, I’d like to take a moment to reflect and express gratitude.  I find myself at times feeling thankful for having any kind of experience at all, positive or negative.  It really is a miracle to be having any conscious experience.  The miracle of life is happening all around us, and it can easily go unnoticed from day-to-day.

There is always beauty to be found right in front of  us — seeing the awe-inspiring sky, the mountains in the distance, hearing the birds chirping, hearing my kids playing together.  All of these things are going on, even in what seems to be a chaotic and tumultuous political landscape at the moment.  

Sometimes I try to be thankful for what some may call the most basic things — being able to see, hear, feel, taste, smell, touch, walk, talk, think, laugh, smile.  I love being able to walk outside and feel the warmth of the sun on my face, the smell of the fresh morning air, or the coolness of the morning wind. I sometimes walk outside my door and pause for a moment, just to appreciate being alive.


I recently came across a video with comedian Louis C.K., in which he expresses how we are lucky to even live sad moments.  Living sad moments can help us more fully appreciate joyful moments.

We can be thankful that we can cry about something we really care about.

So today, I’d like to leave you with this.  You are all very blessed and loved so much, beyond anything you can imagine.  There are many people who love and care about you.  

At this moment, here are some things I am thankful for.

  • My beautiful family, wife and two daughters.
  • My youngest daughter — who suffered trauma at birth —  is doing well, has come a long way, and is developmentally healthy with much good news.
  • My friends.
  • I have food in my stomach, access to water, a roof over my head, and clothes on my back.
  • I’m healthy.
  • I’m safe right now.
  • My job as a professional school counselor.  I get to do what I love and help serve my community, and help make a positive difference in people’s lives.
  • My educational experiences.
  • I set goals, and I accomplish them.  I set my mind to something and do it.
  • I can provide for my family, take care of them, and protect them.
  • I can still play, write, and record music.
  • I’ve had so many wonderful experiences, and still get to make more awesome and great memories.
  • All the wonderful people I’ve met.
  • Even if I didn’t have any of this, I would still be enough and grateful for life.  I’m grateful to be having any experience as it is, and can feel things.  I’m grateful that I get to write this sentence because I can see with my eyesight, I can hear the music playing on my computer, and hear the kids playing outside.  I can type with my fingers and hands…I can feel the air blowing across my face…

Thank you, God.

This is the day the Lord has made.  Let us rejoice and be glad. ~ Psalm 118

Published by

Daniel E. Valenzuela

I’m a family man who really enjoys serving communities through working with kids and their families, helping to make a positive difference. I’m also very passionate about music. My friends and colleagues that know me are aware that I have many roles. I’m a father of three beautiful girls, a husband, school counselor, musician, educator, brother, son…the list goes on. I think more importantly that if all of my roles were taken away, I would consider myself to be a loving human being. I love to learn, and will always consider myself to be a lifelong learner. Most of this blog will be about life, counseling, the human experience, and general topics I take interest in. Some topics that will probably make their way into this blog are spirituality, mindfulness, relationships, music, education, counseling, self-care, wellness, gaming, and books to name a few. I’m also hoping to post some interviews in podcast form. I am currently a school counselor and adjunct faculty in California. I received a Master of Science in Counseling – School Counseling and PPS at California State University, Fresno, and a Bachelor of Music – Music Education from California State University, Stanislaus.

2 thoughts on “GRATITUDE”

  1. Daniel – what a beautiful thought. I’m so glad you and your family are doing well. We miss you – and your sweet spirit – here in the Sylvan District. God bless you on your new journey, and thanks for sharing your gratitude, which reminds us all to be thankful for the little things in life.

    Liked by 1 person

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