This morning, the house was quiet. I found myself slipping into the overwhelm about the to-do list, about the blog post ideas I had yesterday that I forgot to write down, about so many other things. I took a deep breath and decided getting in the shower would clear my head.
But instead, the ideas and "you should do it this way" thoughts started swirling. My shoulders were hunched and I could feel my face frowning.
So I turned my face toward the water and let it fall over me. Breathing. Noticing.
And I started to just make a list of gratitude in my mind. For this warm water. For the time I have alone in this moment. For the warmth of my home. For the strength I feel in my body today. For the ways I know how to take care of myself. For the kind voice Ellie used this morning. For the sound of my mother's laughter after Ellie handed the phone back to me when they talked before school. For Millie, curled up on the floor outside the bathroom door. For the way the soap lathered in my hands and felt on my body.
When my mind would start to wander, I would pretend I was in a meditation and greet the thought (literally saying, "hello over there. I see you. I'm coming back to gratitude.") and take a breath and begin listing again.
As I got out of the shower, I just kept practicing.
For this favorite sweater and shoes that help my feet not hurt while I stand in the shower. For the notes my customers have been including with their Soul Mantra orders. For the warmth of this favorite brown rice tea. For the smell of this raisin bread as it toasts. For the silliness of licking the last bit of peanut butter off the knife. For the sound of the rain on the patio roof as I walk to the studio. For this sacred place of my own.
And I didn't want to stop. I felt lighter. I started to cross to the computer to check email, but decided I wasn't ready to come back to that abyss of "to do" and instead took out my gratitude postcards and got to writing.
Letting this lightness I was feeling transfer to notes that will be sent across the miles. To an uncle I haven't talked to in years. To a friend who was such a kind listener while I was pregnant. To a new friend who teaches me with her open-hearted ways. To the friend whose known me for more than 20 years and still sticks around.
And I felt rebooted. At home inside. Ready to be open again, stepped in gratitude, self-kindness, and love.
A Gratitude Prompt: Consider spending an hour or even just five minutes steeped in gratitude. Noticing the truths of this moment. Noticing what you hold in your heart. Noticing the light that comes from paying attention to what makes your life so full of beauty (even in the messy times).
I'm using artist Lori Portka's A Month of Thank Yous Gratitude Kit to send these notes of gratitude out into the world this month. There are 30 different postcards in the kit, so you are actually getting 30 small prints on gorgeous, thick, easy-to-write on cardstock.
Lori's offering my readers a 15% discount this month with the code THANKFUL (just put the code in right above your order total on the shopping cart page).
This November, I'm exploring the idea of saying YES to gratitude in all its gorgeous, sometimes confusing, heart-expanding ways. And I'm inviting you to come along on the adventure here on my blog.
Throughout the month, there will be a practice in letting others know I'm grateful for them, a few stories, a collaboration or two, inspiration from others, some giveaways, a special Etsy sale for my newsletter subscribers, and a few other good things.
You can find all the YES to Gratitude posts right here.