If you have been doing your spiritual work for any amount of time, you’re probably very aware of the amazing impact that gratitude has…in fact, that’s one of the first things my mentor taught me about. Well, that and to trust myself, but we’ll circle back to that.
Do you know when gratitude matters the most? When you’re hanging on by a thread, and you are struggling to feel anything but angst. When you least feel grateful, is exactly when GRATITUDE matters.
Lift your Vibe with Gratitude
The cool thing about gratitude is that is is a vibration lifter – and I mean, immediately. Think about your favorite pet, think about your child, that favorite aunt who used to buy you ice cream…think of anything at all that has touched your life, for even a second, and made you smile. In that second of reflection, you’ve raised your vibration. And this, my dear friend, is why you are constantly being preached to about the importance of gratitude. Because that’s where the magic happens.
I have had the strangest, most challenging year of my life, going on about 16 months now, but who is counting? Yes, I get that a year is 12 months, but I’ve been living the year that never seems to end, 🙂 Life is funny like that. When I have been at my most stressed out, most “I’ma lose it in about 30 seconds!” place, I have learned to do two things, and they are super simple, but the two things I would not grab out of my coping tool box, until someone else reminded me… 1) BREATHE (because you have exactly everything you actually NEED in this exact second) and 2) BE GRATEFUL.
Now, I don’t have to be grateful for the shitshow that is swirling around me, but I can really quickly sneak a peek at my dog, or pull up a photo of my child on my phone, or walk into the kitchen and pour a cup of hot coffee (java happens to be my drug of choice). And in that moment, just that very moment or snap shot of “NOW” – I can feel gratitude.
Then I can go right back to being pissed, but it very rarely tastes as sweet. Because I’ve shifted my vibe, just a degree or two higher, and now that lower, shitty feeling vibe doesn’t quite fit. Sort of like my jeans from last year – they aren’t exactly fitting, but I can still cram my ass in there if I try hard enough. But if it doesn’t feel good, why force it? And I am not saying the feeling better doesn’t feel good – it doesn’t feel better to force myself back into my misery. Rise up, dear one, rise up. Leave those ill fitting jeans on the floor.
Let the momentum of the moment of release, keep going. Don’t immediately remind yourself of why you’re so upset. Instead, carry the momentum of that moment of relief, into the next moment. Toss the ball to the dog, send that cheeky text to the friend who loves to hear from you, walk outside and let the wind touch your skin. Take the moment of gratitude and carry it into the next.
And that’s enough. You don’t go from wanting to punch a hole in a wall (please don’t, it hurts!) to walking around singing joyful songs, just because you held onto a grateful thought. But you can slowly distance yourself from the mental poison you’ve been clutching on to. Because that’s where all suffering lives – in your thoughts.
I often scribble lists – I have serious ADHD and my mind is always jumping from place to place. It’s a bummer when I’m in a negative head space, because it can jump from worst case scenario to even worse case scenario — if I let it. But our minds do not have to control us. In fact, getting out of the head space and into the heart space is really where we thrive, and make awesome things happen.
A scribbled list of just 3 things that make you feel gratitude, is a very quick, easy, way to climb out of the fire. Even if you don’t go right into “peace,” it does allow for you to walk away from the flames. Use your phone if you need to, speak some words of awesome aloud, so that you can hear them, grab that pen and paper…do whatever you can to distance yourself from the heavy thoughts.
Remember that everything is energy, and once something is in motion, it’s hard to stop it. So instead of letting your thoughts and worries and fears and disappointments (and oh, Lort, I’ve had a few), become your focus, allow yourself to step back and give something that feels much better some space to grow. You can begin with jotting down a few simple words.
Here’s my list for this very day: friends, Thanksgiving, food, cats, coffee. Probably in that order. Oh, look, it’s more than 3 things 🙂
Let me know how I can help you, friend!