Guidepost #4: Cultivate Gratitude & Joy
Last Spring I wrote a 10-part series based on one of my very favorite books, "The Gifts of Imperfection" by Brene Brown. Each week for 10 weeks I shared one guidepost from the book, a few thoughts, plus a journal prompt. For an overview of each guidepost visit here.
Guidepost #4: Cultivate Gratitude and Joy - Let go of scarcity and fear of the dark
Scarcity and fear of the dark...I wish I could tell you that these are merely things you need to work on once or even twice and then you get to move on. It just doesn't work like and I'll share why. Scarcity and fear of the dark are built in to our very existence so that we can, quite literally, survive.
Scarcity is a fear of not enough and fear of the dark is anticipation of not enough. The part of your brain where you register fear has only one job and it's rather good at it. It searches your environment, both physical and emotional, for potential threats. I've written extensively about this here and here.
This the same part of the brain that registers enough of something. I'll have clients say to me all the time, "It doesn't make sense, I know I have enough...am enough...but I'm afraid of ..." And they're right. It doesn't make sense because sense has nothing to do with it. Your rational brain can think about scarcity but it isn't the one reacting to it.
But your rational brain can practice gratitude and let joy in. Both of which help ease the effects that scarcity or anxiety have in your life. Have you ever had one of those really amazing days - the kind of day where you are rested, you get every thing done you wanted to, you had quality time with loved ones, or enjoyed a special outing only to end the day worried or disappointed that it was over? This is scarcity at work.
Gratitude is an act of mindful joy. It's recalling in any present moment what you're grateful for. If you're feeling the effects of scarcity or fear of the dark (anxiety) then you're not present. They can only happen in the anticipation of something. But if you stop right where you are and turn toward this given moment I promise you'll find ease. Joy. Possibility. And gratitude.
To help you cultivate guidepost #4 I have a journal prompt for you:
If am grateful for...
Join me next Friday as we explore Guidepost #5: Cultivate Intuition and Trusting Faith – Let go of the need for certainty.
In the meantime bring this guidepost into practice by trying the journal prompt this week.
In light and love,