Walk in Gratitude

I don’t know if it’s the late November blahs, excitement of leaving for Mexico for two weeks on Saturday and too much to get done before I go, or just my frame of mind before the advent of December, but yesterday I said to a friend, “Oh oh. I’m feeling ‘the bitchy’ rumbling. I need to breathe a few moments before I walk into any room because if I let ‘the bitchy’ take hold, there’s no telling how I might express myself.”

Fact is, when ‘the bitchy’ arises, it’s easy to let ‘stupid’ become the stinkin‘ expression of my angst-riddled thinkin‘ .

My friend laughed and told me how his go to place is depression. In that dark place, if left to its own ministrations, his tendency to dip down into sadness will turn to depression which he  expresses through dark clouds and stormy exclamations that can wreak havoc in the world around him. “I usually go off and hide when I feel the sadness coming on. I don’t trust myself to be around other people. Who knows what might set me off?” he said.

Most of us have them. Those ‘moods’ that descend seemingly out of nowhere to alter our outlook in the moment passing by with their cloudy, stormy dispositions. Those moods that, if left to their own devices, steal our peace of mind and inner balance with their insistence that angst-filled living is the only way to get satisfaction.

Like Mick Jagger and heartburn, “I can’t get no satisfaction” from my angst. I just get more angst.

I know they are there, those hazy mood altering shadows that penetrate my well-being when I’m paying the least attention. It’s not really all that important why, or what triggers them. Often, the trigger is as inexplicable as the mood. What is important is that I acknowledge its presence, greet it with love and set it free.

Like that poem broken-hearted lovers espouse, If you love something set it free, if it comes back it’s yours, if it doesn’t, it never was, ill humour is never mine to hold onto. (It’s also not mine to set free into the world!)

Which is why, when I identify fissures of discord arising within me, breathing becomes my default go-to.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

Slowly. Quietly.

Breathe in. Breathe out. And as I breathe, ask for divine guidance, for sacred intervention to descend and open me up to expansion.

In expansion mode, ‘the bitchy’ has no room to grow. But when I’m contracted (which is what happens when I give into inner angst)… watch out. She ‘The bitchy’ likes to get in there and flex her muscles. She likes to mess things up.

And I slip into a state of being grateful and accepting of all that is in my life. As a dear friend once shared with me, gratitude and acceptance are states of being, not tools. “Rejoice in whatever is occurring rather than attempt to deny or deflect it” he said.. “Misery arises when I attempt to comprehend or “fit in” to my stories of what “should be”. There are no tools as there is nothing to fix.”

The bitchy visited. I do not need to comprehend or fit into her stories. I need to breathe and ‘open up to expansion’.

Yesterday, I thought I needed to corral ‘the bitchy’ into submission. Subdue her with mental gymnastics. I changed my mind.

I welcomed her in love. Greeted her with familiarity and let her flow without needing to express her angst with inappropriate behaviours.

In gratitude for her reminder that I am grateful for all things in my world, I breathed.

In. Out. In. Out.

Though brief, she reminded me to center once again in gratitude. She doesn’t need fixing. I don’t need changing. In the moment of acknowledging her presence, all I needed was to breathe and adjust my disposition to expand into love, not contract into fear, to let grace flow. In acknowledging her shadow I let her flow through gratitude into the light of love all around.

Outside my window, the world sleeps beneath a week old blanket of snow. The river flows by. Inside, my beloved sleeps in our bed. Beaumont lies curled up on the chaise beside me. I hold them in my mind’s eye and surround them with love.

I turn my sights to the world around me and let go of expectations of perfection as I open myself up to expansion of my gratitude of all I have and pour love into my day.

Whatever is happening out there, all is well in my world within me. May all be well in yours.


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