Hey, friends! Life has been such a whirlwind these last few months, and I’ve been gathering some thoughts that I really want to share with you.
First and foremost, I say “life has been a whirlwind” and I want to clarify what that means, in no uncertain terms: life has been hard as hell these last few months! I
think know that people see my life mostly via Instagram posts and they can’t help but assume that my reality is super dope, all of the time. But most of what I share with you on social media platforms is created for marketing purposes, it’s styled, shot and edited. It’s a curated glimpse of moments of my reality.
Other moments of my reality haven’t been curated or edited for marketing purposes, and they come off a bit harsher. In the last year alone, I developed anxiety attacks and went into a deep depression – two things I had never experienced until the age of 31. Gio passed away in April, my dog and bestie of sixteen years. I lost some friends that I thought were family. I became completely estranged from my biological family, which is hard because most of what I know, I’ve learned from that family. My dad, who I had possibly the most complicated relationship with of any of them, died recently, which I found out from a friend.
And, I’ll be honest, I don’t even want to share this all with you. I’m sitting here writing this and thinking “this is way too real.” I’d rather y’all think my life was weed, rainbows and roses all day. But I’m not here to lie to you guys. I’m here to learn and share my experience. I’m human, so I’m here to be vulnerable and soft.
(You’re like “I thought this was a note on gratitude?” I’m getting there!)
At first, this was actually a note about unconditional love. That one is coming, but I had to speak on gratitude first. Years and years ago, I remember listening to Oprah say that she would write 3 things every night that she was grateful for. She described this as a practice that she felt changed her outlook on life, and ultimately brought her great blessings. At that time, I started writing one page back and front, every morning, of everything I was grateful for. I figured, if Oprah was listing 3 things and ended up where she is, my blessings should look like hers on steroids! In the years since, I have filled notebook after notebook with things I’m grateful for.
Then, I hit that deep depression I mentioned earlier, and I just couldn’t write a damn thing. Gratitude was gone, y’all. I would usually start my entries with “I’m so grateful for this new day” but I couldn’t feel gratitude for the new days anymore, so I didn’t start, and I didn’t write.
I desperately wanted to find gratitude, though. I kept hearing this voice in my head, telling me to go back to gratitude, and let gratitude heal me. I would beg myself “just write one line. Just list three things.” Sometimes, I would write “I’m grateful to know that this life is only temporary.” Yeah, dark shit guys! I’m keeping it real though. Sometimes, it would take me two or three weeks to fill one page. I couldn’t tell if it was helping or hurting, so I stopped writing again.
Then, when I was recently moving, I came across all my journals. I started going back through them, and I found myself laughing and crying. Wow! To be reminded of what I had to be grateful for almost took me out! One line I would write a lot was “I’m grateful for the joy and laughter I experienced yesterday.” I wrote that almost every single morning! And as I was reading it, I would remember the way me and Ryan would belly laugh everyday, over stupid shit that was so ridiculous it could only be hilarious.
I would write “I’m so grateful for that delicious food my friend made me last night,” or “I’m so grateful for the people who show up to my yoga classes.” Sometimes it was just “I’m grateful for my ten fingers and ten toes. I’m grateful for my breath.”
Every single day I wrote “I’m so grateful that I get to follow my dreams. I’m so grateful to be on my path, living in my purpose.” I cried and cried rereading those old entries. I became overwhelmed with gratitude again, and I started writing.
“I’m grateful for these tears. I’m grateful to feel something. I’m grateful to remember that I’m grateful.”
I know I need to wrap this up. Here’s what I wanted to say: Gratitude is a powerful tool that we have all been blessed with. It’s a super power just like humility, vulnerability, and love. Because we CHOSE this human assignment, we signed up for a lot of suffering, and our soul’s know that deeply. But they also knew that we would discover gratitude, and that gratitude would lead us to joy, learning, growth, abundance, unconditional love! Gratitude is like this built in reset button – no matter how low you go, find something to be grateful for and you will ascend again. Gratitude will lift you up, if you let it.
Trust and believe, it took months of therapy, prayer, and a lot of spiritual releasing for me to get back to one page a day, but I’m back, baby! I’m back to my old ways of starting with “I’m so grateful for this new day,” and it feels so good to mean that again! And I end with this new line “I’m so grateful to have all of this to be grateful for,” and it feels really good to mean that, too. When I miss a day of writing, which happens because life is unpredictable, I’m grateful to be able to go back to a previous day and be reminded of my blessings. My days can still be quite dark, but my blessings are undeniable.
So, I’m staying grateful, my loves, and I really hope you will, too. Through it all, let us stay grateful and I promise, we’ll stay blessed.