Hey y’all we got a new channel going on here for our tea time chats! Hope you enjoy the new format. Nothing but constant change going on these days. I feel like this has been my tune all year long….actually for the past two years to be exact! Nothing like some constant change to break up your resistance to change that’s for sure! So these days I am on vacation which BTW is freaking amazing! Lovin the time to just be with me and get some stuff done. It feels like everything is moving like the speed of lightening lately so it is nice to have time to slow down. Speaking of which….our topic for tea today is gratitude. I was on a road trip with a very trusted long term friend last weekend and we got to talking about spirituality, metaphysi..cst for recovery, Soba Yoga, boys, work, the future…you know the kind of girl stuff that women of a mature age talk about (maturity is a relative thing, you know:) We were heading to a wedding so all the big life topics were on the table. She, knowing me, brought up the practice of gratitude as a way of reworking some of the negativity that our minds can become attached to.
I thought….hmmmm….kinda like Arsenio….yes hmmm might I be missing the boat a bit? Have I not be as grateful as I could be and is that what has caused some burnout recently….hmmmmm.
Of course, deep down I knew the answer to my question was a resounding YES! Due to a perfect storm that had occurred, I was having great difficulty seeing clearly and thereby not noticing how blessed I was to have the people and situations in my life that I do. This happens to us all. The proverbial shit storm stirs around us and we are suddenly Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz so far, far away from home. So we ate….a lot….it was a NY Italian wedding in Da Bronx…..you get the picture….food, amazing food, everywhere. We danced or I shall say I danced….and then we drove the long ride home in traffic. The next day I was slowly up from my slumber making my way over to the independent bookstore nearby to buy a copy of The Magic by Rhonda Byrne as recommended by my friend. It is a sequel to The Secret and is all about using gratitude practices to bring you closer to the life you long for. You know that life you say you want but you actively live the life you don’t? Ya that one. The Magic talks about how our thoughts, words and actions lead us in the direction that we are going. So if you don’t like that direction….take a look at what you are focusing on! It’s like the line in my favorite book, The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. It goes like this….
“Your car goes where your eyes go.”
Yup….just like that. So The Magic has me focusing on writing 10 things that I am grateful for every morning. After I write them I say “thank you, thank you, thank you.” There have been several different practices that it has guided me towards. Some I can say that I have done like clock work and others I haven’t done yet. But one that I did the other day was this…..
You take out a dollar bill and write “Thank you for all the money I have been given throughout my life.” Several times during the day you take the bill out and reflect on it especially if you are having a moment of feeling financial lack. The book suggests that you think of all the things that were provided for you that you didn’t buy or earn that allowed you to live the life you lived and got you to this point in your life. I have to say that this has been particularly useful.
So yes, The Magic has been magical. It has begun to shift my perspective on life and helped me to see that my perspective will either help or hinder me. I have done gratitude practices plenty of times in the past. The book…..it’s not all that earth shattering really. But I truly believe that we can’t get enough repetition of the good in our lives. Think about how often you repeat negative thoughts to yourself. That is how often you need to remind yourself of the positive and even more so. In my work with people in recovery from addiction, gratitude has been a cornerstone. 12 step recovery programs tell people with addictions that a grateful heart will never use or drink. I do believe what they are saying is that when you focus on the positive you have exponential powers to do positive in your life. This brings the work of “therapy” more into the realm of wellness coaching. Rather than just focusing on the past and rehashing it over and over again, you can use your time and energy to focus on the positive things that you have thereby drawing more positivity your way.
I firmly believe that while processing our past pain can be useful, doing so without releasing it is only harmful. This will only bring about more pain. If we need to go back over and over things again and again, we may want to ask ourselves why we are so attached to our pain. There may have been people who caused pain to you in the past but now you are currently the abuser. Wellness coaching focuses more on building upon strengths rather than looking for weaknesses and fault. This is what I found to be true about The Magic. It really has helped me to begin to let go of the story line of my pain and take a look at how I can empower myself to experience more positivity and happiness.
So for today, how might you drop the story line you tell yourself about why you can’t or haven’t experience pure happiness and joy? Might practicing gratitude for what you have help you along the way? For today, I am going to give myself a pat on the back for doing some work on the computer and put it down so I might go about enjoying the rest of my day. I suggest you do the same. Honor yourself. Take care of yourself. And above all Love yourself!