“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey
Yesterday, I had a lovely surprise chat with my amazing friend, Sarah (of green well BEING). I say surprise because moments after I woke up, I turned on my computer and signed onto gmail to soon hear the ringing of a video chat initiated by her. Even though I had a final to prepare for, I accepted the call, and I’m so grateful I did! We caught up about our busy lives and the ups and downs that have been occurring. It was a nice reminder of how grounding it is to check-in and gain perspective from the special people in my life. One wonderful suggestion I really appreciated hearing from her is what I’m about to share with you.
There is an exercise called “Early Morning Pages” (inspired by The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron) that prompts you to do several written exercises in the early morning that include stream of consciousness journaling, a dream diary, and a gratitude list. It is believed that if you wake up a little earlier than when your body is used to, you are in a state of being half-awake and not quite fully conscious. This has always been a suggested time to meditate, do breathing exercises, or practice qigong because it is when we have the most access to the inner workings of our mind. We have the potential to tap into a place that can ground us and clear away what isn’t needed to fulfill the day ahead. The same goes for the premise of Early Morning Pages.
What really stood out for me was the gratitude list exercise. Rather than the standard prompt “write what you are grateful for”, the author suggests you “write 10 things you are grateful for from yesterday.” Our minds can have a tendency to focus on what isn’t going well in our life and when we wake up, it can become automatic to go to that place that feeds our stress, anxiety, and uncertainty if we are not careful. We easily forget the little things that can often be taken for granted. Wouldn’t you agree that by taking time to appreciate what happened yesterday, we could start today off on a better foot?
With all that said, here is my list:
10 Things I’m Grateful For From Yesterday (6/22/12)
- I’m grateful for taking the time to learn the material for my scalp and ear acupuncture final… I passed it!
- I’m grateful for the public transportation available here in PDX. It is accessible, economical, and cuts down on the carbon footprint we all would be making. I made it to school on time, too!
- I’m grateful for opening my heart in a conversation that had much fear around it. In doing so, I gained clarity and perspective.
- I’m grateful for the barista that made my hemp latte. It makes me so happy to drink one, especially during finals time… wait, who am I kidding, it makes me so happy to drink one all the time.
- I’m grateful for Sarah calling me when she did; her unconditional love and acceptance for me and being someone I can completely be me in front of… which often turns into laughing until I’m crying.
- I’m grateful for my Qigong teacher/practitioner that I saw for my weekly appointment. Another safe space that is created for my personal growth.
- I am grateful for finding a baby picture of myself. I looked at it yesterday and saw the pure joy in my 10 month old eyes. I understand a lot from looking at that picture.
- I’m grateful for pandora’s “Claire de Lune” station.
- I’m grateful for my sister being available for me, no matter the time.
- I’m grateful for the school library collecting all the books I put on hold so I could go in with 3 minutes to spare and pick them all up. I didn’t realize how wonderful this convenience is, and am thankful to have had this exercise to reflect on it.
That was very heart lifting. See how you feel after you try, especially first thing in the morning! Please share your list in the comments below, if you wish. For more information on Early Morning Pages, check out the book “The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron or contact Sarah Greenwell, Health and Wellness Counselor here or here! Many grateful blessings to you!