A few short years ago I was in a place in my life that was a transition. The hallway of this transition felt like my darkest hour.
My husband and I were getting ready to move across the country when he ended up in a hospital having his leg amputated. That was not the darkest hour. After his surgery, he had a near-death experience and no; that too, was not the darkest hour. I was in the middle of selling our home, packing up our belongings and literally had no place to live. Nope - that too was not my darkest hour.
So you are asking "for the love of God what was my darkest hour?"
It was being so overwhelmed of all that was coming at me where I was literally frozen with fear and indecision. I was, however, thankful my husband did not die. I was thankful our house was sold. I was thankful I was organized and could pack a home by myself.
But to feel the gratitude, now that was a stretch. The only thing I could feel was my energy collapsing, my vitality for life diminishing.
One morning I realized I wanted to be grateful for my life and to live with joy again. That is when I decided to get out a journal and start writing about everything I WAS grateful for in my life......
There are 2 things you may not think you would find in a hallway of darkness. Gratitude, and a way to express it which can be accomplished through journaling.
Did you know gratitude and journaling are “get out of the dark free cards”?
I know, I accept when you are really stuck you may not have the energy to actually write anything down. And don't even get me started on the fuzzy brain to look around and see anything to be thankful for. I would like to invite you to open your mind to a possibility; perhaps it is not as difficult as you may think.
A gratitude journal is a way to focus on positive actions in your life. Especially when you are feeling the positive train just left you standing at the station.
Your journal can be written in a lovely book, it can be an audio recording or typing on a device. If you don't like the sound of your voice or seeing yourself in a video then writing your gratitude moments is probably the better choice. If you like to do things on the go then using an app on your phone may be the ticket.
Choose the method which feels appropriate for you so you can remain engaged and committed.
This is your journey of joy so pick the one that makes your heart flutter with excitement.
You may be asking, but how exactly does keeping a gratitude journal help move me out of the hallway of no thanks?
I started by jotting down anything in the day I felt grateful for. My grateful list varied from having a dispenser for packing tape that worked properly to seeing my husband healing quickly after his surgery.
I decided I would journal before I went to bed each evening. This action was like a mind dump. Instead of laying my head down on the pillow to rehash what didn't work through the day, I was able to smile and see all the positive things I had experienced. I felt calmer and slept soundly.
My gratitude list grew. In the beginning, I would struggle to see 5 items to write down but soon I could have a page full of thankful moments. As my day unfolded I would find myself swapping a "what now?" to "now what!"...with positive curious anticipation of the opportunity to practice a moment of thanks.
Some evenings I would flip through the pages and I would read all my grateful moments. I could feel my energy brighten as I relived all those wonderful times.
I am able to read over past entries when I need a boost, to be able to see the many times I have been grateful.
I acknowledge situations can turn out better than expected. And when something didn't show up that I was anticipating, I had a record of something better that did!
One important thing I learned along the way was not to judge the length of the list. It did not matter if I could fill a page or only write down one thing. It was focusing on the feeling that was activated in me in the particular moment. The feeling was happiness, joy, and love.
I began to realize what was truly important in my life and what was not. It certainly prepared me for letting go, when I acknowledged areas in my life that were not working for my highest good. I knew when I released anything, something better came to fill the void.
And you know why I understood that?
Because I had written proof time and time again. That was so empowering!
What do you write in a gratitude journal if you are not seeing much to be thankful for?
Do you need a little jump start?
Let me shine a light in your dark hallway so you can see some grateful moments. Click on the button below to receive your jump start. There is no opt-in required.
I am happy to help!
I can't help pick out your new journal.
I can help you jump start what to write in it.
Until next time,
Your Guide Through Life Transitions
Giving thanks when all you see is darkness ahead.
October is the month that we in Canada celebrate Thanksgiving. Families and friends gather to eat together. This is a huge time that focuses on family, friendship, togetherness and giving thanks. It is the dream holiday for the greeting card and travel industries.
The reality is that many people are not feeling the gratitude. They may be standing in a hallway that is not feeling too cheerful. Some may be in the hallway alienated from family, experiencing job loss or financial difficulties. This may be the first major holiday without a loved one.
When I have been standing in a dark hallway, my thought might be why bother?
Why bother to give thanks if I am not feeling like anything I have asked for, attempted to manifest or dreamed about is here?
Have you ever felt that way too?
The hallway of no thanks is one I like to exit quickly.
Just as I have experienced the feeling of no gratitude, I have also had the joy in what is created when I am feeling thankful.
Making a slight pivot can create the energy of seeing more in my life to be thankful for than what I first thought.
I use the time in the hallway for some reflection.
Let’s face it when you are in the hallway you aren’t really not moving, so might as well use the downtime for some good old pondering as to the why. Right?
One way to reflect is to see how areas of your life can be impacted with gratitude.
In your emotional body gratitude helps you to be more relaxed. You begin to feel much better and more hopeful. Your resilience becomes stronger to see that you have the stamina to walk through your hallway. Self-esteem builds with strength and often just taking the breath to make a tiny step will lead to larger steps.
Your health will improve with gratitude. Your sleep improves, your mood is elevated and of course, your energy is higher. You find that you are not becoming ill as often and can actually fulfill your daily duties with more grace and ease.
With your vitality supercharged you will see improvements in your career and relationships. Your confidence will be aligned to make clear, focused decisions that will improve your managing of projects or co-working in a team.
The first small step is to reach out to a hallway partner. The secret to that is to choose only the people who will be your cheerleader. A close friend, a family member, or mentor who is not trying to “fix” anything but is going to be holding space for as you get your bearings.
Holding space can mean just listening, being a sounding board and will only provide advice or comments when asked. When we give thanks to those people in our life our relationships deepen. They are thankful to be able to be of support and you are thankful that you have someone in the hallway with you.
Yes, it may be that you cannot actually see the gratitude in all of your life areas at the moment. The consideration is then to observe if there is even one area in your life that gratitude may be applied and give thanks for it.
It may be as simple as “I am grateful for each breath I take”.
Another technique I have used during my most challenging time in the hallway of no thanks is to get my energy moving.
As my energy starts to move, I begin to gain stamina and calmness that allows me to pay attention to the positive actions in my life.
I am happy to help!
I can’t help you with your Thanksgiving turkey.
I can help you step out of the hallway of no thanks,
with a positive energy flow that you can be thankful for.
As my personal thank you,
I have made a little something to help you get your energy moving.
Go ahead and watch no opt-in is required.
Until next time,
Your Guide Through Life Transitions