If there were penalties in life school for “piling on”, last week would have qualified for me.  It was full of unexpected stressors both personally and professionally.
When Friday night came and the requirements of the week were beginning to settle a little bit, I realized how profoundly tired I was.  I’m talking about that bleary-eyed, no focus stare kinda tired.  I started thinking about my word for the year – grounded – and I began to sink into my body and heart to notice all I was feeling.
At first there was panic that these issues would continue.  Please… NO!  Then there was exhaustion and embarrassment that I hadn’t handled everything perfectly.  There were several moments that felt waaaaayyyyy short of perfect and the recovering perfectionist in my head seemed to enjoy pointing those out to me.  There was some apprehension over whether to zig or zag on some issues.  Just not quite sure which direction to go…
Saturday morning dawned with a new set of requirements and I felt a familiar fatigue, lack of interest, dare I say…. resentment…. over what the day held.  I wanted a day off with a good book and my couch and it wasn’t even close to coming.
Then….  I turned on a new podcast (On Being – Anatomy of Gratitude with David Steindl-Rast) and heard this bit of magic.  I’m paraphrasing and here’s what I heard him say:  “Of course you can’t be grateful for everything that happens.  Bad things happen, but in the midst of every situation, you can find gratitude.”
I was feeling anything BUT gratitude for the things going on in my life.  I’m still not grateful they are going on.  But I let my mind and heart sit with that statement for a while and I began to smile.  I began to smile for the day that was beginning – I had never seen this day before and I wanted to be present for the experience!  I noticed the blue sky and sunshine and felt grateful for the nature around me that is so effective at helping me get grounded into my day.  I found lots of things to be grateful for in the middle of a situation for which I was not grateful.   And as I began to express my gratitude I began to feel better, lighter, more powerful and in control.
It’s quite complicated sometimes, isn’t it?  It isn’t about getting rid of, or out of, what is happening, being right, or insisting on how tough life can be, but rather allowing what you need to flow into your life.
I’m staying with gratitude today.  I like the feelings it brings.

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