Since my hockey accident I have been made more aware of things that I have taken for granted.
Recently I signed up to participate in the “Beautiful You Life Coaching Academy” and as part of the enrollment we had to write down the activities we love doing. My list included exercise related hobbies in particular hockey, crossfit and gym. For nearly two months now I haven’t been able to walk to my front door properly let alone go to the gym. I haven’t been able to drive or even get out onto my back porch because of the step down which has been difficult. It’s interesting how much of our identity is tied up in the things that we do.
Today I’d love to go through some things I think we take for granted. See if you can identify yourself in any of these points.
WE TAKE OUR…
FAMILY FOR GRANTED
I don’t know about you but I know I definitely take my family for granted. We assume that they are going to be here forever and sorry to be morbid but that ain’t so! I remember all too clearly when I was in grade eleven and my nana was diagnosed with stomach cancer. I tried to go around when I could but you know what it’s like when you’re a teenager. You’ve got people to see and places to go. I remember the night she passed away. I had come back from youth group and my family were really upset with me. My dad said “Your nana was asking to say goodbye to you and we couldn’t get in contact with you and now she’s dead.” Remember this is the time when mobile phones were expensive and I most definitely did not have one. I know now Dad was speaking in his grief but as a 15, nearly 16 year old girl I spent that next week running over scenarios in my head and feeling incredibly guilty.
I don’t know what you believe but I believe God can intervene when we go through these situations. I remember oh so clearly a dream I had at the end of that week. I heard a voice saying “It’s ok. She knows you wanted to be there. You’re set free.” I’ve never felt guilty since.
On another note, Dad has also just discovered the internet. Currently I get spammed with email ‘funnies’ he has forwarded on. Things like the Oatmeal Company’s ‘I wish my kitty were big enough to hug’ and ’20 Infuriating things computer illiterate people say when you’re trying to help them.’ Sometimes I ignore them. Then I feel guilty and spend that minute reading or watching the random ‘funny’ he has sent me. Sometimes we just need to lighten up and have a good laugh at the random ‘funnies.’
We live in a world that is increasingly busy let’s make sure we make connections with our family.
WORK FOR GRANTED
I know. I’m a buzz kill hey? But seriously we do take our work for granted. We may not like the jobs we are in or the people we work for or with and we moan and groan about how awful everything is in our workplace. Now, I’m not belittling by any means workplace difficulties or trying to play down difficult people. I’ve had my fair share of bullies in the workplace and many a scar from hot plates from my waitressing days at a Mexican restaurant. But at the end of the day we have a job and we have a wage, even if it’s a small one. Many of you who are reading this may not have a job and can identify with the fact that a lot of us take work for granted.
If you are struggling in your workplace by all means start exploring your options. Dream big! Start journaling the things that make your heart sing and your spirits soar but while you are in that workplace use adversity to your advantage. Help it to shape you as a person, to discover what it is you really want to do, but also be thankful that the job you are in is probably providing you with a wage to fund your future endeavours. I’m lucky that I work with such a great team of people who inspire and encourage me. As educators they have lifted me up when I have mentioned my heart’s desire to study Naturopathy, Nutrition and Life Coaching. They get excited with me when I discover a new fact and tell me that I’m writing well on my blog.
I went back to work this week for three days and on the first day I had a fan club of students waiting to greet me at my car. I’ve had my high school students offer to carry gear and their behaviour in my classes have been exemplary. I’ve been greeted by warm hugs in my staff room and have come back to a wonderful retreat area where I’ve been enjoying my lunch.
Let’s not take our work for granted despite our adversities and frustrations. Let’s find ways we can channel that into new ventures. Don’t forget there’s always a transition time despite how scary it may be to leave a workplace and be patient in that transition. You have the answers you need inside of you. You just need to awaken them!
HEALTH AND NUTRITION FOR GRANTED
Did I mention to you I miss exercise? You don’t realize the important of this in your life until it has been ripped out from under you. Having ruptured my ACL, torn my meniscus and broken parts of my patella in my knee means I have a 8-9 month recovery period. I’m slowly learning how to walk without a limp and feeling like a champ when I can get to the front door without crutches to collect my organic groceries from the lovely courier.
I can see my muscle mass disappearing and the mean girl in me has been looking at the weight gain that has been happening and the negative self talk has started to creep in. I have to keep reminding myself about the opportunities I have to be still, to learn more and to be thankful for the wonderful chauffeur I have in my husband David.
I am grateful that I have access to an abundance of food. Remember when your parents use to say to you “Eat up there are starving people in the world?” Well it’s true, there are starving people who would just love access to one meal. And we’re worried about whether it’s certified organic, all natural and all nourishing. (Which by the way I love). If we have access to these things, that’s great but let’s not take it for granted that we have access to it. In fact, maybe think about extending that access via sponsoring a child or by donating to that next door knock appeal. I think we are given the things we have so that we too can give back to others when we have the opportunity.
I also have access to an amazing team of people at the Wellness Clinic I go to that are working on helping restore my general health with amazing results. It costs money and it’s not cheap but I am thankful I can focus on looking after the temple I live in. I’m not a shoe person, or a handbag person but I’m a holistic health person and am thankful I can invest in my health through these means.
A HEART OF GRATITUDE
Melanie Greenberg, a clinical psychologist wrote in her article “The Seven Best Gratitude Quotes” that:
Experiencing and expressing gratitude is an important part of any spiritual practice. It opens the heart and activates positive emotion centers in the brain. Regular practice of gratitude can change the way our brain neurons fire into more positive automatic patterns. The positive emotions we evoke can soothe distress and broaden our thinking patterns so we develop a larger and more expansive view of our lives. Gratitude is an emotion of connectedness, which reminds us we are part of a larger universe with all living things.
How can we then cultivate gratitude so that we don’t take things for granted?
- Keep a gratitude journal. Keep it simple. Start by writing one thing you are thankful for in your day.
- Give a compliment to someone.
- Become involved in a cause.
- Try not to complain, gossip or criticise. Look at the amount of time wasted on negative thoughts and actions.
- Focus on people rather than things.
My challenge to you this week is to not take things for granted and to develop a heart of gratitude. How can you do that this week?
What are some areas of your life that you take for granted?