The seasons of life cycle through our challenges and our joys. As the fall air begins to color the Colorado skies, I am reflective of the changing tides, the laughs we have laughed, the tears we have wept, and the difficulties we have endured. It has been a tough summer in Colorado. It seems at times so simple to slip into the dark cave that beckons, and I find myself stepping inside. But, what about the light at the other side of this tunnel? A wise mentor shared with me the other day her philosophy on dealing with challenging times. She said “sometimes I need to retreat into my cave, and that is okay. I just try to imagine it lined with sparkling gems and jewels and beautiful rainbow specks of light.”
This philosophy reminds me of the ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) principle of getting cozy with our feelings and emotions, accepting them no matter what they are. Today I read a guest post on Tamara Suttle’s popular blog Private Practice from the Inside Out by Ann Stonebraker, who is a therapist in private practice at Labyrinth Healing. Ann wrote of the “green-eyed monster”, and how, when we feel the green eyes of jealousy churning up inside of us (as tends to happen sometimes, naturally), instead of running away from the feeling, we can ask it what it has to teach us. Jealousy can also be approached in a way that reminds us what we are grateful for.
This post inspired me today to blog about the things I am grateful for in my own life personally and professionally. Though our “caves” have much to give and teach to us, instead of dwelling in the darkness of the cave why not look towards the jewels that also line it? Sometimes a darkness yields a gem.
I encourage you to add to this list as you may so desire. A good practice to get into is to write down three things every evening in your own “Gratitude Journal” that you are grateful for that day. I’ll get us started:
Things I Am Grateful For:
- My continued and healthy recovery from my eating disorder
- My family who has always supported me and continues to do so
- My clients who give me the gift of their stories every day
- The growth and success of my business
- The house where I have created my home
- My fluffy and loving dog who jumps for joy when I get home each evening
- Colleagues from whom I learn and grow
- The changing seasons
- The Colorado mountains
- Lifelong friends
- A bounteous garden full of veggies, flowers, and herbs
- A strong, resilient body that holds me up, lets me rest, and gives me breath
- My self-awareness that lets me know when I need to tune inwards
- The depth of experiences that my struggles have given me, and the ability to utilize those experiences to help others.
My list continues to grow each day. I am grateful for all of you who stop by my blog and give your opinions and ideas. I also encourage you to tune into Private Practice from the Inside Out, which hosts a weekly gratitude blog as well.
What are you grateful for?