Creativity KAL ~ Week 6
Hi friends! I'm so sad the KAL is coming to an end. This is my last creativity blog post but I'll definitely be around until every person is finished and happy with their project, so just holler as always if you need a hand. I plan to do a big round up post in the coming weeks as well, most likely next week.
Today's blog is a short and sweet one all about gratitude. I thought this would be a nice way to wrap up this side of the KAL. People all the time say it's important to feel grateful for what we have and to spend time each day writing these things down. I think until you really start doing it, it's hard to see the benefit. I am a big fan. I find that it helps to put things in perspective when I'm feeling overwhelmed or upset about something that happened. My old practice was to wake up and write down just a few things I was grateful for every morning but this was too few. I just sort of glossed over it and went on with my day, something that I just had to check off the list. Recently I changed this, when I wake up now, I get my coffee at write for 25 minutes on all the things I appreciate and am grateful for. It's about 2 pages in word! There's no better way to start the day, well at least it's my vote. It puts me into such a good place. I love being able to look back and see what things I was thankful for a month ago etc. I find that I sweat the small stuff less and am better at knowing that the things that bother me will pass, I have a lot to be thankful for all the time.
I have a funny example of how embracing gratitude has helped me on a day to day basis too. Last week, the manager of our apartment building called us down for a meeting. The tenant below us is unhappy because of the noise they hear from the kids running around in our apartment above. The building was built in the late 1800's and I have 2 toddlers, so it's not a big surprise and I feel for her. This is a common problem in our building. BUT the manager made a rude comment about the way I parent. She said something along the lines of you have no control over your kids. Of course, she doesn't have kids. I think she feels this way because I often let the boys run around in the hallways or courtyard to burn off some steam. They love to run. I was so offended. She also told us they want to put in wall to wall carpeting to make the noise situation better- of course I thought barf to that. SO it was a terrible meeting that really upset my day but I coped with it in a new way I've been practicing. I try to think of all the things I'm grateful for as they apply to the particular situation instead - so why I appreciate this manager (she's been really lovely over the years and does have a very hard job) but mainly why I love this building - the high ceilings, great light and location. I also thought a lot about how this building has been so perfect for Trammel and I to live for the past 6 years and start a family. It shifted things inside so that I could just let go of what she said about my parenting and stay open to the seemingly hideous carpet situation. I don't want to hold on to those negative feelings or make her feel badly for upsetting me and get revenge somehow. I just switch it to gratefulness and let it go. It's helped a lot. I can't say I'm 100% there yet with letting things like this go quickly, this one took me a while to work through but I notice progress. I used to just hold grudges forever. I have no interest anymore.
While I was in India I listened 2 books that had a huge impact in this regard, the Surrender Experiment (recommend by Laura Zander, a podcast guest) and The Untethered Soul (recommended by Kristal Hill, another podcast guest). I recommend them so highly if you're one of those people that's open and into this sort of stuff. I listened to parts of the Untethered Soul about 6 times on my trip (there was a lot of travel/knitting time!), I loved it that much. So that is what I want to leave you with for this side of the KAL, the power of appreciation and gratitude. It helps put me into the best mood each day through my morning writing. Maybe more importantly, I'm better able to cope with all the hard stuff that comes up, put it in perspective and just let it go. Let me know if you have a gratitude practice. I'd love to hear all about it! AND, if this side of the KAL was interesting to you, let me know here or by email. It will help me make a decision about how to plan the next one. Thank you so much for joining me here! Lots of love, Amy