I feel out of touch with my sense of gratitude this week. Seeing but not quite touching its bountiful curves. Saying but not feeling the tiny triumphs of being alive.
I hear myself grumbling, huffing and exasperated as if the gifts of the day are burdens and somehow in my way.
When I know very clearly I have SO much I am grateful for. Always, and this week in particular, I have so many reasons to be grateful. Blessings as basic as a body and as specific as the final fig found on a wintery branch. Blessings I will not list here, or even in a “gratitude journal” because it’s not for lack of perspective that I feel vexed and agitated. And explaining or should-ing myself into being grateful will neither create nor confirm that feeling in myself. When has a child ever lit up with appreciation for their limp broccoli when reminded “there’s starving children in the world”?!
In the soft place between waking and rising I notice the incongruence between the grrrr and the gifts. With tender fingers I feel around for my gratitude. Palpating inside I experience my gratitude receptors as burnt around the edges, or coated in plastic, still intact just calloused and slightly curled.
And it’s from moving too fast. It’s from being too full and busy. It is the week before Thanksgiving and I’m tired. There are different types of tired. There is the tired of the sweet nighttime, and the tired of bicycling uphill. This is the cranky tired of cranking too hard when the gears gasp for grease.
It is so easy to slip into this state especially around the holidays, when we fit our work into tighter timeframes and add travel and the flu and hopefully gathering with loved ones too. Ironically, while the shorter days of the winter season instinctively pull us into a slower roll, our cultural festivities and norms can push us into maniacal speeding through the days.
And when my feet are running so quickly, when I fly across time in a race,
I loose touch with the earth
I loose touch with the natural rhythms
I loose touch with source and forget how to resource.
The truth is, I am surrounded and inherently connected with source. Yet there’s a forgetting that happens when moving so quickly. My mind may be able to rattle off all the goodies in my basket, but I need to feel my feet on the ground to know in my bones I am supported. I need to smell the tangy must of falling leaves to sigh sweet nostalgia and feel my heart swell. Slowing down and sensing is to write one’s gratitudes in one’s very cells. Let yourself be a living breathing journal of gratitude. When you find yourself in the grind and out of touch, slow down. Open your senses. And let gratitude naturally bloom.
Sasha Wright, LCSW
I provide psychotherapy in the Bay Area. My holistic orientation embraces the body, mind, and spirit as intertwined aspects of being. My work focuses on seeking resilience and weaving sustainably vibrant lives, and is infused by my own practices in dance, mindfulness, creative arts, earth based spirituality, and spending time in nature. I write to share ideas, inspire embodiment, and support wellbeing. Enjoy!
Sasha Wright is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW #70802) providing therapy in the San Francisco Bay Area, and sees clients in Berkeley & Oakland.