Gratitude Without Attitude

I am diverging from my usual G&A post today (and most likely from now on) because I’m been continually going through soul changes lately and want to reflect them in all I do.

My Gratitude & Attitude Posts will henceforth (hahaha, I said “henceforth”. That’s funny shit…) be known as Gratitude Without Attitude.

Why? Well, I’ve been reading Buddhist Boot Camp by Timber Hawkeye (It’s so simple, yet oh-so amazeballs and you can order it here for pennies!) and it is profound stuff, my friends.  Even though I am already familiar with Buddhist intent, I have also realized that being familiar with the goodness of something and putting that something into regular and consistent practice are two very distinctly different concepts. Showing kindness to people here and there is NOT the same as being kind. Showing gratitude here and there is NOT the same thing as being grateful.

There are so many concepts in this book that resonate with me, but the one theme that sticks out and literally grabs me by the shoulders and shakes me is that you cannot be negative if you approach every situation with gratitude. It’s actually impossible for you to feel negativity and gratitude at the same time, so it makes sense to me that if I start approaching everything from a perspective of gratitude, my degree of positivity will increase. I have started trying to look at everything from a perspective of gratitude. As in, perhaps my husband didn’t change the toilet paper roll, yet again, but I am blessed to have him in my life and grateful that he does remember to change it every so often.

See what I did there? I turned my annoyance into gratitude and completely turned the situation on its head! Ha! Okay, it is going to take a lot of practice to get there, but I have to start somewhere and, for me, that somewhere will be in my new Gratitude Without Attitude posts.

In light of my newfound enlightenment, today I am grateful for:

  1. My sister Ali’s sense of humour. She is so darn hilarious that she makes me laugh all the time and so easily.
  2. My husband may have the ability to get under my skin and drive me up the wall with his manly tendencies (please see previous post about me losing my shit), but I am grateful every day that he is in my life, loves me for me and makes a constant effort to maintain my happiness.
  3. Some of my derby teammates say things about others (and me) that are fairly douchebaggish (this is a word, look it up if you don’t believe me), but I am grateful that I have them around to remind me that I, too, can fall into the same trap and become a douchebag when I hear what they’ve been saying. So much of what we do and say comes from some form of fear–fear of not being liked; fear of not fitting in; fear of being blamed for others misdeeds; fear of not being heard, fear of being seen in a negative light, fear of our true selves being revealed, etc.– and when I hear about the nasty things others are saying, it reminds me that I have the choice to react out of fear, too, or to make more of an effort to react from a place of love (basically, as the old saying goes, If you don’t have anything nice to say…). A constant reminder to react from a place of love is something to be very grateful for and I am hoping to do this more and more as I get used to putting it into practice. I am also grateful for all of my teammates because, regardless of what’s happening behind the scenes, we are always there for each other on the track, when it counts. I think it is fairly rad when a large group of women can put aside their inherent differences and support each other when it counts the most.
  4. Chapter Six in Buddhist Boot Camp, which was kind enough to remind me this morning that “the opposite of what you know is also true”. Basically, no two people experience life in the same way and, as a result, there are so many different ideas about right and wrong or true and false out there. It doesn’t matter how adamant we are that we are doing the right thing because the other person we are in conflict with is most likely is just as adamant that he or she is too. Trying to convince each other otherwise is a waste of energy. While we don’t have to agree with it, to live more peacefully within ourselves, we have to accept that their truth may be just as much truth as ours and respect it. If I can learn to always recognize this, it will make my life a helluva lot easier because I won’t waste so much time trying to sway people to think like me or to admit that they are wrong. It’ll also save me a lot of time arguing with my dad, too (stubborn old goat that he is)!
  5. Awesome new friends, like Seliina and Luc, who are also my newest wedding clients, but really so much more. I am grateful that the opportunity for us to cross paths presented itself. You two are just good peeps!
  6. Janis and Aaron! Your generosity and willingness to share your little piece of paradise overwhelms me. My business affords me the opportunity to meet so many amazing people and you two are no exception. Yesterday I was grateful just to have the opportunity to hang out with your fantastic family again (because, you know, Jake’s a pretty fun kid to hang out with, too) and I’m looking forward to more visits and, perhaps, a beer or two while fishing in your back yard!
  7. Cora Jane LeFlufy. The other day I heard news of a friend who is expecting and the familiar weight of grief pressed its giant hands down on my shoulders even harder and made me feel as though I were carrying the entire universe around. A lump formed in my throat and stayed there for hours, while my eyes continuously teared up every few minutes, whenever I thought of how sad I will always be that we lost our baby girl too soon and to something so tragically easy to fix. But then, I looked through her photobook and I saw all of the amazing and humbling moments we did have with her- even though they were so brief-and my shoulders once again felt strong. Her brief life meant something and she has taught me and so many others so much about the things in life that are important and meaningful. So many people have children who are alive and healthy and these people learn next to nothing from the blessings they’ve been given. I’m grateful every day for the lessons Cora has taught me, for the reminders she has left behind to be a better person, for the motivation to give more and try to expect nothing in return. I’m grateful that her loss sparked my motivation to join derby, to start my own league here in the Loops and to work my ass off to help it flourish. And I’m grateful that her loss has put me in touch with so many amazing, caring, giving, loving people just because they have connected with our story. I could probably do an entire separate blog about just Cora and all of the lives she has touched and the stories people have shared with us of their own losses and the amazing journeys those losses have taken them on. Another time, perhaps. For now, I’m just grateful that I had a little girl for a little while and she constantly reminds me that I am strong and can get through absolutely anything that life throws at me!
  8. Butter cream icing. I don’t do sugar most of the time, but that stuff makes me grateful enough to do a backflip through a giant cake! mmmm…mmmmm…mmm
  9. Sleep. During the endless nights when it escapes me, I feel ever so grateful for the times when I’m actually able to catch some zzzzzs!

I’m sure I could come up with more, but I have to get ready for my hot date with Gregory John LeFlufy tonight. Yep. The two of us, sitting in the man cave, watching Sons of Anarchy and making out during the commercials. Steamy stuff, Joe Public. Steamy stuff. 😉

Good night, my friends! I wish you all enough…

and a dog as adorable as this one!

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