Grappling With Gratitude
Several of you have been lamenting lately about the fact that you’re having trouble finding gratitude these days. You’ve looked over every rainbow and things still look like shit.
Does that happen to me? Um…..hell yah.
There are days when saying “I got up on the wrong side of the bed” is a colossal understatement. They can happen in succession, which then becomes known as “The Week From Hell” to myself and anyone who breaths my air.
I am to be avoided at all costs.
On those days, I can ONLY tell the cold, hard truth, and if “you can’t handle the truth,” as Jack Nicholson so famously snelled (which is a sneer and a yell) to Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men, don’t call me or come over. Don’t ask me if your butt looks big in those jeans, if your bangs are too short or if I like your new boyfriend.
Really. I won’t be kind.
On those days the “truth” as I see it is tragically skewed.
All my eyes can register are the flaws and fuck ups in life.
Not the big heavy, real stuff. Those things are glaringly evident.
I’m talking about finding fault with the little shit, and the way those things can pile up and send you over the edge.
We’ve ALL had those days.
A beautiful table, but I can only see the tiny scratch.
My husband comes out in a new shirt he loves; I zero in on a loose thread and a possible stain.
My hair is too soft. (What?)
Why isn’t it hotter/colder?
Why are they always out of my favorite _________?
The garden looks okay, but why aren’t there more roses? There are usually more roses this time of year.
And on and on and on.
Yep, I do that.
Those are the days when I have to literally force myself to practice gratitude.
I do practice gratitude on a pretty regular basis. I teach it after all. I send a daily gratitude text to friends and I write a list, because I know I have a ton to be grateful for.
But…..some days. I have appreciation for nuthin‘.
So a month or so ago, I remembered an old exercise that I used to use, and I thought I’d start again, so that the next time I felt I was grappling with gratitude, I could stop and be reminded. Sometimes I just need a physical anchor to my practice, otherwise it gets too airy fairy and I won’t do it.
It’s simple and easy, and it works.
Get a stone or rock. Something you’ve collected or something from around your environment. It can even be a crystal or your Maya heart stone (wink).
The point is, it has to feel good in your hand.
Kept it next to your bed, and before you go to sleep, think back to the BEST thing that happened to you that day. Hold the stone while you replay how good that experience felt.
Wallow in it.
Then say Thank You to this thing for making your day.
Really say it all the way from your big toe.
Three times usually does it for me.
If things are going well in your life, you’ll know exactly which thing to dwell on. There may even be a few. (Lucky you).
But when you have to rack your brain……..Awww man, I feel ya, it sucks, but this is an important exercise to give you some impetus toward the turn around.
I know it’s hard when you’re not in a good place, so it can be stuff like:
The sweet relief of getting off work.
You got your period.
Realizing you had fifteen more minutes to sleep.
The cleaners was still open when you got there.
Your boss is on vacation.
There was an extra roll of toilet paper in the cabinet.
They got your lunch order right.
Your car started.
Your coffee was hot and how you like it. (Along with that, the barista actually wrote YOUR NAME not some bastardization of it on the cup.) I’ve been Hammit, Jammit, Jnae? , Jane T. , Jana, the list goes on. Some funny, some not so much.
You get the gist.
Feel the gratitude for the mundane things that DO go right.
Get your bearings.
Give up your quest for the flaws.
Search for the BEST thing.
Anchor how good that feels onto that stone.
The energy of gratitude feeds on itself. It will give you more and more things to be thankful for. It’s really crazy how magical it is.
But some days you’ll need the stone staring at you on the nightstand to remind you, and you’ll have a tinge of gratitude for me ( wink, wink).
Then go to sleep knowing you’ll have a better tomorrow.