Impromptu post to give an example of my daily practice of gratitude. Shit works wonders. This morning my cats woke me up at 5am and I was unable to fall back asleep. Instead of giving into frustration, I made the decision to look at it as an opportunity to have 2 cups of coffee instead of 1. I jumped out of bed, put my hands over my head as if I had just won a marathon, and said out loud, “Today I decide to live in positivity.” Additionally, I was unable to listen to music, podcasts, or get any homework accomplished due to my wifi being out and the fact that I have zero reception in my apartment. Possible reaction: a very pissed off Zach, getting the day off to a negative start, overwhelmed by the accumulation of tiny things that have already gone wrong for me before 8am. How dare I be deprived of my morning dose of Dreams by Fleetwood Mac, Up First on NPR, and the Slow Burn Podcast? See how silly that is? Actual reaction: I decided to practice non-reactivity, sat down, and wrote out all the reasons I was thankful that I even had that problem. How lucky am I to be so accustomed to having music, podcasts, and high speed internet at my finger tips whenever I want? Pretty damn lucky. An hour later I came back from my Thursday morning yoga practice, which was taught by my super good friend Jessica, I love you Jessica, and immediately dropped my phone. This is not unusual for me, lol, but THIS TIME, I shattered my screen and now have a bright neon green streak on my screen as well. A year ago this would have made me absolutely lose my shit. At the very least, I would have cried, I’m pretty sensitive most of the time! Today, instead, I picked up my phone and made myself appreciate the fact that I ever had a fully intact Iphone X to begin with. ALSO. My phone literally still works, I am just a tiny bit inconvenienced. Other small things that happened so far today are I broke my favorite belt and at the same time that was happening the dude in the urinal next to me literally peed on my shoe. Like yeah. OH. And literally as I am writing this I just got an email telling me I did not get picked for an interview for UIOWA Student Government! Which is literally just fine! I have taken on so much stuff this month, I actually don’t have time for it. I totally wanted to participate, but I am going to be at UIOWA for 3 more years. I will have 7 more opportunities to be on UISG, so I am chill af with their decision right now.
The takeaway here is that all this has already happened to me and it is only 2:19pm. And guess what! I am truly grinning right now! I have no complaints, and because I DECIDED not to focus on the ‘bad things’ that have been happening to me, have taken a moment to realize how little these things are in the grand scheme of this universe, and have moved my attention towards the overwhelming amount of things that I have to be grateful for on a daily basis.
This is not easy to do if it is not a daily practice. I have acquired these skills after a year of very hard spiritual work. My tips: small steps. Start meditating 10 minutes a day (look up how, see what style works for you), and begin a daily gratitude journal. Write down 5-10 things you utilize every day and take for granted. I put my toes on my list this morning because before today, I never considered how much they helped me out, or at least hadn’t truly thought about it. I am so thankful for my toes, even when they have pee on them.
// GRATITUDE IN PRACTICE //