“Once you’ve embraced gratitude, give it some time before you expect changes. With most small gratitude practices, benefits emerge at around the three-week mark, Emmons says — ‘long enough for a behavior to become a habit.’ Though few studies have looked long-term, there is evidence that the effects can last for months, even years. ‘Changes can be permanent,’ he says, ‘as the brain rewires.’” (x)
I’m grateful for…
💆 – Feeling more comfortable in social situations. I’m still an introvert, I still don’t often initiate conversations with strangers, but since starting to take an anti-anxiety med I’ve found I’m less startled and anxious when people randomly start talking to me. I had a brief conversation with some random guy in the Las Vegas airport because he saw my tote bag from the magazine – he used to be an editor for another California magazine before social media was a thing. I didn’t feel uncomfortable or shaky after this conversation, which is nice.
💆 – The infinite color palette of the Pacific ocean. I aspire to someday live in a house with an ocean view. Not a view of the beach, not the people who to come to see it, just the ocean. And maybe a road winding somewhere along in the view, to remind me of where I have been — where I am right now, in this moment.
💆 – The evergreens that grow near the beach. They’re so spindly and wispy, but they hang on. Some of them are tall and thin, some of them are shorter and more shrub-like, but with a rakish tilt. My favorite are the tall ones with windswept tufts of green at their tops.
💆 – Receiving comments on my posts. A lot of the time I feel like what I’m writing about is silly or self-indulgent or wouldn’t interest anyone but myself. I especially love receiving comments on my Sunday gratitudes posts, because they’re something I started doing purely for my own self-improvement, but I’m glad when other people can take inspiration from them or chime in to say, I am doing this too. It makes me feel less like a perpetual weirdo.
💆 – The tunnel wishes where I don’t know what I want to wish for until the last second. I breathe in and start to hold my breath and suddenly it comes to me: I just want to have a good day. Or something simple like that.
💆 – To have found my soulmate, the person who shows me myself. The person who shows me my reflection and my imperfections, and asks of me to do what I need to do to better myself. Meeting my partner and falling in love has been a slow breaking open of my world, letting all kinds of new things in.
💆 – Having a good morning. Yesterday I tried a visualization exercises with my meditation app, and I visualized a good morning. It pretty much came true! I think this is like the tunnel wishes where I secretly know how to make these things happen and I do.
💆 – This thought: the idea that we can’t cherry pick our beliefs from the spectrum religious thought out there is a crab bucket. Crab bucket is when you don’t even have to put a lid on the bucket, because the crabs are all so busy trying to get themselves out that they pull and hold each other down.
💆 – The color palette of the houses in San Francisco.
💆 – The hills here. Going to Indianapolis recently put this into perspective for me. I love these hills. They’re my hills. I don’t think I’ve ever had a fierce love of place like this before.
What have you felt grateful for this week?