Gratitude challenge week 15

Greatfulness to life brings a great fullness to life.” — Leslie Fieger, author, speaker, entrepreneur

What’s it like when gratitude is a reach?

What is it like when you’re depleted or sick or disappointed to the extent that gratitude is more elusive than usual? What is it like to honor your gratitude commitment when you don’t even want to get out of bed?

Yes, these are the questions of the day. And I feel so relieved that this gratitude practice is a habit, because it allows me to be brave enough to get out of bed, and to get cozy on the couch with laptop and heating pad on my feet (forgot to put on socks), and get started with the truth.

Tapping into my authenticity is my gift to you today. Here’s what is, on the physical plane, emotionally and in my business:

I am dealing with a health challenge that has gone on so long that I am very depleted. I have been out dancing lindy hop once in the last oh, more than a month. And three dances wiped me out. Yuck.

I did 40 minutes of a 60-minute zumba class the other day and it was all I could do.

I walk every day, strolling, and big hills are a serious obstacle and require a boatload of rest.

Twice in the last week I was either misunderstood or criticized (or both!) by two people really really close to my heart and critically important in my life. I have practiced restraint of tongue and not mentioned anything to either of them. Which has left me sitting with it. And praying about it. And finding the thread of self love even while feeling so hurt.

And because I really know how to turn the knife (on myself, at least not on others), I went and took a long look at the folks who unsubscribed from my mailing list after my last most personal newsletter went out. Eight people, two especially shocking and painful. This is an exercise in masochism and I dove in. Sad.

And to cap it off, that proposal I worked So. Hard. On. all during the month of December, going after a contract with the city of Oakland for what would have been a good fit (in my eyes, anyway) and a good cash flow source, well, I got the rejection letter this week.

So. I am taking ownership of my story. And loving myself inside of what is (instead of yearning for what I would really prefer to be the truth, thank you very much!). Here is how I can find compassion, which, when I think about it, is probably an extremely necessary ingredient for healing.

My gift to myself this morning, is the best gratitude list I can come up with (right after the image credits), digging deep for gratitude even when the picture is not bright and shiny. Gratitude expressed does not guarantee I’ll get what I want. But it does create a spacious ease around my heart (even before I write the first line, just by thinking about it). This is also my gift to you. Because I predict that there will be days when expressing gratitude feels like a stretch, feels out of reach for you too. Do it anyway, yo. Try it and tell me what you get. I really want to know.

My gratitudes:

  • I am grateful today that I have experienced relative ease in my belly for three days in a row.
  • I am grateful that I found Eréne Lejeune, a chi nei tsang (Chinese abdominal massage) practitioner, who not only treated me but gave me some suggestions around eating that are already helping me.
  • I am grateful that I am flexible. I started a three-week cleanse six days ago and have just made some major changes to it.
  • I am grateful that I can accept that a lot of raw food and the enormous amount of veggies (that used to be just fine for my body) need to be toned down and replaced in large part by soothing foods. Jook! (Rice soup—congee—look it up.)
  • I am grateful that I made a heaping batch of pork stock. That with quinoa and avocado has been so soothing for me!
  • I am so grateful for the birthday slideshow I made for my sister, with my other sister’s loving participation. Birthday is tomorrow, sending link to her in the morning. She doesn’t read my blog, so no worries that she’ll see this prematurely.

  • I am grateful for the collection of photographs I have of my history and my family’s history. And that I sorted them into categories and put them in beautiful clearly marked boxes a few years ago. Quite the change from the two cartons of pictures I lugged around for years.
  • I am grateful for the money my parents left me, since it’s helping feed and house me during this time of business development. At this time my business is not earning enough to make expenses.
  • I am grateful that I know how to live frugally abundantly (yes this can be done; I’m an expert).
  • I am grateful for my Mastermind group, and the loving support we have for each other.
  • I am grateful for friends who love me, and who care about me, and appreciate me, as I do them.
  • I am grateful that my daughter’s new boyfriend actually puts energy into our conversations. I’m not used to it. I like it!
  • I am grateful for my tools that let me communicate from my full heart to my people.
  • I am grateful the new tool that will let me send this blog out to my Gratitude Challengers with one click. Yay!
  • I am grateful for the willingness that saves me from despair.

From the Gratitude Challengers (and welcome to the new members!):

Helen says: “I am grateful for my eyes, ears, nose, mouth, tongue, skin which help me to see, hear, smell, taste and feel everything around me.”

Barbara: “That the lightening and thunderstorm on Thursday night was the best storm I have seen in 32 years (and there has only been one other that even was in the running); That I was able to take in the joy of that storm while I understood that it was from being in a nice warm house that allowed me to love it, and that we’re I homeless my experience of that storm would have been different.”

Sonia: “I didn’t have to make dinner tonight since I made enough soup the night before”

Amanda (a new mom herself): “new mom friends who practice yoga and meditation”

Theresa: “Letting go and trusting life a bit more everyday”

Belinda: “I am grateful for the abundance of sugar snap peas that I planted and are now bearing” (Hey Belinda, if you have more than you can eat, I’ll gladly take some off your hands!)

I found these powerful images on Susannah Conway’s always inspiring website, in a guest post by Dr. Brené Brown. So glad I stumbled into this! I just subscribed to both of their blogs.

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I’m a barely tamed hippie, sage, seasoned, sarcastic (not all the time any more, but still). I’m a mom, a daughter, sister, a neighbor, and a friend. I’ve been on this meandering journey — like you, probably — seeking a better connection to and experience of peace, harmony, and fun in every bit of life. I’m single, quite good at it, and mostly love it. I’m here for the conversations I get to have with you, which these days center on exploring the mystery and beauty of life, work, health, aging, and creative expression. Want to know a little more about me and my journey? Explore the site. Read the blog. Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Join the conversation!

  1.  lizbethhamlin I want to say, just ‘reach’ as one of my greatest teachers taught…the rest will follow.
    Today I am grateful for how beautiful it is out, green and luscious!

  2. I’ve been keeping a gratitude journal lately.  I’ve found that recording it has helped me be more grateful because I can review things and remember them and how blessed I am.

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