When I share a meal with friends, it is not unusual for me to ask everyone at the table what they are grateful for. I love doing this because it gets others outside of themselves and whatever “chaos” may be going on in their day to shift focus onto everything that is right, perfect and just plain delicious in their lives.
(Here, let’s listen to a song that sparks gratitude (in me anyway) while reading this post).
So, last night, while sitting with a group of friends, I was naturally ecstatic when everyone was asked to share some gratitude from their own lives. I honestly needed that yesterday because it provided that ever so important opportunity to get outside of myself.
When it was my turn, I shared the happiness which my personal shelf in the refrigerator is currently providing to my existence.
You see, last month, my (very minimal, yet extremely helpful) unemployment benefits were put on hold. The jury is still out on whether or not this is a temporary hiatus or a permanent wake up call. Also, my food stamps which are very minimal (about twenty something dollars a week) are naturally gone (and have been depleted for about two weeks) until the next refill date (which is luckily coming up in a few days). What all of this means is things are tight. My phone has not been paid for, which means I cannot receive calls or texts. I have to be conservative with bus passes. I worry about how I will buy soap when it runs out. Smoking is not really an option anymore… and last week I ran out of coffee and nicotine on the same day.
You can see how this could be frustrating….
The weird thing is that I am not frustrated in the least.
In fact, the day I ran out of both caffeine and nicotine was the best day I’ve had in quite some time.
I woke up that morning knowing of my lack and made a conscious choice out loud. Okay, Currie. You know what the circumstances are. However, you are not your habits. This is YOUR choice. You can have a really good day or you can have a really bad day. The choice is yours.
So, I set the intention to have a really good day. I did too. I made a pact with myself that the day ahead would be filled with inner peace.
I sat in the sun and read a book for hours. I then went to a friend’s house and helped prepare a truly fantastic and tasty meal to support our prosperity dinner (Complete with fresh strawberries and homemade rhubarb pie for dessert). I had lovely conversations. I was filled with a sense of belonging and at the end of the day, I realized that though it could be perceived that my life is mired in lack, I actually felt like a rich woman whose cup was not only full, but over flowing.
Photo credit: Glen Jenkinson courtesy of dreamstime.com
My shelf in the refrigerator, right.
Yesterday I admired my shelf. It is absolutely full of goodies. I realized that many people in my position do not have the luxury of having the choice to eat like I do. I mean, friends have provided me quinoa, chicken, veggies, whole grain bread and more (almost all of which is organic). Yesterday, I had a sort of raw carrot cake that my room-mate so kindly shared with me (OMG, it was AMAZING!!!).
In fact, I’m so proud of my abundantly healthy shelf that when a friend came to visit yesterday, I proudly showed off my shelf after she so generously provided a way to satiate the PB&J craving I was having (she added some peanut butter to my collection).
Though I would like some prosperity in the form of green paper which provides the freedom to choose my food as well as other luxuries, I cannot complain and I am truly grateful for the abundant and yummy food choices which are readily available to me on a regular basis.
And that’s not all that spilled from my heart in the form of gratitude yesterday.
While walking to a friend’s house, a car pulled over so the driver could talk to me.
No, it was not Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome.
However, it was the Executive Director of a non-profit I used to volunteer for. It was surprising to see this person and even more surprising that they took the time to pull over to ask how I was doing.
You might be asking why at this point.
Well, when I left the organization awhile back, I felt like it was not on good terms. This was because I noticed a few things that did not sit well with me in the way business was run there. Finally, one day, I experienced the straw that broke the camels back and went to the Director to explain everything that didn’t sit well with me (basically everything I witnessed that I knew the Executive Director would never see because in my experience, its human nature to clean up and be “real good” when the boss is present).
Also, though I express myself rather eloquently through writing, my verbal communication is not quite up to par at times…. and I get especially nervous when I am expressing “negative” experiences like I did the day I quit my volunteer endeavor and made no secret as to why I was choosing not to support that organization any longer.
For a long time, this recovering people pleaser who used to think her opinion didn’t matter and she had no right to speak up about anything, felt like she was really bad for doing what she did that day and worried that she crossed some boundaries…
Until yesterday, that is. When the Director pulled over to say hello and also explain that she appreciated my feedback way back when, that they as a team have made adjustments in the way things work at that organization and she thinks things are really running better now. Not only that, but I was invited back to volunteer because I was appreciated, I was so helpful and of course because I have a really good energy.
Lately, I’ve really been learning to use my voice. Seriously, it’s been amazing in every way. Since expressing, owning and releasing the story associated with my God father, I lost nearly 15 pounds basically over night (obviously, I’m not starving). I realized through holding that story in to protect others I was putting on the weight (quite literally) of the pain associated with not expressing oneself. To me, yesterday was further confirmation that it’s simply okay to speak up. I have a right to share my thoughts, my experiences and my story.
My life is not perfect, but boy it is really delicious. I have so much to be grateful for.
Last, but not least I had one other experience which made my heart smile with thanks yesterday.
I was nominated for another award. Not just any award either. The one that is almost as cool as the Sunshine Award.
THE BEAUTIFUL BLOGGER AWARD!
Rules for this award:
1. Thank the one who nominated you by linking back.
2. Nominate five blogs.
3. Let your nominees know by leaving a comment on their sites.
4. Copy and paste the award image on your site.
I’m going to do this a little different from how the rules say it should be done. I am going to adopt a variation of Sonel’s award giving awesomeness. Since I truly believe my ENTIRE blogging community is stunning and beautiful in every single way, please consider yourself a deserving recipient of this award.
You are beautiful. Yes, YOU!