I love rituals.. Ritual activates my gratitude muscles.
This morning, while lying in the bath (one of my favourite morning rituals) I was reflecting on gratitude, and how I have gotten out of the habit of writing my gratitude list every day.
I smiled and shook my head in loving consternation at my humanness – it can be so easy to forget to do the things I know are healthy, healing and nurturing.
As I looked around to see if I’d remembered to put my journal on the little stool beside my bathtub, (and realized I hadn’t) I decided the time to act was now.
No pen. No papaer. Easy peasy. I always have my phone on the counter beside the tub — it controls my music.
Why not download a gratitude app?
Over the weekend I’d been researching gratitude and come across several apps during my search. One that looked interesting and got good reviews is, Gratitude.
Being a ‘when I have an idea I like to get to it!’ kind of gal, I picked up my phone (careful not to drop it in the sudsy water) and checked out the App Store.
Sure enough, Gratitude is the first app to appear in the long list. I did a quick peruse of other apps and decided I’d give it a try.
And so, while I soaked in the warm soothing waters of the bath, I created my first Gratitude List on my phone. In the process, I smiled. And laughed at myself. I mean really Louise – I’m grateful for morning poops? Well that’s not very sophisticated now is it? I let it stand. Some mornings, I am just that – grateful.
The app also has a section for building a vision board.
I checked it out.
And that’s where I came up against the big, bad, ugly, feelings of symbolic annihilation.
The Vision Board section allows you to post photos for different areas of your life that reflect what you are seeking to manifest.
Problem is, of the many, many, many photos for each section — Family, Friends, Health, Travel… etc….. there are relatively few, and I mean few, photos that I can relate to.
As an example, in the ‘success’ section I found a handful of photos out of many, many, many, that depicted an older adult — and they were all the same 3 different men, all in business attire, all white. (add some racial disparity to the mix too!)
I wasn’t deterred – the app does allow you to pull photos from your own phone — and I have lots of those I can include.
But what struck me was how subtle ageism can be – even when the app builders were trying to build an app that would allow people to strengthen their gratitude muscles, they (I’m hoping unintentionally) practiced symbolic annihilation (one of the challenges THIRD ACTion Film Festival is combatting through its amazing line-up of films and events – full disclosure, I sit on their board)..
See, ageism is subtle. I probably would not have noticed it if I hadn’t been scrolling through their photos before realizing I could add my own! It wasn’t until I realized I’d been scrolling and scrolling before finding one or two that fit my ‘mindspace’ that I realized what the issue was.
I’d say –Hey! Anyone want to build an app just for older people? but… that would actually defeat the purpose of this journey into how to age with grace and be grateful for it all.
Because a separate app, just for baby boomers for example, would actually be saying, we’re special and separate from all of you. And we want to keep ourselves that way ’cause you don’t understand!
At least I think that’s what it would say — please share your thoughts! I’d love to know what it says to you.
In the meantime, I’m adding this one to my list of gratitudes this morning – I am grateful for this app that will send me reminders to practice gratitude, and that reminds me, to not think of myself as invisible and powerless. To not sit back and allow synbolic annihilation to erase my presence because I tell myself, there’s nothing I can do, it’s just the way it is. I must use my voice, my words, my actions to stay relevant, present and above all, true to myself, doing the things I believe will create better in this world for all.
In other words, I gotta wear my age like a crown of precious jewels! Shining bright for all the world to see… Age matters! So does Gratitude!
Sparkle. Sparkle. Sparkle!
PS – I’m off to my physio appt this morning. If you’d like to listen to the video, please do come back later and I’ll have posted it!