One of my best friend's asked me yesterday what I was doing for Mother's Day. Besides having dinner with my mom, I will probably spend it cleaning and preparing. I will take time to play with my daughter, of course, but mostly it will be a regular Sunday. My gift is taking time off next week and getting good, quality family time.
As I let this roll around in my head for the rest of the day yesterday it occurred to me that I have been needing and craving the simplicity of nature. Many people do not understand when I talk about the "buzz" of the house or the "hum" of the city. I am not talking about the people. I am talking about the electrical noise that things plugged in make. Yes, frequently even when they are off. There is the steady tick of clocks and hum of motors from the refrigerator and other appliances as well. They are the symphony of blessings that make life run smooth and yet the noise seems to build at my primal level. Nature is my solution to release this buildup.
On my time off I will be sure to get plenty of nature time. The plan is to camp out to truly help get away from it all. And one of the things I had been pondering and stressing over was if I would have the wifi needed to post my daily gratitude blog. Last night it occurred to me that perhaps the best thing I could do both for myself and for the quality of my writing is to take this coming week off. Not worry about where to find wifi or how to recharge the laptop of even how to sneak out of the family camp in the morning to type without waking everyone. The solution brought instant ease. It knocked my stress down a good three pegs.
So next week I will be gone. That is my gift to myself. I will renew and recharge so I can return ready to blog with deep authenticity and gratitude. I invite you to take the opportunity to start your own gratitude journal or practice if you have not already, or renew your current practice. I will still bring my paper gratitude journal to write on each morning and night because it fills a special place in my soul.
If you have not started a practice, the basics are to write four things you are grateful for down (in complete, "I am grateful for" sentences) on paper making sure to choose different things each time. Yes there are things you will always be grateful for, your mom, your husband, waking up to a new day; take them deeper. Why? What aspects? Find other things around you that you take for granted and let your heart fill with gratitude for those. And as you write, pause to truly FEEL the gratitude of each one. Throughout the day reflect on those, especially if you hit a bump in your day. And at the end of your day reflect on them again and write down the best thing that happened that day. This is a gratitude practice in a nutshell.
I'm grateful to follow the signs and find my gift quietly waiting for me. I'm grateful to give myself the opportunity to truly unplug for a week. I'm grateful for the stress it lifted in just making this commitment to myself. I'm grateful for this blog and to share my gratitude and spread the word about how gratitude can change lives. I'm grateful for each of you that gets up and reads my blog each day, or even on occasion. I'm grateful to take a vacation and know that it may be the gift that allows you to renew or start your own practice as well. I'm grateful for some time in nature. I'm grateful to have an amazing and blessed life here that allows me to take some time off every now and then. I'm grateful to unwind and recharge.
What inspires your gratitude? How do you recharge your batteries? How often do you unplug from all the technology and appliances?
May today remind us that we have the power to give ourselves what we need. May we take the opportunities that come to gift ourselves the chance to unwind and renew our spirit. Have a beautiful day and a beautiful week while I am offline!