I’ve always known I had good things in my life, but often it was a negative association. I feared the loss of those things and fought to keep them intact, even without any imminent threat. 30 Days of Gratitude shifted me towards more positive associations, and conservation of that valuable energy. By making an effort to notice blessings in the moment, I actively enjoy the things, people or experiences, rather than project how it would be to lose them.
I think it’s a human trait to compare the having to the not having. Via intentional gratitude, my sentiment has become closer to compassion than fear. I’ve read a few sad stories this last fortnight. One that lingered was this Mary Coustas article. It made me so grateful. Grateful that I could have children. Grateful that they are well and happy. Grateful that we have everything we need, and a lot of things we want. But mostly just grateful for the kids. They really are the best things in my life.
It’s hard to be present with them sometimes. If I’m realistic, probably most of the time. There’s so much chasing, cajoling, cleaning, herding, soothing. It’s chaos, it really is. But I need to work on my being present for the sake of my kids. So I’m committing to something.
I’m making it my priority to be a Mindful Mama. To slow down and help them learn as best I can. As far as my artmaking is concerned, this means making my sketchbooks more personal again. When I’m at home, they tend to be project books and technical experiments. It’s only on adventures, when I’m travelling, that they get personal. So I’m employing them in this adventure of parenting, and beginning to better document and appreciate what is happening in my everyday world. My hope is that it will wake me up to those good moments more frequently, and provide my children with a record of my love for them. This is how I’ll honor the Gratitude Project.
Did you do this? What did you learn?