Let’s talk about gratitude. It is November, talk of thankfulness is swirling around, so let us just dive in. Gratitude is near and dear to my heart. I talk about it frequently and I mean it when I say that gratitude has saved. Living from a perspective of thanks, keeps me going. Keeps me positive.
Three years ago I feel is when I hit my rock bottom. You know we all go through this at some point in our life. The fall before the rise (if we choose). My parents business was failing. My dreams and the future I had created in my head was crumbling. It felt as if the bottom of my life had fallen out. You make decisions not in the right frame of mind. You feel as if breathing is hard sometimes. Struggle seems constant. And you grasp. Grasp for positivity and hope. Grabbing at something to hoist yourself up. Where waves crash over you repeatedly and you have to keep resurfacing. I was reeling, lost. Who am I? Who am I without these dreams? How do I create new ones? How do I rebuild? So how do you resurface? How do you continue the climb when your lungs burn, there’s a stitch in your side and your legs beg you stop?
For me our past is crucial to the person we can become. So I had this experience. I can not continue to be there. Be that person. Remain in that hole. Use the past, good and bad, as a tool to become (and be) a better person today. Don’t let it continue to rule your life. Use it to evolve and grow. Same with feelings. I feel it all. I get angry and jealous and insecure and afraid sometimes, however, I am better (always practicing) catching myself. I don’t let it control me. I choose not to STAY that way. And that to me is the key. Remembering that we have choices.
Grateful is something I choose to be. That Viktor Frankl saying that even when all freedom is taken from us, we still CHOOSE how we suffer. So when I feel like I am sinking or hitting that bottom, I fall back on gratitude. I hit my knees or meditation pillow and I give thanks. Just going through all the beautiful blessings I have makes me instantly calm. You can do this. You can do anything. These are the things streaming through my head. Because there are so many simple pleasures and joys in life, that I have to be grateful for. When I lived in my shed and gave away the attachment to a physical world, it lightened me up to actually SEE. See what maters to me in life. People. Love. Connection. Experiences. Blissful simplicity. Nature. The pictures I took got better. The lens in which I saw the world, became more clear.
And so I had a weekend this past weekend. A camping adventure with my mom. It just provided me with such clarity and moments of a-ha. Clarity on what it is I want in my life. My wish list for the future. And it is simple and beautiful. I want love. Connection. Flowing conversations. I want to listen. To engage. I want that positive energy pulsing through me. Comfortable silences. Nights under a canopy of trees, with stars twinkling through the branches. A light rain on the tent, while I’m snuggled in a sleeping bag. Leaves changing around me, and crunches under my feet as the season (and life) changes. Watching a sunset over the open Indiana countryside, where you literally can see it change and disappear before your eyes. Scenic drives. Hike. Climbs. A trail head in front of me. The energizing spark of something new in front of me. A new path. A new journey. The excitement is brimming and palpitatable, I feel, as if someone with feel electricity if they touch me. The bliss as I stand in forest, surrounded by trees. Completely content. A heart overflowing. And this, this makes me grateful. As someone commented on my pics, this is my church.
And so I incorporate these practices into my life. I go outside when I am struggling. When need to regain perspective. When I need to realign with my gratitude. Practice. We are always practicing and making choices. CHOOSE GRATITUDE. What lights you up? What brings you peace? What makes you grateful? What are you thankful for?
I made these Camping Cinnamon Cookies for our travels. I hope you enjoy them and that you have a beautiful, magical filled week!
- 2 1/2 cups almond meal
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1 local, pasture-raised egg (shout out to my friend Mary for hooking me up with my favorite L&A eggs)
- 1/4 cup melted butter or ghee or coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg
Let’s Make it Happen: Preheat oven to 350.
Stir together the almond meal, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Melt butter (or whatever you are using). Whisk with the egg and vanilla. Combine the two bowls. If it is too wet add a little more meal, you want to be able to form them into balls.
Form into balls. Press lightly onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake!
Now time is dependent on how you like your cookies. I like mine slightly crispy on the outside and a little underdone and soft in the middle, so I pull them out once they begin to turn golden.
Allow them to cool. Place a cooling rack.
Pack a backpack, hit the road and pitch a tent before rocking a new trail!