April 28, 2014
T is for…
…thanks. Also known as gratitude. Continuing my earlier thoughts on radical self-care, I have found that when I practice gratitude—that is, journal it regularly and intentionally, without repetition—I am a happier, gentler, more grounded and gracious person that day.
Knowing this, the question really is…why don’t I do it every day?
Probably for the same reason I don’t do legs up the wall (a restorative yoga pose) every day, when I know it has incredible benefits for circulation and immunity and anxiety and that I feel virtuous when I do it.
Probably for the same reason I don’t write every day, when I know I feel cleansed and accomplished and faithful when I do.
Probably for the same reason I don’t eat clean every day, when I know I feel better and more energetic and powerful when I do.
Probably for the same reason I don’t go to bed early enough to sleep the number of hours I really need to get to be rested, when I know that my mental acuity, emotional stability, and physical stamina are much greater when I do get enough good sleep.
But…being thankful also helps me feel better in the face of my inventory of shortcomings, so…
I am thankful for the mysterious gift of writing, that it comes back to me even when I’ve been unfaithful, for the connections it allows.
I am thankful for good friends, a small core of people who support me, listen to me, redirect me, talk me off the ledge, pray for me, make me laugh, appreciate me, and who allow me to attempt to do the same for them. They keep me sane.
I am thankful for a God who loves me and who practices nothing but patience and grace, mercy and compassion, forgiveness and loving-kindness with me…and who has finally brought me to see that side of him (for lack of a better pronoun).
I am thankful for the holy beauty that is the natural world. From the mourning cloak butterflies who cocooned and emerged en masse at school several weeks ago, to the silly squirrels who play tag on school trees when they’re not dumpster diving; from the recently nested mockingbird who sings at the top of his little birdie lungs in our backyard at 1:30 in the morning, to the great and silent and powerful coastal redwoods standing sentinel a little ways north of here; from the daily whirling hawks to the rare sacred owl sighting—I am stunned to breathlessness and giddiness in the face of it all. I want simultaneously to shriek in joy and kneel in reverence.
…Yep…I feel better now.
And I feel better having read this post, my friend. Thank you!
I’m so glad it has a similar effect on readers as it has on me! My gratitude journals often trend toward poetic overkill…but that’s part of the medicine for me. 🙂 Do you practice gratitude journaling, too?