Gratitude even if, gratitude no matter what

Because of course.

Because when I stay connected to gratitude, I can keep moving through the fog and mist, I can (kinda sorta) embrace the mystery, I can surrender and I can be present.

It’s time for me to move from this place where I live and work, where I’ve been for eight-plus years. Although I didn’t choose this path, I am now so on it!

I don’t know where I’m going to end up, and that frequently (five or eleven times a day) fills me with stress and fear. I can’t see what’s going to happen. I am so far outside of my comfort zone!

One huge thing that grounds me in this now moment (and the next) is to connect with and express gratitude. Yes, even for this. Even though this calls for big-girl-panties gratitude. Gratitude even if. Gratitude no matter what. Conditional gratitude just doesn’t cut it in this situation. Actually conditional gratitude isn’t gratitude at all. As I keep learning, over and over and over again!

On a foggy path — can't see where I'm headed

I have written about gratitude for years and years now.

I’d guess that almost half the posts in this blog are about gratitude even when things are tough (just two examples: here and here). And here I am again! Gratitude even if, gratitude no matter what. Sometimes the fog I think I’m in on the outside also fogs my memory. Gratitude? What are you saying?

Luckily I am easily reminded, and 99% of the time, I can turn on a dime and connect with my gratitude again.

Right now I have options, options I would never ever ever have considered.

  • I can move into another unit here where I live in west Oakland, under a tenant who keeps the present occupants of the place I would take up every single night until past two in the morning. The owner says she will install soundproofing; the contractor says it could be about 50% effective.
  • I can keep looking for a rental house with another woman business owner I have now known for about a month. And if we find one I will be living with another person for the first time in 15 years. And I barely know her.
  • I can refuse to cooperate and get evicted (that might buy me another year, and that year of eviction will likely be very tense).

Gratitude on a very foggy path, even when I think I'm lost

And then there’s this!

I invested in a relocation astrology reading yesterday. Two hours and a big chunk of dollars later, I am still shaking my head; I’m still stunned.

This is so not what I wanted to hear! Moses told me what another relo astrologer told me five minutes into a phone call — there is no place in California — and certainly not the Bay Area — that is good for me to live. Cluless me! I was hoping to hear something about how important it was for me to find a place close to the ocean. Or that I should move up north closer to the first-growth redwoods.

(Overly?) practical woman that I am, I was skeptical about this information until we talked about the dates. I moved to Oakland in ’05. I got sick with the first three-year round of this serious digestive disease within two months of moving here. This coincided with my mother’s death and I always have attributed my illness to my grief. There are stressors in my Oakland chart that make health, life, and business challenges even more challenging.

The only western hemisphere areas that ease up the stressors are Austin, Ciudad del Carmen in Mexico, Kauai, and Maui! Like I said, stunned.

Difficult paths can lead to beautiful destinations

I’m such a tough girl! I’m hearing all this, thinking “Well, these challenges haven’t killed me yet.”

But — this is the truth — my tender heart is wondering what it would be like to live in a place where I could experience more ease, fewer challenges. Where I could be of more service, have more ease in my relationships, and thrive thrive thrive!

Today, I don’t think I’m moving directly to Hawaii or Austin from this spot. Today I think that I’ll move from here to another local place, continuing to meet challenges with serenity as best I can, and start planning the next, more intentional move.

That’s what I’m thinking anyway (ahhh, thinking!). But I remember that I don’t have to think my way to the solution, and I don’t get to see today what’s beyond the fog and mist, what’s at the end of the endless flights of steps. I don’t know, and maybe I’m just not supposed to know. Maybe I’m just supposed to give thanks and keep moving. Who knows? I’m just walking in the mist, and climbing the steps, headed for the next place to live on the journey of my highest good.

How are you meeting challenges in your business? How are you staying open and present when the path is foggy and challenging? I’d love to know; please join the conversation in the comments.

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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. Such an inspiring post, Sue! It is the bravest choice to walk in gratitude in the mist, not knowing, in the fog. That’s where I’m walking, too, so if you feel a hand reach out in the darkness, that might be me. Much love, Reba

    • Reba, thank you so much. And just by saying so, I feel your hand helping to support me as I go. And vice versa, right?


  2. Incredible – Thank you for your wisdom. I work with parents who have lost a child (and am one myself) and gratitude takes on a new meaning and is hard to get to sometimes after losing a child. Sharing this with my tribe! <3

    • Paula, welcome here.

      I’m sending love for your loss, and gratitude that you shared the post.

      Love and light,

  3. What an amazing story Sue! I was also told years ago in an astrocartography reading that the only truly great place for me in the U.S. was around Austin… maybe we’ll end up neighbors one day! (Though my guess is you’re more likely to end up in Hawaii).

    • Sharon, on the surface I’d say I’d end up in Hawaii for sure. But I don’t know and I’m wide wide wide open to the journey.

      Love and more love,

  4. So inspiring, thank you, Sue. I’d love to learn more about relocation astrology, maybe that would help me decide where I should live! I don’t really think of anywhere as home, but like you I love being by the ocean. I love that you give thanks and keep taking the next step.

    I am reminded of a massive challenge I had last year. I visited a temple in Kuala Lumpur which had over 300 really steep steps. I really wanted to get to the temple at the top, but constant pain in my knees and other joints meant I thought I couldn’t do it. I really wanted to though, and as I looked around I saw several women who must have been well over 70 climbing the stairs, and I thought if they can do it I can! So I put my head down, started chanting to Goddess (a chant I discovered on your blog, as it happens!) and just took one step after the other. Before I needed to stop I’d already got two-thirds of the way up the stairs and I was so grateful!

    So, I give thanks, put my head down and take one step after the other. Before I even know it, I’ll be there. Thank you 🙂

    • Vanessa, your story of your climb to the temple is beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing it.

      Moses Siregar is the cartoastrologer I used; I continue to be blown away by what was revealed. If you use him, please tell him I sent you!

      Love and light,

    • Ck, thanks. Sometimes it feels like strength, sometimes just determination.

      Thanks for the loving comment.


  5. I love this! Especially the way you sum it up at the end of the post. I so agree with your sentiments about surrendering to the unknown and moving on. First thing every morning before anything else enters my head I think of the things I am grateful for. Will share on my Sunflower Mama page 🙂

    • Shirley, welcome here! And thank you so much for the reminder to put gratitude first. When I feel unsettled I can forget. I am grateful for our connection, and I am grateful that you shared the post.

      Blessed be!

  6. Thinking can be exhausting can’t it? I am by nature a realist so looking for a ‘logical’ answer is always my first response to any question. Then several years ago I became very involved in the local culture, and personally involved with a Hawaiian man who also happened to be a cultural practitioner. He tried to teach me that sometimes there is no logical answer and you just have to accept what is. Seems like common sense when I write it now, but it’s hard to do under the best of circumstances. I get what he was trying to drill into my head, but still tend to rely on my gut to know which direction to take. Wishing you all the best as you continue on your adventure Sue!

    • Thanks, Marquita. Any chance you’d be open to a conversation as I consider the Maui move? Let me know if you would. Thanks!

      Love and the comfort of discomfort,

  7. Sue, I love how you pointed out, “Luckily I am easily reminded, and 99% of the time, I can turn on a dime and connect with my gratitude again.” You point out that gratitude is a state of thought that becomes a state of being and that you must make the change.

    • Kathleen, thank you. I like the way you describe it: “a state of thought that becomes a state of being….” Lovely!


  8. Always wonderful to read a nudge toward gratitude even if, no matter what) in the morning, Sue. Thank you!

    I hope you land yourself in a place with much ease, whether in CA, TX, HI or beyond. Austin’s a funky, fun (though very crowded, fast-growing) town with tons of character, so far as I could tell on my 4 short visits (returned from the last one yesterday). And a close friend of mine picked up and left his very successful business in MD a few years back to restart in HI and has fallen in love with his new home.

    Mostly, I think it’s awesome that your stretching your possibilities–wherever you end up, that practice is such a freeing, opening, expansive one. Only good things will come of it:)

    • Dana, I don’t know how, when, or where in specific. Nor do I know if Hawaii is the very next move. But I do know in my heart that I’m pointed now in that direction.

      The logistics are still unclear. Woohoo! I’m in the mystery!

      Thanks for the blessing you put at the end. I’m wrapping myself in it.

      Love and gratitude,

  9. Sue i am so excited for you, it must be a relief to discover what has maybe been causing you health challenges.

    I am fascinated that that this can be discovered from astrology. I picture you living in Maui and maybe living by or near the sea will be very healing for you. It was for Des when we moved here and is for me over these past 4 years
    Make it fun 🙂

  10. It’s nice to see I’m not the only one who has those conversations and questions going on in my head about things. And you are so right about Gratitude!

    I’ve been riding this crazy rollercoaster for a long time and I’m finally seeing less scary curves and loopdy loops with steep drops that make my stomach and heart just scream for calm. LOLz It definitely helps with shifting mindsets. So not easy but I’m glad it’s finally clicked in my head! And so many things to be grateful for — whether they are positive or negative, they have helped make the steps I’ve needed to make!

    Good luck with with your relocation! Hawaii sounds wonderful, but I’m biased <3

    • Gypsy, welcome! I love love love your website, and happy to meet another WP designer/developer. I’m glad we’ve connected.

      Are you from Hawaii? Seems like you’re mainland-based now. I’d love to know more about your Hawaii bias. Can we talk?

      Thanks for dropping by and for your lovely comment.


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