How to practice Gratitude (& what it could do for you)

A couple years ago life served me one of those “This tastes disgusting and it’s not even what I ordered” dishes.  I was hungry, and as the restaurant of the Universe clearly doesn’t have a refund policy, I had no choice but to plug my nose, chew and swallow.  The taste stayed in my mouth for a long time, and I came to the conclusion about this time last year that it was obviously up to me to do something about it.

Making promises to yourself is never easy.  Especially the “I’ve hit rock bottom and I’m going to change” promise.  It’s not something that happens over night, it’s not something that’s particularly glamorous to partake in, and it’s not something that necessarily even has an end.  But it’s occasionally mandatory and baby steps are about as much as can be accounted for.

I started to write myself lists of things that were making me ‘less miserable’.  I came up with 50 every day and made sure I never listed the same thing twice.  It was time consuming and frustrating, but it taught me a lot about who I  am.  Things like thunder showers, rapping along with Biggie in the shower, soy lattes and turning my cell phone off all made the list at some point, along with the more intense shout outs to pain that makes me stronger, admitting to my failures, will power that self-manifests and re-invention.  This exercise (ridiculed as a time waster by a lot of people) was the first step I took towards being able to see the glass half-full, and eventually towards being happy.

When i think about it now, all I was doing was thanking that more-powerful-force-than-me out there for giving me the little things that were pulling me out of a rut, but that thankfulness opened my eyes to living in the moment, with intention and mindfulness and it has given me the strength to know that what goes down can, in theory, always go back up.

You don’t have to force yourself to come up with 50 things a day, but I would absolutely advocate at least once, especially on this weekend, sitting down and writing out what it is that’s getting you though this crazy thing called life.  It’s easy to scroll through the things in our minds, but in writing them down we make them concrete, not to mention we give ourselves a rescue if we ever can’t see the light.

So what is it?  Family, friends, music, adrenaline, adventure, good sex, expensive wine, cheap beer, nachos, challenge, blue eyes, competition, laughing out loud, running in the rain, tea, heavy blankets in the wintertime, a new pair of shoes, sleeping naked, running around barefoot, motorcycle rides through the Valley, dressing up with no where to go, using a fake name at the bar, dancing until the sun comes up, cigarettes with your best friend, going 160 in a car that tops out at 135?  What keeps your ticker ticking?  And whatever it is, don’t keep it to yourself!  Share the love.  And subscribe to these daily emails, because even if after all of this you can’t bring yourself to be thankful for anything, at least you know something’s rooting for you.  Oh, & I am too.

xo & yw

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