On Rebellious Gratitude

Today I’m grateful for:

  1. Practices like this one that give me a place to sit safely in discomfort.
  2. Being reminded of the power of my thoughts—meditations that provide peaceful affirmations when my mind is whirlwindy and obsessed.
  3. Fear and anger that open me up, push me towards evaluation, and ultimately evolution.
  4. Quick turnarounds on medical tests.
  5. New things to learn and try.
  6. A season of deep, slow, amber colored living.

Not too many years ago…

It was very common for me to wake up restless or overwhelmed.

I worried a lot. I worried about things like custody court, the safety of my child, making enough money to support us, relationship issues, addiction, and an eating disorder.

I remember those days when I would wake up with anxiety lodged in my throat. They were my darkest days. I remember feeling so hopeless, panicked, mentally clouded. Disconnected from my physical body, from the pulse of my creativity, and from the wonder and awe that’s available all around.

One day I’d had enough. I tried something. Obviously, if you know me, it was a list. A gratitude list. But this wasn’t your typical gratitude list…

This wasn’t an everything is rosey-list.

This wasn’t an “I’m in denial about the shit that bugs me”-list.

In Melody Beattie’s book Make Miracles in 40 days – turning what you have into what you want, I found the most radical, rebellious, resilience-repairing gratitude list of my life!
It encouraged an awareness of the blessings and support that fill your days. AND! it also encouraged a habit of honest self-reflection. It encouraged a willingness to open your heart and mind as wide as possible and take a closer look at the less favorable aspects of living while still maintaining a peaceful appreciation for daily life.

6/6/2016 Today I’m thankful for:

  1. Grounding practices.
  2. Water
  3. The kindness of strangers
  4. Friends that are family
  5. Dreams and their unsubtle maps of the heart.
  6. Protection.
  7. Lousy days that change everything..
  8. Shared writing
  9. Knowing that I so badly want to say and need to say what’s on my heart (especially in regards to all this stuff with Z) and be heard. And also knowing how badly I’m afraid of there not being an opportunity to be heard…
  10. Honesty. Even when it’s not that organized or articulate.

8/27/2016 Today I’m thankful for

  1. The way the kids make me feel like a scientist about life again.
  2. Rain/wind storms.
  3. Wounds, temperaments, tolerance.
  4. Reminders.
  5. The sky hung so heavy with stars that they sit sparkling on your shoulders.
  6. Every color ever blanketing the horizon.
  7. Cabin log-books.
  8. Knowing when to make my time my own.
  9. Mile marker math lessons with the kids.
  10. Learning.

11/28/2018 Today I am thankful for:

  1. Feeling alive! – even when the alive factor is an intense feeling of fear.
  2. Recognizing the anxiety + toll it takes on me after adrenaline rushes make me stable through shaky circumstances.
  3. The opportunity to clean, purge + reorganize after disaster strikes.
  4. Power to light and heat the house.
  5. Breaks to ground and comfort myself between work loads and aftershocks.
  6. A safe strong house even tho it wiggles and jiggles like jello.
  7. A familiar oasis to take the kids to, and a strong woman, who knows beans and moose tacos are exactly the right grounding food to ease nerves and fill hungry tummies.
  8. Childrens books to distract us and help put our minds at ease.
  9. Friends and community and long weekends to get ta feeling tip top again.

Impartial gratitude lists became my antidote when I’d wake with anxiety, or when I had to sit waiting or writhing right in the middle of all my fear and discomfort. Or when unexpected rough patches made focus and productivity really freaking hard.

Each day as I inventoried my gratitude and discomfort, and growth, I found more and more evidence of the abundance, joy, and peace that I longed for in my life.

Slowly but surely, one day at a time, this “impartial” gratitude practice changed my mental and energetic environment. Soon I realized…I was stronger. I was calmer, I was powerful.

I could control what I chose to focus on.

What we focus on grows. If we wish to create a life in which we feel immense amounts of gratitude then cultivating gratitude is key.

Reasons to try the Impartial Gratitude list for yourself:

  • Helps you honor the challenges that remind you of your personal power.
  • Helps you recognize the pains that remind you to redirect your efforts.
  • helps you comb through the knots of a day and uncover the smooth, sweet, supportive circumstances that nourish you and bring you peace and happiness.
  • Provides you with a practice of present-mindedness to lean up against when your mind may otherwise be focused on thoughts that generate stress.

(stress is bad for your health so don’t do it)

Ps. Want to learn more about this unique approach to gratitude? Sign up for my Thank Outside The Box Workshop!

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