6 Things I Learned About Being Grateful

Something on my mind lately... a song from my middle school days came on the radio when I was driving recently, and it made me think of my childhood best friend who passed away in March from a drug overdose. She was trying to get clean from an addiction she developed in recent years. Luckily I was on one of my solo errands sans kids (you know, my attempt at reclaiming my sanity and prioritizing self-care, a.k.a. grocery shopping on a Friday night after the kids are asleep) โ€” and I could get lost in my thoughts in peace. 

It was Total Eclipse of the Heart, a song with a haunting melody and lyrics. Back in 7th or 8th grade, in a school-wide initiative against drugs, members of each class had to put on a performance enacting the dangers of it. My friend and I were part of this, and I'll always remember it was set to this song, a powerful display of a group of friends standing in a literal circle around another friend in need and helping that person to turn away, to just say no to drugs all while Bonnie Tyler symbolically croonedโ€”

"Turnaround, every now and then I get a little bit nervous
That the best of all the years have gone by
Turnaround, every now and then I get a little bit terrified
And then I see the look in your eyes
Turnaround bright eyes, but every now and then I fall apart...
And I need you now tonight
And I need you more than ever
And if you only hold me tight
We'll be holding on forever
And we'll only be making it right
'Cause we'll never be wrong together
We can take it to the end of the line..."

If only I could have helped her, if only it were that simple in real life, beyond the safe walls of grade school... I remember the eulogy her sister gave, about how the one thing she wanted most the last few years in life was love, but never could find it... and I'll also remember how my old friend was always genuinely happy for me and my successes even when she was at a down point.

So how do we be grateful in life, and for life, when we feel tired, stressed, overwhelmed, too busy? Here's a few things I learned about being grateful, no matter your season in life...

1. Let go of the past. In order to move forward, you can't go backwards.

2. Surround yourself with good people, and good energy will come your way. You ever hear the saying that the 5 people you spend the most time with is who you will become? Get rid of the negative, toxic people. Perception is projection... surround yourself with people who believe in you.

3. Enjoy your awake time. Whether you are a parent or not, this applies. But in the context of being a mother, why do I always look forward to naptime? I read a post somewhere by another mom who shared how she couldn't wait for the kids to go to sleep. And it hit me, why do I not enjoy our awake time together more? They won't be little for long, and soon I'll be begging them to spend time with me. NOW is the time I have with them.

4. Set an intention to help you find peace within yourself. There is strength in this practice. Mine is to be an anchor for my children. This grounds me and keeps me focused on the day-to-day.

5. Stressed and blessed. Repeat this mantra. If you did not have a pile of dishes to do, that must mean you do not have an abundance of food, or hungry, healthy bellies to feed. If you did not have a ton of laundry to do, that must mean you do not have money to buy clothes.

6. Look towards the sun and sky daily. This isn't just a hippie yogi thing, though I did learn this from doing my Sun Salutations. I turn my face towards the warmth of the sun and immediately feel myself opening up. 

Love and light,
Not A Rose Girl xx