I am grateful today
I get asked: What’s the point of centering everything — my business development, my sales, my branding work, my coaching practice — in gratitude? That question’s too small. Ask me this instead: What’s the point of grounding my entire life, every moment, in gratitude? Now we have something to talk about!
I ground my life in gratitude.
Look. Here. It’s simple. I’ve changed a lot since I started expressing gratitude for everything on a regular basis over ten years ago. That’s what a gratitude practice does. It changes you. On the outside, circumstances have changed (that’s what they do, yo). But on the inside, I have changed (and everyone I know is so relieved!) — I have learned how to dwell in stillness, respond from love, and be generous. So much more useful and tolerable than the years I led with the napalm, moved through life with my own personal black cloud over my head, and stood with one leg regretting the past and the other leg fearing the future. Which left me pissing all over the present moment.
I am grateful that I have a 7/8 full coaching practice today. I have seven coaching clients, for the first time. For a few years after I started my practice ten years ago, I had just one coaching client. I knew every thing about her and I am certain that I was way too invested in the details of her life. The poor woman! And she’s my client still. That’s a miracle in itself. But the gratitude I’m feeling right now is that I have had a wish fulfilled. I used to wish that someday I’d have enough clients that I wouldn’t have the particulars of their lives at my fingertips. And that’s the case now. In fact, the client notes spreadsheet I started keeping a couple of years ago holds the details I need to go back to when I’m in conversation with each client. And the rest of the time I’m freed to hold their highest good in my heart when I think of them and send energy their way, a prayer that really has nothing to do with facts and circumstances.
I am grateful for learning what was an elusive lesson for me: to appreciate what I have in this now moment. I am that woman, the one who turned to a beloved friend at a birthday party I threw for myself, in a house full of 20 or so women, each of whom had shown up for me, and said with a sigh, “Nobody came.” The look on her face, complete with eyeroll, preceded a deserved response, “What am I, chopped liver?”
Yup. That was a turning point for me (about sixteen years ago, I am such a slow learner!). Since then, I have adopted a new radical way of being, and it has a motto: Thrive where you’re planted. Which means letting go of my deathgrip on the yearning for what I don’t have, letting go long enough to foster appreciation for that which has been gifted to me. This. Now. This now moment is my gift. It is what I have been given to experience. Learning to like and appreciate what is changes everything. Thrive where you’re planted has turned me into a person who accepts invitations and shows up to them. This is different. It’s different from angling for invitations and then not going, because why would I go anywhere where I was wanted? If you want me, you deserve the contempt in which I held myself. Oy!
Another big difference goes back to that party. I have learned how to actively love and appreciate the people who are here, present, with me now. Instead of kicking them to the curb so I could yearn in painful solitude for the unavailable one or ones. How it went, for so many years, and two marriages: If you are available to me, you’re toast. Instead I shone my love light into the sector where the attractive-simply-because-they’re-not-available folk hang out. Pitiful. And still painful to reveal this, but hey, as my mother always said as she was brushing out the tangles in my hair, “It hurts to be beautiful.”
I am very grateful for the ease and love of my birthday getaway. I invited my daughter and she brought three friends. My sister and a friend of mine came. We went to Harbin Hot Springs where clothing is most definitely optional. I could have worried a lot about how the younger of us (the four in their 20s) would deal with my nudity, and the nudity all around them. I could have started tripping about my sister and my friend and how they’d get along. I didn’t.
Wait. I’m lying a little bit. I did in fact worry. But I didn’t get stuck there. Instead I was able to turn away from my mind and my thoughts. (Yes it’s true, just as they taught me in Brooklyn early in my 12-step recovery. When you’re alone with your mind, you’re in a bad fucking neighborhood.) I’ve learned how to escape from that neighborhood by sinking into my heart, by opening my heart in humble invitation, by allowing myself to connect to the always present love and mercy and compassion and insight and clarity of the Divine. By claiming trust, and love, and joy. Grabbing on to these attributes pushes the fear and resentment to the side, making room for what I really really want in the first place.
I had a wonderful time. From what I could see, so did everyone else. Yay for getting out of the way of the good.
So, beautiful? What are you grateful for? I’d love to know. Talk to me.
Leave a comment below, and let’s have a conversation!