The ability to create a sanctuary in our minds is one of the greatest gifts we receive upon entering this world. Ever have those days where every little thing starts to irritate you even though nothing is really wrong? Although most days are light and glorious, the reality is that some days are just dark, even if you can't pinpoint exactly why. I've found that on the dark days, having my Mind-Made Gratitude Slideshow to retreat into illuminates the beauty in this world once again. I also find myself flipping through it while waiting for sleep to arrive cozied up in bed, my heart swelling with thankfulness or sometimes gently crying tears of joy.
Let's practice together: Imagine 3 different situations where either in the moment or in hindsight you were left with a profound sense of gratitude. This may take a minute, be patient, give it time, it will come to you. Then close your eyes and visualize in that exact moment, what you were seeing, feeling, the textures, the aroma, sounds, the people present, what you learned. Be as specific as possible and take your time. Don't move on to the next slide until you've fully soaked in the entire experience. After you've completed one gratitude slide, you're able to move on and continue the process with each memory.
These are 3 experiences that I often call on in my times of need:
1. The day I married my husband, he is one of the kindest, funniest and most thoughtful humans I've ever met. This day changed the trajectory of my life for the better and further solidified one of the relationships most important to me. I find myself appreciating him more and more as each day passes.
2. I was about 14 years old and really upset with my mom over something (which I'm sure was really just me being a little asshole). I ran away from home and into the quiet peacefulness of our horse barn where my horse, Moria lived. Horses have an incredibly understanding aura and a very specific scent, if you've ever been around them, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. The barn was really more of a shack, nothing fancy by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm so grateful that I had that outlet, and this beautiful, understanding creature to be by my side through my mini meltdown (as she was many times).
3. The night I got a DUI. In a drunken and drug fueled haze, my friend and I hit two other cars on the road and totaled our other friend's recently purchased car. I was 15 and didn't have a license or a permit, I barely knew how to drive a car. But we didn't kill ourselves. And more importantly we didn't kill anyone else. I thank the universe every damn day and am not sure that gratitude does my feelings for that evening justice.
As you can see, not all of my memories of gratitude are outright joyful, but recalling them allows me to appreciate what they offered me at that time in my life and fully enjoy where I am in this moment.
What are you going to put on your Mind-Made Gratitude Slideshow?