I am thankful for friends who remind me of Who I Am, that hard times pass, and that I'm too hard on myself. I'm grateful for friends who inspire and encourage me. I'm grateful for friends who share private struggles and speak authentically. I'm grateful for friends with whom I can be authentic. I'm grateful for friends who remind me I'm fine, just the way I am. Thank you!
I am grateful for self-awareness and time off. I am grateful for health and healing, feeling unhurried and anxiety-free. I am grateful for cool weather and thunderstorms. I am grateful for vivid, worrisome dreams full of significance and symbolism. I am grateful for fresh juice and coffee. I am grateful to be gifted with good cooking skills and Korean food. I am grateful for books and study and creativity and ideas that pour forth when I relax. I am grateful for chess. I am grateful for autonomy. I am grateful for power to change my world.
I am grateful for my perseverance, and despite difficulty, I "keep on keeping on'". I am grateful for insights into Taoism, which teaches me to seek balance, equanimity, and acceptance. I am grateful for reminders that "this too shall pass" and that all struggles, all joys pass like waves and return. I am not keen on struggles returning, nor do I happily anticipate joys passing, but this knowledge gives me hope that I will find joy again and that current trials do have their ending.
I am so grateful for Days Off! It's been a hard few weeks and a taxing last few months. I have the next two weeks OFF and I plan to restore, rejuvenate, exercise, and rebuild habits and health that seem to have gone kerplunnnnnk, into a muddy puddle, face down. Pick them up, wring them out, and put them back where they belong: on the top shelf of Priority. I've written a list, created a schedule, and built rest, exercise, acupuncture, studies, spring cleaning, social fun, organization into it. I want my healthy, energetic self back. I want my healthy, happy life back! I am grateful that I keep on persisting on depsite setbacks. I'm grateful that this vaca came when needed!
Asleep early, squirrels slowing their chitter-chatter
Now the doves call me to awaken
Raindrops splat on the roof to remind me
How well I slept with dreams gliding
In and out the open window
Nothing can stop them
Nor my restful sleep
As sky moves across sky, changing
Its deepest blue robe to a scanty cornflower silk
And I am grateful for this rest
For this energy
For this hope.
Will I let the want for money rule me? Do I not have enough? Are my needs not met? The American ethos of Save! Save! Save! is branded on my brain and has filled my heart with fear. I don not want to live in fear and worry over finances. I have had enough of that. I have made my life as small as possible to fit within my means. Small can be confining or liberating.
If I live in the present moment, I'm okay and I have enough. If I think about the future (health care, transportation, savings), I get very anxious. So today I'm going to focus on being grateful for what I have now. Now, I have plenty, I earn enough, I love what I do, the truck runs, I have food and shelter, I'm healthy overall. I can write, read, practice yoga, practice deep breathing. Honestly, it feels like a sham. My head is trying to force my heart to feel differently than it actually does. But I will keep on trying to feel grateful anyway.
My new acupuncturist is AMAZEBALLS! I think I had 30 needles in yesterday! No, it's not the quantity, but this is the first American-trained acupuncturist to use a significant amount of needles on my body. After each session, I feel very tired and just want to sleep...but the next day, I awaken feeling refreshed and energized! Even after a rather emotionally-traumatic weekend. My body is shifting back to its 30-year habit of needing 8 solid hours of sleep, as well, instead of this new 9-hours-or-die amount it has been demanding for months.
I have a falling-asleep-affirmation post-it stuck to the side of my night stand; I try to remember to look at each night as I turn off the Kindle or the light, which reads: "I lovingly release the day. I fall asleep easily and peacefully. Tomorrow will take care of itself." I notice when I read those words right before falling asleep, and repeat them as I drift, they become a self-fulfilling prophecy, and I awake of the Right Side of The Bed, almost every time! Hence, I am grateful for my acupuncturist, Ashley, bedtime affirmations, 8 hours of sleep being adequate, and release of this weekend's mind-created stressful thoughts!
Today will be a great day!
Yesterday I felt the illumination of what life could be like if I focused more on self-care. After a day of school, which lately seems to black-hole my energy systems, an hour of productive meetings which left me feeling a bit more buoyant and grounded (after sitting for an hour), I received a very healing massage. As I drove --oh, so slowly-- home, within the feeling of being rebalanced, relaxed, and healed, I had a glimpse of what life could/would/should/can/will be like with a prioritized routine of self-care. I am at the beginning phase of that self-prescription.
I am going to get massages every week for the next few weeks. I am getting acupuncture treatments twice weekly for the next few months. I am seeing my TCM for herbal tonics to realign and refuel my energy systems, starting with my kidney meridian, which just so happens to be linked to the emotion of fear! Fear, which I have been living in for years! I will slowly rebuild my health and feeling of well-being, and my fitness level will increase alongside, naturally. Instead of trying over and over again and feeling a sense of failure, I was able to imagine a reality filled with first with self-care and healing and ease. I felt so good last night, but it came from a sense of balance and ease, not a euphoric high of achievement (think: relaxation after yoga vs. running high).
I began asking myself, "What would life be like?" And "Imagine if...". I was imagining weekends filled with self-care activities and healthful activities that make me feel good, instead of rushing through to-do lists and events or zoning out with activities that numb and deaden me because I'm too drained to do anything else. I began imagining weekends spent at acupuncture, filled with rest and reading, practicing Qi Gong and Bikram, sitting outside to study, visiting my favorite coffee shop. I imagined spending a few nights during the week getting a massage and an acupuncture treatment, relaxing at a film, taking a walk.
All of these actions are obvious solutions, but when there is absolutely no energy left to do anything other than lie down, the solutions are not obtainable. As I move toward healing, I can see the future coming to fruition. Recently, I heard that my current status of health is only a "snapshot" of where I am now, it's not forever, and it's not immutable. This gives me hope as I sometimes think whatever I am going through (especially suffering) will last forever and that life will suck forever (especially being injured and out of shape). Part of my vision is to recall that this is not true, that my health and fitness will return.
I imagine coming home from school feeling grounded and relaxed, and spending enjoyable evenings feeling good. So it will be.
For all of this I am grateful.
I am grateful for acupuncture and my TCM! My TCM gave me some kidney meridian herbs, and I started noticing a change in my physical and mental energy levels on Friday. I also got acupuncture on Sunday, and I could feel remarkable physical changes within an hour of finishing the session! I have been doing some grounding work after school, and also being more aware of being literally grounded by sitting on the ground more often, at school and elsewhere! I'm slowly building my asana, pranayama, and meditation practice back up. I still visualize myself running every AM and engaging my practice, cycling, walking to work, attending Bikram, and hiking on weekends.
I had a full and engaging weekend including a presentation at school, followed by a very inspiring training session for professional development (PD), culminating with a night of Shakespeare on the lawn. Saturday brought a dragon dance and bibimbap and further studies inspired by the PD class. Sunday was filled with inspired work for school, acupuncture, and rest! A weekend of experience and accomplishment makes me feel fan$$$tastic!
In fact, this morning, I feel the dawning of energy as bright as the sun blinding me right now through the window! I feel great, I feel enthusiastic, I feel energetic! OMG it feels good and like my normal self! If my energy is truly returning, I am so grateful. This is the flow that makes me effective in life and in school. This is the flow that makes my love and light rise up and engulf all of those who come in contact with Gina! My energy makes me awesome, and I have missed it!
I am grateful for the return of energy I am currently experiencing! I am grateful for NOW!
...is practicing gratitude every day for 365 days. Began on April 22, 2016, let's see how life changes over the course of this next year!