Hey There, Well-Beings!
Goodness, it’s really been a while since I posted a Gratitude Review! I certainly haven’t been ungrateful, just using some much needed downtime over the past couple of months to learn how to set better boundaries on my time, take care of my own health and well being, and feel my way through what I want this blog to be. One of the things I enjoyed writing the most each month was the Gratitude Review, because it gave me a moment to pause and look back at the four weeks that had passed and file away a few winning moments so I went into the next month feeling more positive, well adjusted, and happier. I’m really quite thankful that I’ve decided to start that up again, after the long time away.
Last week I took my cameras out of their cases and found my way back to a creative outlet that I fell in love with a few years ago: nature photography. I’d forgotten how liberating it felt to get outside and get behind a camera lens. I appreciate many other forms of creativity, but this one put me in a place to literally stop and smell the roses. I am thankful for the opportunity to slow down, take in every detail, and really savor something that fills my heart and recharges my battery.
I got really sick this past month. It sent me to the doctor a couple of times and had me in bed for four and a half days. I know that sounds like a terrible thing to be thankful for, but it allowed me the opportunity to flex my natural health muscles and use some herbs and oils that I’d have had a much longer recovery time without. Don’t get me wrong! I’m plenty thankful for modern medicine, but I’m especially thankful for all of the resources I’ve had access to over the years and the wonderful teachers I was sent so I could learn an art that literally saved my life once.
Another thankful thing to come out of my sick time this month was that I used the time to get reacquainted with an app that got lost in the shuffle over the past couple of years. My body was resting, but I needed a little help getting my mind to cooperate and follow suit. Insight Timer is a free app that connects you to a community of people who meditate with a massive library of free guided meditations, a nifty timing tool for days when you want to go it alone, and groups with specific interests that match your own. I used it pretty faithfully for a while, but then I started exploring other techniques and during one of those dreaded-data-storage warnings, it ended up getting sacrificed to spare my music and photo editing apps. I’m thankful that I rekindled this relationship. It’s deepening my practice and holding me accountable each day.
I want to hear from you! What made you grateful in the month of May? Did you go anywhere exciting? Did you get an early start on your summer reading list? What’s making you happy these days? Share your comments below and let’s keep the good feelings going.
Wishing You Total Well-Being,
Hey There, Well-Beings!
I went to see my mentor and friend for a healing session on Friday night and she gave me some homework. In my meditation time, I have been focusing on bliss and it’s been just what the Reiki Master ordered! I’ve been so down deep in depression and wound so tight with anxiety that my routine left little time to enjoy the things I used to light up about and I slipped into survival mode. Our talk really got me thinking about how untended my mental, physical and spiritual garden has been while I’ve been going about the business of just getting through life, so I decided to take her advice a step further and go on an impromptu adventure today! I played hooky from my usual Sunday writing and got out in the sunshine. My camera had been calling and so had our local rose garden. It’s one of my favorite places to spend a day, happily snapping as many photos as I can. There’s also a lovely little greenhouse on the property, filled with lots of little treasures. Here are a few shots from my trip to midtown:
Hi There, Well-Beings,
It’s been a while since I have been able to get a post up. The website went a little wonky in the past couple of weeks and it took some time to get those wonks ironed out. I’m back though, and ready to share something that’s been on my heart lately.
I’ve been preaching gratitude for a while now. I still believe in its transformative powers, and I think it’s a good place to start whenever you’re down and out and don’t know what to do. If I’m being honest though, life has thrown me so many lemons lately that I stopped making lemonade, because I’d gotten kinda sick of drinking it. In moments that felt totally overwhelming, I used to find comfort in being able to rattle off a couple of things that I felt thankful for and it helped me save the day, even if only a little, but I was so burned out that even my never-fail list felt empty and ineffective. Great. Even the thing I tell people “changed my life” isn’t working anymore. How do you bounce back from that?
I’d been going over old Facebook posts, notebooks, and journal entries and wondering what happened. One of the things that really stuck me was how much more detail I used to use in describing things. Then, scribbled in the corner of page in one of my idea notebooks was a quote by Marie Forleo that helped me to see why my practice was failing, “When it comes to gratitude, the dividends are in the details.”
I’ve changed the way I’ve been thankful for things in the past week, and I believe it’s making a big difference. Rather than rattling off three things and getting on with my day, I’ve tried giving myself just one thing to focus on and then really experiencing it in as much detail as possible, by journaling about it or making it part of my daily meditation practice. For example, if I was thankful for my dog, (and you bet I am), I might recall how sweet it is when he curls up next to me while I’m writing, or the way he gives run by kisses when I’m in the kitchen filling his food bowl. I might also remember what a comfort it was having him in my life while I was grieving, or how his love of a sunny spot in the grass on a nice day reminds me to slow down and enjoy life a little more. I couldn’t forget the goofy little dance he does when I make popcorn and “accidentally” drop a few pieces. See? Quality, not quantity. There’s always a lot of quality when you take time to notice it.
I want to know how you’re doing. Are things humming along or have you started to forget the words? Do you have any tips for bringing more depth to your gratitude practice? Leave a comment below and let’s talk it out. You never know how your contribution might set off the spark of gratitude in someone else.
Wishing You Total Well-Being,