Saturday, November 8, 2014

An Attitude of Gratitude

Good morning, world.

Today I'd like to talk about gratitude. it's a mindset that I've been missing out on a lot lately. Not necessarily gratitude in the sense of writing someone a thank you card, although I could do that a bit more, too. It's about slowing down and savoring what is right now; the present moment.

Over the past few days, I've been battling a sinus infection, which has kept me at home. A semi-workaholic, it was hard for me to accept the fact that I was stuck in my studio apartment without any real energy to do anything other than sleep, binge watch Season 3 of New Girl and peruse social media sites. But separating myself from the daily stresses of work allowed me to stop and just be. These were the first weekdays I spent in my new place, and for some reason, being sick at home made me connect with my surroundings more. I spent more time than usual in my kitchen, from preparing healthy meals to not-so-glamorously rinsing out my sinuses over the kitchen sink. It was normally a space that I felt awkward being in, but this experience shifted something. I felt as though my apartment was taking care of me, and it made me appreciate it so much more. In fact, I love it now. 

It has taken me a while to get used to my new neighborhood. I had moved from a very cozy town to an area that leaves a lot of room to be desired. But it's still beautiful in its own way. And I got to really notice that while I was at home. I feel truly blessed and grateful to have a place I can call my own, a place that I have taken for granted, but is truly taking care of me.

So, this leaves me thinking about the other areas in my life that I may have taken for granted. Clearly, the day-to-day grind of my day job can has worn on me, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. Because of the passion and dedication required to make things run, it's an easy environment in which to get burned out, and I had come close. I believe my body became ill, simply so that I would spend some time away, not only to recharge, but to regain some perspective and clarity. The outpour of warmth and care from my colleagues was far more than I ever imagined. It made me realize that we truly are family, and they're the reason why I put my best foot forward every day. It's too easy to get caught up in the work, and forget about the WHY behind what we do every day. For me, it's to serve people. It's to make their days better, whether through entertainment, appreciation, support, or encouragement. That's what makes me come to life, and I had forgotten that. I am eternally grateful for their friendship, trust, generosity, and support. And I can't wait to get back to work and continue making movies with them. 

Being sick also forces us into the present moment. No one wants to be sick, and we try everything in our power to get well again. I have a tendency to take that to the extreme, however. I buy just about everything on the shelves of Whole Foods, in hopes of finding some sort of relief. I overload my body with vitamins, antioxidants and immunce support supplements in order to move things along. But the truth of the matter is, the body moves at its own pace. Yes, we can help it along by providing it with support, but in the end, it's up to our body. We have to sit and wait. And wait. And wait. As an incredibly impatient person, this is impossible for me. But I don't have a choice. I have to stop. I have to hand over the reins to the universal intelligence that's at work. I have to trust in my body's ability to heal itself. That's a key word: trust. 

TRUST AND GRATITUDE. Trust is the acceptance of where we are right now, knowing deep down that it's exactly where we're supposed to be. Trust, in a way, is surrendering to the present moment. Trust is knowing that there's something else in control. Call it God, the universe, energy, whatever. Trust is relinquishing our control over whatever situation we're in. This is also very hard for me. I, like most people, like to be in control. But that's the opposite of trust. Control over my body is impossible. Trust in my body creates endless possibilities. Trust in anything allows us to take a back seat, and simply watch the trees go by. It allows us to slow down, and be grateful for what we have in our lives. For our present situation. For all that we have now, and all that will be provided for us as time passes. Trust creates a warm and fuzzy feeling, like a cozy blanket in which to curl up in. 

THE PRESENT MOMENT AND GRATITUDE. When we really stop and experience our present moment - not replaying the past or visualizing the future, but being here and now - focusing on each sound, smell, sight, texture, and taste, we can't help but be grateful. If the present moment is all we ever have, then why not stop and appreciate it? This is the only time I'll be sitting down in front of my laptop writing this very blog entry. Why not savor each and every word? If this is the only time I have to enjoy and appreciate it, then why not? This moment will pass, but there's no telling of what's to come. So be grateful for what is happening now. And be present with it. 

Over the next few weeks, as the holidays roll in and out, it will feel like a whirlwind. Family gatherings, parties with friends, and other social obligations will come and go. I've gotten to the point where I look forward to the holidays being over so I can get back to my routine. What's the fun in that? (I literally laughed out loud to myself when I wrote that, but it's true!) The holidays used to be my most favorite time of the year. From the decorations, to the music, to the food and festivities, I never wanted it to end. But I've since gotten so caught up in the cost and the energy required to do such activities, that I lost sight of why we do them, and what joy they bring. So, this year, I plan on approaching the season a little differently. Each and every moment I want to savor, like a thick, sweet cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter's eve. The holidays bring with them so many wonderful moments in which to indulge in the senses. And I want to stop and appreciate all of them. And it starts with being present and grateful NOW.

I've started writing in a gratitude journal, filling out a page of 'thank you's' each night before I turn out the light. Not only does it help me reflect on the day, but it keeps my gratitude in check. It reminds me of just how great I have it, as well as inspire certain things I want to pray about. It reminds me that there's a higher power at work, and it's ready and eager to provide me with whatever I want (as long as it aligns with what I truly need). All it wants in return is acknowledgement and gratitude.

So, in the spirit of gratefulness, thank you taking the time to come across my blog reading this post. I am blessed to have a platform in which to share my experiences, thoughts, and opinions, in hopes of making your life better, too.

Here's to cultivating an attitude of gratitude.


And if you really need to get inspired, grab your Kleenex and watch this: