Get Your Gratitude On: Stop and Look Around Once in a While
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop to look around once in a while you could miss it.” Ferris Bueller.
This last week, my mind was all over the place, my body afflicted with aches and pains, my heart restless in missing things and people that I cannot control or reach. The world was too much for me, people felt overwhelming, situations felt off, and I felt pleasure in being alone. For, I knew I craved balance, and only I could provide that for myself.
Yesterday, I felt a calling to go to the ocean, a common place of refuge from the worldliness that can bombard me. As I sat there in my car, I noticed the rain and the wind. Most of my mind was intensively focused on the fierceness of the storm brewing and the past week of my own storms brewing. I was so concentrated on this one thing that I almost missed the rest of the scenery, which is a limiting scenario I can often catch myself in. As I found awareness and opened up my eye view, the world opened up to me. I watched kite surfers gliding on the waves of fierceness underneath a rainbow that hovered over the sky. In this scenario, I realized the surfers were the actual fierce ones, as they maneuvered themselves to meet each new wave that was presented. I had a moment to take it all in, and then in the next moment, in the blink of an eye, the rainbow began to fade, the kite surfer walked out of the water, the waves calmed, and then the moment was gone. No rainbow, no kite surfer, as if it never happened. As cars drove close to the beach area, I smiled with a deep satisfaction in the knowing that I had experienced such a gift that they didn’t even know occurred. This was a gift, that if I didn’t get out of my own head to look up to see, I would have missed as well. I was grateful for the moment and I wondered what other special moments were around me just waiting to be noticed. I knew each moment was one to be grateful for, if I could only stop, get out of my own way and look around to take it in.
How often do we want more or less of something and fail to be present in the very moment? How often do we rush from one thing to the next, only to realize weeks, months, years of our life have passed us by? Time moves quickly, even if we don’t think so. Sometimes we can even wish time away. We can wish ourselves to be in a new situation, and often make statements such as: “I can’t wait for this month to be over,” “I can’t wait for this thing to be completed,” “ I can’t wait for ____ (fill in the blank) to happen.”
I know when I first had my car accident, every minute, I constantly wished away my pain. What I learned later was that my wishing away pain, actually created more pain, because it was all I focused on. I know first-hand that having any kind of pain, physical or emotional, is extremely challenging and it can feel almost impossible to focus on anything else; however, in my experience, as soon as I began to notice the other things, life became a bit more manageable. Instead of waking up every single morning thinking where do I have pain or what is wrong with this situation, I would focus my mind on where in my body do I feel good. This began training my brain to think more positively and to find gratitude in something. Somedays, it would be just a finger that felt without pain, but even that finger was something to work with. This practice hasn't taken the pain away, as I still feel pain daily, but this practice allows me to open up to other parts of life and other parts of myself as well. What I have realized is that even if I may be sad, have pain, or am not well, I can still find joy, and those feelings are not the end of the world or the only thing occurring. Sometimes I can still be in so much pain that it creates an anger response inside of me, which obviously isn’t an ideal response, but in those times, I try to honour what is so. I let myself yell or cry and feel, and then I do the things that I know help ease the pain. Knowing the things that help me feel happy or less pain, is crucial in caring for myself. My pain is a process, much like life, and each moment is different.
It is important to have goals, wishes, dreams, and things we are working towards, but how often do we focus on not having these things? Comparing to another person or comparing to being somewhere other than where we are, robs us of the present moment. Sometimes things may be so tough, we may even want to be robbed of the present moment. These are the very times we need to stop and just find one thing of gratitude. For when we find gratitude in the tough times, we train our brains to let go of fear and welcome more of the love, peace, and joy feelings. Love, peace, and joy are emotions that hold the highest vibrational frequency. We are all made up of energy, and the higher vibration our energy, the lighter we feel inside our bodies. The thing we must remember is that we are only in control of our OWN energy vibration, and it is our job to take care of ONLY ourselves. In turn, that vibration will spread. Lower energies will naturally want to rise when higher energies are present.
The way to do this, is to get mad at ourselves and wonder why we haven’t figured out life yet. Just kidding. The way to do this is awareness, then to be gentle with ourselves, to listen to what our bodies are saying and to honour that we may need some alone time to go within. It is easier to be frustrated with ourselves, especially when we are going through a tough time. The key is to notice and bring yourself back to what you want to feel, what you desire and what is happening in the very moment, and in that being present, is joy. Does this mean everything is great and perfect, no! It means that you’re finding ways to choose joy. Joy is a choice and it does not discount that you may be hurt, or that someone may be treating you unfairly or that something isn’t quite meeting your needs. When we can come from a place of love, peace, and joy, a place of gratitude, state our needs and find our voice, stand up for ourselves and what we believe in a calm and empowering way.
I like to begin each morning and night with a reflection on gratitude. Creating this as a routine is where the habit begins, a habit of creating my thoughts to feel the presence of love. Here is where I strengthen the habit to help me for when I am in a situation that I may consider negative. In a perceived negative situation, much like the space between an inhale and exhale, I have a moment in time to stop and choose. Sometimes I am present and can do this and sometimes I just lose it and get frustrated. Having a range of emotions only means I am a human, and I often need to remind my judgemental perfectionist brain of this. We always have an opportunity to have awareness, sometimes it may be in the moment and sometimes it may be after the moment. If we have chosen fear, we always have the ability to choose again, to choose love. Life will always bring circumstances, people, and things that are out of our control, and that is just life, but in there, even in the darkest moments, there is light and a place for gratitude and love.
Get Your Joy On: Challenge 2 April 22 -29, 2018
Your Challenge this week of April 22 to April 29 is to incorporate gratitude into your morning and night routine. Your second part of the challenge is to find a “tough” situation and to breathe and find something to be grateful for in that moment. Your third part of the challenge is to share each day about what you are grateful for. You can share with another person, in a journal or on one of the Get Your Joy On daily photos. This is our last challenge, so I invite you to share in our group!
Next week, there will be no more challenges, but instead I will write a summary of the Get Your Joy On key elements. After that, I will post inspirational photos, quotes or writing when the mood strikes, rather than two daily.
I hope that you have enjoyed this adventure, and that there was something you took from it. I am grateful to have been able to share my joy with you!
Happy Joying XO ~ Love Cynth
Happy Joying XO ~ Love Cynth
*** Also, if you want to read more about how to work with finding gratitude, check out the blog, link below: Get Your Gratitude On: Stop and Look Around Once in a While. **** Hope all of you have the most amazing week, full of many pleasant surprises! XOXOXO