Day 11: Gratitude

This one is so lovely. And easy. And makes me so happy.

I read about the benefits of gratitude ages ago, so I started writing my thank yous at the end of each day. The idea is to find at least five new things to be grateful for each day, and either write them down or say them out loud. Even on the shittiest days I found there was always something to be grateful for, even it was ‘Thank you that we have a soundproof ladies room at work so I can have a proper cry before the policy meeting,’ – not resoundingly joyous, but still something. I found that on the worst days I would try harder to find positives so I got quite good at finding little snippets of good in amongst the bad, and I found that really comforting. It’s like when we were kids we were told before we could say something mean about someone we had to first say ten nice things, after which that one hurtful thing would sort of lose its power.

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Day Six: Cold Showers

Today’s shivery suggestion is brought to you by my very happy, healthy and confident little brother. In a family zoom call recently he talked about how great he was feeling since he completed his three day fast a couple of weeks ago. We were fascinated by his experience, as he described the physical and mental benefits of a complete cleanse and reset. While not at all tempted to follow that example, the conversation went on to the similar benefits of cold showers, which everyone sort of nodded in agreement to. I didn’t realise the extent to which immersion in freezing water was of recognised benefit to health, and looked it up.

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Droplets

At the end of my meditation, I like to imagine a lovely bright light from the universe filling my body. It’s a nice visual process of mentally cleaning out and strengthening myself for the day.

Today when I imagined this, it sort of surrounded me with an aura of white light, and formed the shape of a droplet around me, sitting crosslegged on the sofa. And it reminded me of what Chidi says in The Good Place, about being drops of water in a wave. We exist for a short time as our own unique droplet, and then we merge back into the sea. And I saw myself as a tiny drop of rain falling out of the sky. Next to millions of others in this particular rainstorm. And it is as if we have this few minutes after we’re formed in the cloud, to fall out of the sky, experience the magic and beauty of life, hurtling through the air along with the others, before we meet the ground, sea, tree, car park where all the other drops have gathered and we merge and flow into our next manifestation.

And how ridiculous is it that we spend our fleeting flight bickering, comparing, being jealous of, scared of, feeling judged by or misunderstood by the other drops. Who cares?! Just enjoy this short time, make the most of it, fly with drops who make you happy and stop trying to change those who don’t.

Because none of it really matters anyway, we’ll just all merge back in a puddle, in a water system, in the sea.

‘I’d do anything to belong, to be strong, to say there’s nothing wrong’

It was 1999, I was 21, I was wearing some sort of embroidered hat, ripped jeans and muddy trainers as I stood in a crowd of several thousand people on a warm June night at Glastonbury. My brother and his friends had some other camp-fire based priorities so I was on my own for the headline act, Skunk Anansie. Being from a very religious family, I had been discouraged from listening to ‘satanic’ music, and my musical expression had mostly been singing along quietly to REM on my disc-man, or belting out the far more acceptable holy songs at Sunday Service.

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The Miracle Morning

I bought this book a few years ago, and I loved the concept but couldn’t stick to it. Mr Hal Elrod outlines a six step program of practices to do every day, to achieve optimum success and happiness. It includes exercise, affirmations, stillness, visualising, reading and writing. I like all these things, I know the value of doing them well, and I love the idea of carving out an hour every morning to focus on them.

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