♬ Every day was something new
You pull out your bag and your fine to-do
You got me trying new things too
Just so I can keep up with you ♬
💿 Sam and Dave / I Thank You
Easy enough question, right? I think if you were to ask me this in January of 2020, the answer might have been surprisingly different.
🧠 As I tune into my head, the first thought that comes to mind is my ability to problem solve. As a precocious child of the 1980's, I was always trying to figure out why things were the way they were. I would ask tons of questions from my peers, but would rarely get any answers. So I ended up resourcing myself. My parents once owned a set of thick and tightly bound encyclopedias (yes, that was a thing back then before the advent of Google) and I remember being fascinated with all the stories that were told - thinking, but what if...
As an adult, this often got me in trouble because many assumed I was living in a land of dreams rather than one of concrete possibilities.
💓 As I check into my heart, I am most grateful for my parents. Both are elderly in age, but I am fortunate enough to still have them around. It was a tumultuous ride with them for many years, but we got through all the verbal disagreements, ideological differences, and tacit acceptance of each other's lifestyle choices. But I am also a firm believer that parents are people too. Sounds funny, but I have found many forget this when it comes to family dynamics. They place their parents and siblings on varied pedestals and fail to remember that just like friends and personal relationships, there is the “hard stuff” that sometimes needs to be worked out, things that need to be said, and the respect that needs to be earned. Having a conversation with your 81 year old father about your frightful experiences and feelings of not being heard as a child wasn't easy, but I would rather be uncomfortable than regretful.
🤰 What does my gut want to say? It is grateful for all the missteps, mistakes, and poor decision making which has led me to this point. As a Stage 3 cancer survivor, you come to the firm understanding that your days are somewhat numbered and those that are remaining need to be expressed far more fully and wholly than the life you lived before your diagnosis. You see the chain link between all things and start ruminating about the impact you want to leave this planet. You make it a point to throw caution to the wind, and let that energy carry you to even greater heights.
Did I lose my mojo like the rest of the world when COVID-19 first hit? Of course, but I also didn't stop planning and preparing for my next move. Because you learn that mistakes are like ripple marks in an ocean wave. It can't be seen on the surface, because it frankly doesn’t matter. What truly counts is that those moves, however small were made.
As Dr. Martin Seligman, the founding father of the Positive Psychology once said,
"People tend to spend more time thinking about what is bad in life than is helpful. Worse, this focus on negative events sets us up for anxiety and depression. One way to keep this from happening is to get better at thinking about and savoring what went well."
So, what are 3 things you are grateful for and why do you feel that is? Then check in with your "three brains" and see what comes up.
Every Monday morning at 10 AM I will post a powerful prompt which can also be found on your smartphone here and follow it wherever it leads. The aim is to resource all “three brains” — head 🧠, heart 💓, and gut 🤰 — in hopes of connecting the dots to those sticky parts in our nature that matter.