Thankful Thursday | May Twelfth
The month of April was a doozy. Well, both March and April really, since we returned from Australia and California to begin our new life in a small New Hampshire town. This happened, and this and this, and there were some terribly black moments full of the most painful emotions. Facing so many facets of my worst nightmare at once knocked me back to the very bottom yet again, to a place of fear, rejection, absence, and failure. It was all emotionally (and therefore physically) exhausting and killed the little bit of wind that had barely begun to gain momentum and power my sails. The seas went calm.
But all was not lost. If I've learned nothing else throughout this experience, it is how to stand back up and start climbing again, and I've now done so more times than I care to count. I still feel an emotional hit just as acutely every time, but I no longer stay face down in the arena, as Brené Brown would say. I'm starting to bounce back up like I'm doing a burpee. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. But after a week of quiet and calm rest last week, I got back up again.
This time, as I unravel from it all, I'm actively seeking healing and grounding energies, positivity, growth and progress. I'm changing the lens in my glasses from black to rose. Call it spring lens cleaning. And I'm being quiet in surrender, both to listen to myself, the self I haven't paid any attention to in a long time, and to open that self up to vulnerability again. I'm not fighting anymore. I want what the Universe wants to give me next, and I'm building up my emotional and spiritual strength to handle what's thrown my way.
The last time I can say I was riding the high of the Universe was when I first met my Ex. He was not in a great spot in his life at the time, so I shared my practice of verbalizing what I was grateful for daily. Taking it one day at a time, we started sharing our gratitude when we woke up or before bed as a foundation for our days.
But as the next three years progressed and the chaos grew — when we needed gratitude and perspective the most — we let go of the practice. We feebly attempted now and again, but it was forced, not felt, because we weren't connected to each other and we weren't connected to our gratitude. We had possessions a'plenty, but our passion was a'waning and we did not show our gratitude for anything. The Universe heard our silence and the well dried up in every way.
Now that I'm back on the bottom, I remember what once brought me to the top. And it wasn't a million dollars. It was freedom of time, adventure and passionate love that I neither questioned nor tried to control.
So this time, as I climb back out of one of life's black holes, I vow not to forget my gratitude again.
Thankful Thursday, while not an original idea (many bloggers do some version of this series), is a simple concept: I share what I am grateful for on weekly basis. And I invite you all to join me as I reconnect to the practice, and more visibly share my acknowledgements here, beyond my daily practice. I'd love if you would share three things you are grateful for today in the comments section below.
Being that I'm just getting started, and I've just tapped back into this mentality, I have a lot to appreciate. This week, I am grateful...
That my phone didn't drown.
It could have, and maybe even should have, perished when it slipped out of my back pocket and plopped to the base of the toilet bowl. I was just about to leave the house to pick up my Ex for our daughter's birthday week and emotions were high, but strangely I did not lose my cool. I calmly and swiftly retrieved that little iSucker (yes, meaning I stuck my hand straight in the toilet bowl before a whisper of a thought could tell me not to), turned it off, dried it with a towel and had it in rice, all in less than two minutes. It stayed there for the next two days, and then worked again. While I think the Universe was trying to send me a hint (literally: drop the phone), I am glad it didn't take the hint to the next level to leave no doubts (i.e. make it rest in peace). But alas, I Instagram on. Thank you, Universe.
For the best mug in the world (and an even better card).
This mug wins with its hands down. Just moments after I published this post last week, the doorbell rang with a package for me. It was the Universe saying,
"Hey, girl, hey. There are far better things ahead than those you have left behind. For example, that old mug in the trailer? It's part of your past, just a memory and a story now. But THIS new mug? Now this, this is you right now, right this very second. Drink up!"
The Universe's message was not lost on me. But best of all, it was delivered by my friend Stephanie — who I lovingly refer to as my 'Wifey,' even though she is happily married to a (wonderful) man with the world's cutest son — sending me an early Mother's Day gift to show me she was thinking of me. Because she is awesome. I was happy just seeing her handwriting on the card, which read, "You know what I love about you? Everything." Which is funny, because that's precisely how I feel about her. That card and that mug bring the biggest grin to my face and smile to my heart whenever I look at them. Every time. So, thank you Universe. And Stephie.
The kind and beautiful friends and family who joined us for Amalia's birthday.
I realized, as I looked around at the crew assembled in our backyard for my daughter's third birthday party, what a gorgeous little community we've become a part of since moving to New Hampshire just two months ago. From my daughter's preschool friends, and her teacher's family, to new friends from the local library story hour and community center yoga class, we've tapped into the sweetest, most down-to-earth, caring group of women and children. And it's not something I take for granted. I am certain that I am in the right place at the right time, and I am slowly allowing myself to open up and settle into the cradle of community that has presented itself right now. The ear-to-ear smile on my daughter's face all morning reflected the love and warmth that she felt, and it's a smile I'd like to see glued to her face more often, please and thank you, Universe.
For new words of inspiration.
For as much as I crave to write, I've been consuming a lot of words. Like, a lot, a lot. Like, my eyes were starving for words, and my heart was starving for words, and my mind was starving for words, then we stumbled upon an unlimited word buffet. I'm binging book after book but when it comes to magazines, I tend to skip them. I find my People and SHAPE subscriptions (free add-on's with a Christmas purchase), and most of their counterparts, pretty vapid and full of unhealthy examples and content. Good for a mindless afternoon at the salon, but not a helpful spend of the precious little free time I have at home. Then one day, a magazine started showing up that I wanted to read. It was full of insightful articles that made me think, really think, about some things I needed to think about. The first issue that showed up? The relationships issue. It was aligned. Then a card showed up explaining that mi amiga Maria gifted me a subscription to Spirituality & Health Magazine, and that's why this wonderful publication just started gracing my mailbox. What a way to show support in the eye of the storm I am weathering right now. It's the best. Thank you, Maria! And thank you, Universe.
Mother's Day Love.
I've talked about how I kinda really love forced holidays on this blog before. The "Hallmark Holidays." Why? Because sometimes we need an excuse to celebrate ourselves or others in a way that most of us just otherwise don't (time, laziness, complacence, comfort... name the reason) on a regular basis. I'm not gonna lie for one second: it felt great to get fresh flowers from "Amalia" (a.k.a. her father) even if we're mostly non-communicado right now. The note was sweet and touched my heart, and will go in the box next to the card from the flowers she sent me in utero when she was making me sick around the clock. I love the "painting" Amalia herself made me at school. And it felt so relaxing for my dad to make my mom and I both a delicious breakfast and dinner, and clean up for us. To accept the gift of not saying, "Oh no, it's fine, I'll do it" for one day without guilt, and to collapse for a nap in the afternoon. I smiled each time my phone pinged with another message of well wishes in motherhood from friends and family throughout the day. And I'm grateful for every gesture. I felt really loved, and that felt really nice. Thank you, Universe.
As I read back through this list, I realize that I've shown appreciation this week for things. Not necessarily what I aspire to, but I can also see that right now I'm in mourning for the things that I lost that were special to me (ahem, see my last post). So I'm coming from a place that is simply appreciative for what remains, and for the space that removing the old has made for the new. So this week, I meet myself where I am and say, "It's okay." At least I can see abundance and feel gratitude again. Baby steps.