Yes, I have friends and family I can call who are always available. I have impeccable health, a roof over my head, access to delicious, nutritious food every day, and nothing has ever stopped me from pursuing my passions.
Am I grateful? Absolutely.
But do shitty things happen that make me take all of the above for granted?
Last weekend was a dear friend's wedding in New York. I wouldn’t have missed Danielle’s big day for the world but NY is home, which brings up lots of anxiety as it’s impossible to see everyone I adore in three days. And hopping around NYC and Westchester is exhausting—especially hauling a huge bag in the humidity while battling a brutal cold with NO. VOICE.
I felt resentful and my throat was killing me, all the while having my heart explode every time I saw an old familiar face—especially Danielle’s-- her much deserved happiness and appreciation for my being there really made every ache, pain, douchey cab driver, and my being locked out of my friend’s building til 2am alllll worth it.
The juxtaposition reminded me of a fabulous gem Elizabeth Gilbert offers in her book, Big Magic. She says, “If you don’t have a clear passion and somebody blithely tells you to go follow your passion, I think you have the right to give that person the middle finger.”
This resonated with me on multiple levels because 1) I am that gobshite who asks, “What are you passionate about?” to my friends and clients who are still searching for something to ignite their souls. It hasn’t been until this past year that I finally understood not everyone knew they wanted to be Stephanie Zenoni just two years out of the womb. (Grease 2 reference--you’re welcome)
And 2) it reminded me of how people often "blithely" tell me to “be grateful” that I didn’t marry the horrible ex and have his kids, or that a recent car accident wasn’t worse, or that at least I have the means to go visit friends and family.
It's number two that makes me want to give the middle finger because that year with the sociopath royally effed me up and that car accident still has me doing lame neck exercises daily as well as seeing a physical therapist twice a week for the last three months. And I love my friends and family but @claireyourmind needs an EFFING. PERSONAL. VACATION to actually Claire her mind.
Forgive the aggressive rant but I hope you’ll appreciate the honest truth from someone who's tried every tool in the self-help box—reiki, multiple forms of yoga, various meditation practices, acupuncture, therapists, spiritual healers, psychics, every self-help book on the shelf, and YES—freakin’ gratitude lists.
And my reality--MY TRUTH-- is that sometimes none of these work and THAT'S MORE THAN OK. Sometimes bitching about it (conscious complaining, if you will) to my best friend who'll indulge my story works. Or finishing season 2 of Bloodline in a freakishly short amount of time works.
I’m not suggesting living in darkness or numbing out on Netflix forever, but when you feel like shite you have an opportunity to notice and know where you're at and what YOU need.
When my usual go-to's like meditating, yoga, or journaling just don't feel appealing, I love to check in and ask, "Do you want to hide or do you want to rest?"
I did both this past week. I slept a ton, let go of even thinking about exercising, and gave zero F's about saying "no" to invites, but was conscious that my hiding was part of the recharge process for this extroverted introvert.
The last thing I did was cultivate gratitude and that felt rebelliously freeing for this chick who generally feels she needs to try all the "appropriate" options before judging herself when none of them work.
Well--having a little pity party and being ungrateful worked last week, which I believe led this cool rider to getting her groove back a little quicker and start prepping for the opposite of “ordinary guys comin’ on strong to me…” this upcoming week!
What are you not grateful for? Get. It. OUT. No judgements. Are you hiding or are you resting when you don't want to deal? And if writing a gratitude list IS your jam, then HAVE AT IT!! Do what works for YOU.
If you haven't already, subscribe to my blog for your free life coaching phone session with me. I'd jump now before you "gotta go BACK…BACK….BACK to schoooooool…"
Happy Claire Your Mind Monday.