"Things won't get better, unless you think better."
I can't 'control' my thinking, my mind is a wild lil' monkey doing as it pleases. I used to be completely at it's frenetic whim, swinging to extremes from one moment to the next, by emotions and physical body flailing behind. Anxiety, depression, negativity and severe self-judgement were the soundtrack to my days. I self-medicated and couldn't seem to follow through on tasks I began.
It's been many moons since I lived in these swamps of self-inflicted internal misery, I've added many helpful mechanisms to cope with my monkey mind since then, the primary daily practice being a gratitude list. In the rooms of 12-step recovery it's said that a grateful heart never drinks, uses drugs, lapses into harmful behavior, and I can attest to this being 100% true for me.
Over two years ago I began writing a daily gratitude list and sharing it via text with some other women who, some, share theirs with me. Writing these lists supported my ability to understand "how" my thinking could be influenced, altered, and, over time, my general outlook transformed. Writing, "Today I am grateful for..." sharpened my eyes to look for the beauty in the mundane, to recognize how privileged, taken care of, and blessed I truly am.
Listing the aspects of my daily life that I had previously taken for granted;
running water, hot water, good water pressure in my shower, a toilet, a flushing toilet, food in my cupboards, fresh organic fruits and vegetables in my fridge, working electricity, access to, and ability to pay for precious vitamins and supplements, the list is endless - capacitated me to embrace the feeling of gratitude.
I continue texting my daily gratitude lists only now I also copy them into a 'gratitude journal'. I can pour over past dates and like a diary, remember what was happening in my life on that particular day, recall how I responded to uncomfortable, difficult or challenging moments and situations. I've grown in spiritual confidence, one of my constant initial reactions to life situations now; a flat tire, low on money, hurt feelings, disappointment in someone, not getting my way, is one of gratitude. This is only as a result of having engaged in a (mostly) constant daily gratitude list, this positive self indoctrination.
Today I'm grateful for waking up, keeping, my eyes closed, and taking a moment to give thanks and ask for guidance during the day. For shoulder opening and tension releasing yoga postures, the way breath opens blocked channels, relaxes my belly.
I'm grateful for rain and sun today, for laughing as much as I can and backing down when I felt the resistance to relaxing rising. I'm grateful to be literate and have a deep connection with words, language, and their power, for sidewalks strewn with plum blossom petals and my sweet little home.