Not your grandma’s gratitude

You’re going to have to pour a lot of gratitude over that wound and it’s not going to be easy.

“You better be grateful” sounds like some obligatory demand from grandma to be grateful for what you have and not ask questions because somewhere someone (a lot of someones) have less (a lot less), Stop your complaining and get on with it.

Maybe, your head on someone’s shoulder, sobbing a big wet spot like a dog’s tongue on a wood porch in hot summer.

She’s got a point when it comes to being particular about what’s for dessert or what birthday present you were lucky enough to receive. Some people get zilch, nada, nothing. Appreciate what’s in your hands. It goes deeper though. What about when your hands are full of heartbreak, or better yet your heart? If you want to rise, you’re gonna have to douse it in gratitude… eventually, sooner is better.

First, you have to be where you are, skinned heart, the way you do. Maybe, your head on someone’s shoulder, sobbing a big wet spot like a dog’s tongue on a wood porch in hot summer. Maybe, you are all boxed up, in a private jail, no windows, no doors; a profound lack of light. Perhaps you are wallowing in a bottle, between someone’s legs, or in someone else’s business; a distracted fool. Wherever you are, you gotta be there.

If you want to move it, move. Yoga has been my quickest flush. It releases an outer layer, there’s a shift. Some resistance melts away. I feel my own power ignite, standing on one leg, heart racing in triangle. In Savasana, I can hear my own heart beat. I’m reminded, I am the source of my own aliveness. When I first began practicing Bikram’s method, I let go of a 3 year relationship in months that was nothing short of toxic and true ; as close as those two can be without canceling each other out. I released a career of fifteen years that I mistook as me. I’m pretty sure the weight of some past lives fell away on the mat. The release was liberating. There was room for more. It’s not the only way.

If you want to move heartbreak through, try moving. Take your heart on a walk, stretch it, roll around on the floor with it, dance it into art, run it into the next town. Try conscious movement to honor your exact sacred spot. Shake it’s tail feather, be beautiful in it’s face, kick it to the sidelines, shake it to it’s core, be with it slowly, stretch beyond it, stay still listening for the wisdom to arise. Let someone else take care of the how for you so all you have to do is show up to class. Show up.

If you desire to heal, you’re going to have to pour gratitude on that wound eventually and it might hurt. Gratitude for the love, the loss, the whole shebang.

Gratitude for the love.
Thank you for that first kiss, the world at my fingertips.

It’s going to be grueling. It has to be real. When the resentment starts to poison the process and the gratitude train brakes, try to move again. Gratitude is a practice. If you make it a habit, heartbreak will remake you. Move it through.

Gratitiude for the loss. Thank you for the betrayal and freeing me up for something real.

You could’ve always loved harder, invested more, or suffered unknowingly longer.

Don’t make it poetry. Just pull it up, write it down, say it like a mantra in your own head.

We all have grievances to grieve.

I was listening to this talk by the inspirational Aimee Mullins the other day. A double leg amputee, she was given the prognosis of a low quality life as a child. She’s risen an Olympic athlete, a supermodel, an inspirational speaker. She said, “if you had asked me at 15 years old, if I would have traded prosthetics for flesh and bone legs, I wouldn’t have hesitated for a second. I aspired to that kind of normalcy back then. If you asked me today, I’m not so sure. And it’s because of the experiences I’ve had with them.”

Not in spite of our wounds, but because of them, opportunity is available to be more.

Today, notice your feelings of dis-ease, anger, fear or suffering. Pour some gratitude right there. Get specific. If it doesn’t budge, move. If you can’t take a class, turn the music on and dance it out on your own. Not a dancer? Walk. Run. Skateboard. Jumping jack. Whatever. Do it with consciousness, to go in, instead of circumvent. Be with what’s up for you. Try gratitude again. Let it be simple. Let it be true. Do it for you. Post your findings here.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Heart in hands. Thank you.