– Contributed by Big L
Lately, I’ve been feeling frustrated. January is odd like that, isn’t it? The sugar withdrawl from the holidays, the dropping temps, the swirling thoughts about what the year will bring, the self-imposed pressure of new resolutions and commitments, and the uncertainty about how and where to start. Indeed, January is a weird month.
As I’m sure you know, Wee C and I both strongly believe in the power of positive thought. The law of attraction you may prefer to call it. Or, simply a belief in something bigger. Some power, force or magic that exists in the universe around us. We both try to leverage that magic as much as we can. We ask for what we want. We write and talk in positives. We turn everything into an opportunity. We try to put as little negative energy into the world as possible, knowing it will come back to bite us if we do. We believe that what’s meant to happen, will.
But you know what? Even the most positive, fate-believing person is only human. Even people like us falter; sometimes in a big way. Sometimes we find ourselves temporarily stuck in a zone that leaves us dwelling about the unknown, obsessing about what we could’ve done differently, panicking about the state of our bank accounts or lives, or longing for more of something, instead of being grateful for the many, many somethings we already have.
This past month we’ve both been feeling a little stuck in that place, although for very different reasons. Regardless of why and regardless of the extent of it – how dramatic and ominous it is or isn’t – it’s still a shitty place to be.
And it’s tough for me to not be hard on myself for being there. Because I know, I know, that if I have negative thoughts, I will get negative returns. It literally makes me nervous and anxious; I start scolding myself by saying things like “You’d better stop that right fuckin now. You’re going to get what you’re asking for.”
Where’s the panic button? I’m ready to press it! I need to turn my thoughts and actions around, 180 degrees, stat!
This morning, I’m resolving to start the turn. Maybe even if I make it 90 degrees, I’ll feel better. Over coffee and a bagel, I just spent 45 minutes writing five pages of gratitude notes. In five pages, I thanked 24 people for things I want them to do. I started every note with Thank You and ended every note with I Appreciate You. I wrote every note as if that thing had already happened.
I thanked clients for paying me promptly. I thanked will-be clients for hiring me. I thanked the wedding photographer and caterer I want, I thanked friends for doing me specific favours, I thanked someone I don’t even know for coming into my life to take a project off my plate that I’m trying to get rid of. I thanked people for a whole host of things I want to happen. I appreciated them.
The next step? A reflection of all of the great things that January brought into my life. There was a lot of them, despite feelings of the contrary.
Gratitude is uber important. I am grateful that in January 2011:
1) I became a Shareholder of a now incorporated small business.
2) I, together with Wee C, launched a 30 Things community (which now has 37 members, BTW!).
3) I watched three Oscar-nominated movies with my Dad.
4) I won two big pieces of right-fit business.
5) I spoke to a class of budding PR students and received an amazingly sweet note from one of them, thanking me for my inspiration.
6) I resumed creative writing Fridays on my work blog.
7) I had a very inspiring brunch meeting about a potentially crazy-good opportunity, which I can’t really talk about yet.
8 ) I became a Season 4 Stratejoy blogger (note the badge up top; that’s me!), an opportunity I’m extremely excited about.
9) I created two themes for my year.
10) I completed a personal vision board and wedding vision board, and they give me comfort daily.
11) I started reading Rework, a mindbogglingly good book.
12) I swiped my credit card for a trip to a sexy hotel in the Mayan Riviera for a dear friend’s wedding. It’s going to be an absolute blast and the cost will become irrelevant.
13) I received three more Bust a Move donations and got thisclose to surpassing the $1,000 minimum.
14) I had many productive discussions with my new Red Balloon team members, Wee C and Ben (BIG news – a separate post on that life change will follow later!)
15) I went to several yoga classes with my Mom.
16) I looked at a dream-come-true wedding venue with Hunny.
17) I received apology flowers from a sweet person.
18) A made an action plan for upholding my values this year.
19) I participated in two helpful business coaching calls with three very special ladies.
20) I had dinner with three other lovely ladies who I don’t spend enough time with.
See? That’s almost one thing per day! I could probably come up with more if I really tried.
Because the thing is, there’s always things to celebrate, big and small. And celebrating them will attract more celebrations! That’s where my energy needs to go, right there.
P.S. My debut post on Stratejoy went live yesterday, check it out. I’ll be sharing there every Wednesday for the next six months and I really hope you’ll visit!