Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


Warmth Gratitude

I'm having a tough day. A student sat up in class this morning, was overcome with vertigo, and slumped to the floor. She was fine, and called me this afternoon to reassure me, but it still left me feeling a little shaken. I saw an IMT client this afternoon and am left wondering how people unlearn the habit of solitude and isolation, thinking about aging in general.

All this happening the day after I wrote publicly about my healing journey as someone who's experienced sexual trauma. I feel like I have a vulnerability "hang over" from practicing courage. I also remembered that instead of a nice, slow morning tomorrow I have my first session with my new therapist, doing art therapy, at 8am tomorrow before teaching two classes.

I feel like Past Me set Current Me up.

The reality; I'd be anxious and grumpy going to start sessions with a new therapist no matter when I did it.

During my studies in Integrated Movement Therapy I heard a lot about the benefits of a gratitude practice and I've read books, as well as research papers that validate how a gratitude practice can help our sense of well-being. I've been looking at various ways to  make this practice part of my daily routine, or even weekly to get consistent! I've decided to collect my "gratitudes" here, where it easier for me to refer back to them.

I returned home this past Friday after a week away, up high in the northern mountains of Washington State. I spent several days assisting at my teacher's yoga teacher training. I also took a day off to work on my own artwork, the biggest gift to myself in going. Taking this time off from teaching, from being paid money, felt hard; I still am working on feeling worthy of giving myself this kind of time and money.

To make the trip more affordable, yet still have a private accommodation, I camped in our van. Our van is cozy and one of the reasons we bought it was for camping. However, toward the end of the week the temperatures were dropping to freezing at night which meant I'd awake in the dark of early morning (yoga began promptly at 6am), the van only 40F. Having an electric blanket kept me warm while sleeping, but getting out of bed was hard!

This morning was chilly and cloudy, by the time I finished up with a client visit and got home there was steady drizzle. It took a huge amount of discipline to get out in it to take the dogs on their walk. A daily walk is not only good for the health of all the walkers, but helps reduce the wild, out-of-control behavior in the evening from our younger dog. Still, knowing all this, and even being used to this kind of weather, having grown up with the chill drizzle of autumn in the Pacific Northwest, I didn't want to go out today. By 5pm I was feeling mopey and grumpy, that was before I remembered the new therapy thing in the morning too!

The dogs were happy I took us out into the wet, of course. Walking didn't magically alleviate my feeling of tenderness, residual anxiety, and fatigue, but it felt a lot better than just stewing in those emotions. I was rewarded for my perseverance with the view of raindrops on the flowers of autumn.

Given today's on and off again chilliness, including the chill of anxiety at seeing a student experience a minor health crises, I'm feeling really grateful for warmth. Our warm home, especially as I sit listening to autumn rain coming down. I'm grateful to wake up in a house where heat blows through the rooms at the touch of a button, is programed to come up to warm the mornings. The warm companionship of one of our cats, snuggled up against my legs as I write. The warm feet of the youngest dog, stretched out so he can touch me while he naps to the other side of me. The warmth of cider today, given to me in a big cup I could cup my chilled fingers around. The way I've learned to appreciate the warmth shared in a hug.


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  1. Cheers to warmth! How often we take the comfort of warmth for granted.
    Thank you for reminding me, as I am often cold and forget to actually be grateful for the blessings and resources for heat. I love your writing, looking forward to reading your journey into gratitude .

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