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,