Nov 18, 2019

The shift was gratitude

the-shift-was-gratitude

I got this amazing book for Luisa called Thank You Body, Thank You Heart: A Gratitude and Self-Compassion Practice for Bedtime. It's a sweet reminder to be grateful for everything that this body does for us each and every day.  If you have littles in your life go out and get this book.

As I was reading it to her...over and over (because that’s what we do) I could feel myself shift towards ease. A gratitude practice can do that. It works and I’m living proof. I started a regular gratitude practice about two years ago and it massively changed the way that I see the world. 

It has been an invitation to slow down and smell the roses as cliche as this sounds. I’ve always been the type of person who wants to be somewhere else. It’s a pattern for me that even before something ends I’m planning the next big thing. Sometimes I don’t even give myself the time and space to celebrate and acknowlege all the people who helped make it happen...or more importantly...REST.

After Luisa was born I was forced to slow down. Not only because I couldn’t physically keep up my old pace, but because I found myself falling into a space of frustration, resentment and impatience. And I did not like this new version of me. This exhausted, resentful, overwhelmed version of me. 

So one day I just decided to shift. I was out on a walk...something I did every single day to get Luisa to take a nap. Sometimes it worked but more often than not she fought sleep for up to 2 hours before I gave up and took her home. She would scream and cry. I would stop and massage her feet and try everything to get her to go down. I knew she needed the sleep and I had so much work to get done and these naps were my only time to do it. 

I was spinning. I was angry. I was frustrated. I was resentful. 

Then I stopped. It was January. The sun was shining and it was a perfect 70 degrees. I realized the beauty of the moment. The shift was gratitude. Instead of saying to myself ‘I have to…’ I shifted my language to ‘I get to…’ 

I knew I had friends that did not have the privilege to go for a walk in the middle of a work day. Especially in January because where I am from (Minnesota) it was likely 10 degrees and too cold to be walking with your little. I get to spend this precious time with Luisa AND I still get to do the work that I love. This season of life may mean I do less of that work. It may mean that I slow down. But, I get to do it. 

Intellectually I knew what the benefits of a gratitude practice were. I studied Positive Psychology and I learned about it in several yoga trainings that I had attended over the years. But, it wasn’t until I experienced it that I really believed it. 

My yoga therapist at the time invited me to start a gratitude journal and the assignment was to write down 10 things that I am grateful for every night before I went to bed. I found an old gratitude journal my sister had given me years before and began. Every night. I paid attention to the beauty around me each day because I knew I would be writing in my journal that night. 

Guess what. It really works. I began to sleep better. I began to appreciate my partner in new ways, to enjoy my precious time with Luisa and simply felt happier. My nervous system felt more regulated and it felt like I was navigating my world with a lot more ease. 

Here's this week's call to action....choose gratitude.

Join my FREE Gratitude Challenge beginning November 25. For 5 days you are invited to practice gratitude with me. I will send you an email each day with an inspirational quote and an invitation to put gratitude into action. 


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