Day 289 - Gratitude
I have been feeling especially grateful the past few days. I am just content and happy and feel like everything is ok. This is amidst a worldwide pandemic so I am super grateful. It is so interesting to me how one minute I can be sure that all is going to horribly wrong to be delivered to a new day and a new head space where it all feels ok.
I start every day off writing out twelve things that I am grateful for in my life. I have been doing it for years. It helps me remember from the time I wake up until the time I go to sleep to stay in gratitude. Even when everything goes to hell, I have a lot to be grateful for! What changes from day to day is not my gratitude for all that I have and all that I don’t...what changes is my ability to really feel it. I can rattle off twelve things and feel nothing. Or I can list twelve things and be overwhelmed by just how very blessed I am. Some days I have it, others I do not. I have spent a lot of time thinking and researching why this is, why some days I am overwhelmed with the feeling of gratitude and others it is as if I am standing outside the experience...
What I have come to is that gratitude is based on action, as is love. I have to do the work to feel the feeling. Writing the list is an action but I have to do more. I have to really slow down and feel my life. I like to think my life, that feels better to me for some reason. The feeling is sometimes (ok who am I kidding, a lot of the time) really terrifying to me. So I prefer to think my way through rather than feel it. But like everything in life, I can’t parcel it out into convenient manageable bites. Feeling requires an openness that is large and great and not controllable. But feeling is what makes it all worthwhile. Thinking is where I get into trouble.
Today I woke up feeling so incredibly blessed to have the life I do. I love my life. I love the people who are in it, the place that I live, the family that I have and the job that I am lucky to be employed by. Today, I don’t need anything else, just my life, right now, as it is.
The writing of the list everyday helps reorient me especially on the days where my thoughts revolve around self or lack or worth or fear. It gives me concrete proof that even though I am not feeling it, I can think it and perhaps plant seeds for the feeling to come later.
The Buddha said: “What we think, we become.”
So the thoughts of gratitude have to come before the feeling. It can’t be any other way. I have to think positive thoughts of gratitude to ever get the experience. The practice of writing out the things I am grateful for every morning are building blocks to living a life that is grounded in gratefulness for all that I have been given, all that I have worked for and all that I am. And in every one of those things, were things that were taken from me, things that I didn’t work for at all and in all the mess and disturbance and fucking things up, I became this person that I am today. I got it wrong a lot and somehow that has made it all all right.
I love my life today. I love it all. The stuff that I enjoy and the stuff that hurts because I know I am learning and living from them both. I see my life from the inside out today and I know that I have done the work to make the insides a demilitarized zone. And I know that I continue to do the work that makes the insides match the outsides. I don’t always do it well or without pain and strife, but I do it nonetheless.
Here is my gratitude list for today:
A lovely day with Grace yesterday
Watching a movie that was filmed in Ojai
Loving where I live
Loving my life
Seeing the RV again and loving it even more!
Purring cats on my lap while I write
Getting back to regular routine today
My mom’s help
My families’ health
My job that gives me purpose and meaning
What are you grateful for today? Seriously, hit me up. I would love to know. One of the best things I get to do everyday is to read the list of a few women who send me their gratitude list every day. I am always in awe in all that they do, feel and are. I would be honored if you would share yours with me. Because what I have found is that gratitude means most when shared and expressed. Like love, it means less if not shared. So please share it, with me, and if not with me, with someone. It makes you feel good and it also gives the other person a boost. And, everyone on the planet can use a boost now and again...
And know, that I am so incredibly grateful to all of you who read this every day. I am humbled and honored and so incredibly grateful! Thank you!