The Groove of Gratitude
I had been doing so well over the summer in my simple and happy ‘groove of gratitude'. I began each morning waking up before my alarm went off, lazily rolling over on my tummy, petting any one or more of three crazy cats that share my bed with me and gazing out my window feeling grateful for whatever my human senses chose to focus on that morning - a screeching blue jay, the sun peeking its orange head above the horizon, the smell of rain that lingered from the overnight showers, the warm summer breeze caressing my skin and thoughts about what fresh new experiences the day will bring. Then I would put on my gym clothes, go to the gym for an early morning workout and head back home for a healthy protein shake and 20 minute meditation session before I went off to work. This routine set me up perfectly for whatever surprises the day may hold.
My evening routine also included a gratitude exercise - a glass of red wine (forever grateful for wine!) with a simple but healthy dinner, a refreshing shower, some computer work, and then crawling into my comfy bed with any number of aforementioned cats to snuggle with. When I was all settled in I reached for my favorite heart shaped gratitude rock on my night table. Holding the rock gently in my hands I'd reflect back on the day and find three or four things that happened for which I am grateful. Of those things I then chose the one that I felt happiest about and focused on that thought as the day came to a close.
Finally I picked up whatever inspirational book I was currently reading and read a few chapters until I drifted off to sleep.
Sounds very peaceful doesn't it? It truly is!
I'm not sure how this happened, but over the past few weeks a sense of 'overwhelment' (is that even a word?) began to take over. I had a lot of business travel coming up, was working with my own personal training clients, attempting to write my blog posts, keeping up with CE courses for all of my certifications which would expire soon without the CE credits, trying to find time to spend with my boyfriend, taking care of my own home, paying bills...you get the idea. Perhaps a bit like your life too? I didn't even realize that I hadn't been as faithfully committed to my groove of gratitude over that time as I should have been. I just knew that I felt more scattered than ever and less at peace with myself and the world around me. I was feeling short-tempered and having a hard time focusing on any one thing.
Enter my business coach, Amber. Just before I headed out to one of my business trips I had a coaching call with Amber. I was sitting at the dining room table talking to her and telling her (ok maybe venting is a better word!) about how out of sorts I'd been and the frustration level was rising as we spoke. She listened with her whole heart and somehow found just the right words to say. I then began telling her about my gratitude exercises and how I hadn't been doing them as I'd been 'too busy' over the past few weeks. As I was describing the exercises to her I was pulling the peace of that practice back inside and I could feel myself calming down.
The moment I began to feel the peace return I glanced outside at the flowers on my deck as something caught my eye and there, happily hovering over the bright yellow and orange flowers, was a gorgeous hummingbird! In Native American animal mythology hummingbirds represent joy. I was so excited and happy I told Amber right away and she wasn't surprised in the least.
We attract the energies we put out. I let myself get so swept up in the hectic pace of life that I let go of the practices that meant so much to me. My own energy became tired and fragmented so I began attracting more of that tiredness, frustration, and confusion into my life. The moment I changed my focus the joy came back. It took that tiny little hummingbird to remind me how important the practice of gratitude really is.
Gratitude exercises are easy to do, but as I found out they are also easy not to do. Try including one or two of your own gratitude exercises every day and see how it impacts your life. One simple exercise is writing on a white board or chalk board one or two things that you're grateful for each day and watch them add up. Or give one of mine a shot.
I've got my groove back now and it feels amazing! Sure life still throws me curve balls, but me and the hummingbird so got this!
And so do you!
Love and light...