Gratitude for the Shitstorms of Life

Post by Lynn DeVasto for the Kind Kindred series.

Photo by Scott Butner

I am a big fan of gratitude.  I believe it’s a big part of not only allowing myself to have a healthy body and soul, but it truly allows me to embrace that concept.  I like to think that I live there as often as possible.  

Don’t you love those days where you’re filled with joy and everything reminds you that life is good, and that this really is a beautiful journey that we’re all on together?  Then again, what about those days where your gratitude comes to a screeching halt? Many times my thought process looks like this:

Gratitude List, Day One:

~my home (yeah, yeah, yeah)
~my cat (damn, Brady IS amazing)
~ummm, my family?  (nope, not so much today)
~ummm, my work (okay, I do love my peeps that I work with)
~the weather? (I live in NJ…do you know what it’s like here in January?)
~my friends (but, I really just want to withdraw and be alone)
Well, guess what?  Day two looks exactly the same, as does day three, and so on and so forth.
It’s hard when I’m “stuck” in a difficult space to be grateful and think outside the box. Fortunately, I’m also a big fan of baby steps. So, I can start by figuring out what went well (aka, not disastrous). Real life example coming right up… Here’s what happened yesterday, in a nutshell.  I walked out of my first clients house to find her driveway a total sheet of ice.  Which happened in 45 minutes. Did I mention my car is AWFUL in snow and ice?  No forecast of this, total shockeroo!  Needless to say, sessions were cancelled, people were disappointed and money was lost.  I make my way home at 5 mph.  Whew!  

Home and hibernation coming up!  Well, except there is a gas leak at my home.  By the time I realized it, I had a migraine and felt like I was going to pass out.  When I gathered up my stuff, my Brady cat hid when he saw the carrier.  Fortunately, he is MY cat and a food bribe was stronger than his fear. 

I went to my moms house to drop him off and walked into an ongoing, coming to a head, family crisis (hello, migraine-ville). We ALL know these days, right?  For me (please tell me I’m not alone), it’s hard on a day like this to sit down and write a lovely list as to why I’m grateful.  Really, Universe, really?  I mean, you hand me this shitstorm and then want me to be grateful?  But this is what I can do…

What went well today:

~I was safe, and I’m alive


~I was super careful, kept lots of room between me and other cars and drive very slow (disclaimer:  these are not my strongest traits)
~I had good timing, good instincts and did the right thing at the right time (see previous disclaimer).  I got us out of the house safely, and even though I was shaky for hours afterwards, everything and everybody is fine
What went well today:

~I was able to lay the groundwork for very strong boundaries that have long reaching effects


~I have done a lot of careful thinking, meditation and prayer on what needs to be done.  Although I am not the most popular person right now, I am confident that this is right for everybody involved.
It’s super critical to ask the “why” questions!  NOW, I’m feeling a little better and can go from there…
My gratitude list:

~my cat (you knew that was coming, right?)
~my home (not being blown up in gas explosion makes me feel a lot less blasé about it)
~my alive-ness
~my ability to be reasonable in the midst of chaos
~my ongoing, not so perfect practice of prayer, meditation and affirmations 
~might I add…I did not even WANT to eat over any of this.  A miracle in itself.
When I started this today, I was feeling some fairly unattractive feelings about my life, but by working through this process, I actually feel really good right now.  I am incredibly aware of the need to feel my feelings, work through and allow them to be, and yes…actually come out on the other side feeling grateful.  I would love it if you would try this and let me know your experiences with it. 

Lynn DeVasto is the owner of SuperGirl Workout.  After losing 90 pounds, she made the decision to help woman be their own super-hero and find their own version of “fit and fearless”, while being true and kind to themselves in the process.

~ Important but boring stuff:  She holds certifications in personal training, holistic wellness coaching, sports nutrition and barre.
~ Perhaps unimportant, but fun stuff:  Wakes up every morning at 4:30 (ugh), lives with her kitty love (Brady), has yet to meet a potato she doesn’t like (especially if mashed), currently going through slight withdrawal of Hallmark Christmas movies (really breathing through this one).

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