Black Coffee In Paradise


As I sip black coffee in paradise...I can't help but feel an overwhelming wave of gratitude.


And it's times like these that I wonder: Why don't I feel like this every day I am alive?

That's not to say that I should have the privilege of waking up in a luxury villa with a private balcony, complete with a hammock and a million dollar view of Playa Tortuga from 3,000 feet up, every single day.

I have to ask myself: Why is it that I cannot cultivate this feeling of complete gratitude for my life and all the good things in it on command?

It seems unfair and, to be more blunt, awful for me to take my life for granted most days. I can preach the importance of consciously practicing gratitude until I am blue in the face. That doesn't mean I am good at practicing what I preach.

But hopefully it is some consolation that I am aware of this problem.

Yesterday, I went against my norm. I fought against my comfort zone, and won.

My boyfriend and favorite adventure partner, Nik, and I decided to pamper ourselves in luxury. We have been living like locals in Costa Rica, in a small apartment on a noisy road sans A/C, hot water, and soft mattress. 

Last night, we made a spur-of-the-moment decision to stay the night at a 4-star villa in the mountains, overlooking the surf and sand below.

Our room was upgraded for free, so our private villa has the best view on property. We have a clear shot of the Pacific Ocean and Playa Tortuga beach (see below).

I am currently surrounded by lush rain forest and greenery, watching a toucan fly across the pool deck. I have my feet dipped in the cool, clear water, sipping black Costa Rican coffee.

We just finished a 3-course breakfast, and I simply couldn't waste another moment without capturing my current state.


We feel like King and Queen of the Mountain.

So on this day that is not like every other day, I want to put forth into the Universe my pure, unadulterated gratitude for my life. It is in this practice that I know I can attract more positive things into my life, and eradicate the negative things I attract.

Because gratitude is that awesome.

Today (And Everyday), I Am Grateful For These 5 Things

1. Love and Trust


Everyday, I am filled with an abundance of love and trust in my life. To me, there is no such thing as love without trust. I believe the dominant reason the past friendships and relationships in my life have failed is because, ultimately, I find it difficult to put my unfaltering trust in other people. I barely trust my own mind; how can I feel comfortable trusting others?

And there's my answer: Trust is not comfortable (at first).

Trust is scary. And then it's not. Suddenly, it's the most beautiful thing you could give to another, and receive in return. It cultivates love. I am met every day with affection and tenderness from Nik. Even at the hardest times to love me, he prevails. 

It's not only Nik, though (love ya, babe). It's the friends and family that support me and love me through it all. It's the friends and family that I get to share my life with. The experiences I am gaining now, here in Costa Rica and beyond, are virtually worthless without people to share them with. Call me the enemy to independence - that's the honest truth to me. Travel has allowed me to discover that for myself. I can gain all the knowledge and cultural experience the world has to offer. It means very little without friends and family.

My Affirmation: Love and trust flows through me with ease. I am light that grows brighter with the more lives I impact in a positive way.

2. Financial Resources

I am very grateful, now and every day, for the financial resources Nik and I have. We are dedicated savers, and have a balanced life full of budget-friendly decisions, and playful, money-doesn't-rule-our-lives decisions. We allowed ourselves to have one night of living the way we want to be living. Free and unlimited. May more days like this become possible.

The more focused you become on your lack of money, the more you attract a lack of money into your life. The more often you give into receiving money and focusing on it flowing into your life, the easier it comes. This is very hard to remember in times of desperation, but we are always careful what energy we are putting out into the Universe.

My Affirmation: Money flows easily to me, in abundance. I am open to receive opportunities for more financial resources to come.

3. Health and Body

I am thankful for my health, and the body that is home to my being. I am grateful that I make smart decisions to nourish and nurture my body so that I can continue to live a healthy life. My body is strong and I promise to continue my yoga practice and meditation practice to enhance that strength (both mentally and physically). I am ever thankful that my body and mind are free of disease, and pray that remains true through old age.

My Affirmation: I am strong. I am conscious. I am awake. May my body and mind continue to flourish as age increases.

4. Earth

(Extra Hippie Time) Thank you for this Earth, Universe. I am grateful to be surrounded by the beauty that has been created. The lush flora and fauna, the gentle mountain breeze, the sun shining overhead, the sea waves crashing far below. Paradise wouldn't be paradise without all these things. 

My Affirmation: Beauty is everywhere, I only need to open my eyes to see and receive it into my life. I will take care of the earth around me, as it continuously gives so much.

5. Comfort Zone

As odd as it may seem, yes. I am thankful for my comfort zone. Think of it like thanking the people who do you harm. Without it, your character cannot grow. Lessons may not be learned. Knowledge may not be gained. In that way, I am thankful for my comfort zone, so that I have a parameter to overcome. It teaches me lessons about myself, it helps me gain knowledge of how to be stronger.

My Affirmation: May my comfort zone continue to help me build character, learn lessons, and gain personal strength, while it continues to shrink every day.


I am thankful for today. 

I am thankful for this exact moment.

Living in the now is what I am making a commitment to be better at, as well as starting every day with gratitude.

...I am thankful that there is a pool right next to me. It's time for a dip. 

With a splash,

P.S. If you want to follow along with our travels, check out our blog, Nik & Vanessa Take The World!