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When it rains, it pours.

February 25, 2019

Have you ever found yourself feeling stressed out and overwhelmed with your life? Or you’ve looked around and nothing seems to be working? Or everything you touch seems to just fall apart?

I have, and I believe wholeheartedly in the saying “when it rains it pours.” In my experience when one area of my life feels hard, they all do. One thing can seemingly hijack my whole life. You can try to put a positive spin on that – like at least you’re getting it all over with at once. But when you’re in the middle of that shit storm, it takes everything to just hold your head above water.

And if you’re anything like me, the last thing you feel like doing is trying to find the silver lining of it all. Putting a positive spin on something that sucks when you’re in it is one of the worst things you can do because it discounts the very real experience that you’re having.

But, without some framework of positivity to hold onto, it can be really easy to get sucked into an abyss of deep dark negativity. And when you’re in that, it’s really hard to find your way out.

Which is why having some form of a gratitude practice can be really helpful.

Gratitude isn’t about negating the reality of the situation you’re in. It’s about accepting where you are and finding what’s working.

It’s powerful because it helps you to see the good, to anchor into it, and to find some space to breathe. To know that all is not lost. And to recognize that while things may feel hard right now, the hard is not all consuming.

This also helps to create the mental framework for you to find peace, strength and hope – the power combo that allows you to find your way forward.

You may be thinking, but everything literally sucks right now. At least that’s how I felt at one particularly hard point in my infertility journey. I felt like infertility was this dark cloud infiltrating every single area of my life. Money (meds, tests, doctors appointments, acupuncture, herbs and all the million little things in between costs thousands of dollars), relationships (strain on my marriage, avoiding everyone who was having a baby, snapping at my family), and health (the meds were tough and I felt betrayed by my body) just to give you a few examples.

Truth is, every single thing felt hard. And the idea of a gratitude practice seemed impossible. In all honesty, I have no idea where what I’m going to share with you came from, but it’s what inspired a daily gratitude practice that I continue to this day.  

So here’s what you do. Close your eyes and just take a few slow deep breaths. Bring your attention to the tips of your toes, then to your heals and to the soles of your feet. Do your feet work? Are they pain free? Do you have two feet and 10 toes? Do they hold your body up? Do they walk you through life? If so, that’s 5 things right there to be grateful for.

Simply say to yourself, “I am grateful that my feet work, I am grateful my feet are pain free, I am grateful my feet walk me through every single day of my life,” etc.

Then move up to your legs, keep going – all the way to the very top of your head. Think about your heart beating, your lungs breathing, and your brain thinking. All of those really simple, profoundly important things that are working for you. Let these matter, let them be enough for you right now. Don’t force it or fake it.

Not only did this help me to find something concrete to be grateful for, it also completely changed the relationship I had with my body. Instead of feeling let down and disappointed (angry, resentful, and so much more) because I wasn’t getting pregnant I was able to start appreciating my body for all that it was doing, and all that was working. It helped start to let some light shine in.  

Over the years I’ve practiced gratitude in a lot of different ways, but most consistently, I end every single day with my prayers, being thankful for every single thing I can think of from that day including my health and body. Use this practice to get you started with creating a gratitude practice of your own, and see where it takes you!

Hopefully it becomes an anchor for you, like it was for me, and that your light finds it way in too.  

In gratitude,

Emily

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