Radical Gratefulness Posted in: Happiness Depression and anxiety cannot co-exist with gratitude. It’s impossible. Depression lives in the past and anxiety lives in the future. Gratitude is all about the here and now. If you are struggling with depression and anxiety, then work on cultivating a practice of gratitude. It works. Here’s one of my recent exercises in gratitude. Give it a shot. I smiled a lot while when I wrote this ( and it wasn’t a particularly great day before I did it….) As my daughter says, “true story”. 1 – The smell of dirt – tilled and shoveled soil waiting for its plant to nourish. 2 – The sounds of my daughter’s laughter. She’s 21 years old and her laughter sounds like twinkling lights. When I hear the sound my whole body eases into a softer place. 3 – The feel of my mother’s hand in mine. I look at my hands on the keyboard (they are often there) and I see her hands. I am grateful for the loving care they have provided in my life. 4 – I have two ecstatic puppies. Life is new and exciting for them every day. One of them has claimed me as her person, the other loves my partner and daughter. I am blessed to have them all in my life. 5 – I have a bird feeder in my yard that makes the birds in my neighborhood line up like a drive through at Starbuck’s. 6 – Silence at the end of the day. Shhhhhhhh. Ahhhhhhh. 7 – It’s September and even in the deep south with our 100+ temperatures, we are guaranteed cooler weather soon. I can’t wait! 8 – Ice cold drinking water when I wake up. I love that. 9 – The moments (sometimes just fleeting seconds) when I know (KNOW) everything is going to work out and I am safe. That’s when I think “keep going, this is the right path”. 10 – My favorite song on the radio. It changes every day, but when I hear it and can turn it up to frightening decibels, then all is well in the world. 11 – Sitting at my partner desk with my sweeeeet life partner and being able to dance in both the silence and the sharing of ideas. 12 – Books. I have an insatiable desire to learn. I am grateful to all who have mastered the courage to write and share. It’s a vulnerable and really scary thing to do! 13 – My work. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all who believed I could do this work, who challenged me, and mostly to you who allow me to walk with you on your journey. You fill me up every day. 14 – I have two walls in my office that are glass. Yep, all 82 square feet of “corner office”. I see deer, egret, raccoon, a cirque du soleil of squirrels, and more gorgeous trees than I can count. I cherish the comfort and healing energy in that small space. 15 – I have mentors in my life who stop and help me when I don’t know what I am doing with big projects like QuickBooks and websites. I have such a strong tribe! 16 – The times in meditation when I hit the “sweet spot” – my mind clears, my body softens, and I can let it all go. 17 – The smile that greets me at the end of every day with open arms. It’s consistent and transitions me easily from the hustle and bustle into the softness of family and acceptance. 18 – Those moments when I step outside of my comfort zone and try something new. Pottery class starts Thursday! 19 – Laughter. I heal when I laugh and use it in therapy as well as in my personal life. I am grateful when that deep down belly laughter bubbles up. Isn’t it sweet? And for the grand finale….. 20 – Oh my gosh, I am publishing my first blog on my website I created! I may or may not be dancing right now. 🙂 You get the idea. Now, think big and make a list. Find 20 things you can be radically grateful for right now.