30 Day Challenge- Day 5: gratitude

No drawings to share today.  I did draw, and I'm still enjoying it, but the current drawing's in process and possibly a bit disastrous.  No worries- disastrous or not, it's soothing.  I put on Pandora to a nice calming station with a lot of Enya and Brian Eno and Hillary Stagg and Andreas Vollenweider, I set the timer and I draw.  I'm happy that I gave myself that gift again today, and I'm a little in awe that I'm going to continue to do that for twenty-five more days! I'm still enjoying grass time.  I had a bunch of meetings and calls this morning, so grass time happened in the late afternoon during a sun shower.  Glorious.  My sweetheart surprised me and snapped this pic- sadly, you can't see the light rain.

If you've missed it and want to know more about why grass time is so important to me, check out this recent post.

Part of my grass time routine is to read a an entry a day from Simple Abundance - and look what was included in today's piece:

"Please steal time every day, if you cannot find it in any other way, to lie on the grass, or in a hammock, under a huge tree this lovely month... and relax.  What a tonic this is for the soul!  What a rest for weary nerves!... The greatest need today is for calmer homes..." This was written by Nell B. Nichols way back in 1924.  Wow - still holds true today, don't you think?

I'm still reading Martha Beck's Four Day Win and applying it to my days - thus the decision to gift myself with creative play for my 30 day challenge instead of making another rule about managing my time - I have to believe that I will really give myself time to enjoy daily play before I ever get my head out of the "famine brain" concept of getting things done.

And it's working!  Here's an example.  Normally I put off going to the post office or bank for as long as possible. I've been known to show up at the bank with a month and a half of checks.  And these are deposits!  Crazy, I know!  I don't know why my nutty brain associates errands with some kind of apocalypse - as if it's going to take more than ten minutes to go to the bank.  Or even the post office!  My mind can start acting as if I'm about to plan an Everest expedition.

Now, since I'm giving myself time to enjoy what I love - to play at drawing with no agenda other than play - I'm filling my emotional coffers with self-compassion and self-love.  And don't ask me why this works, but from that brain state it's so much easier to get things done!  And this strategy holds true for weight loss.  Losing weight from a place of lack and punishment doesn't work well in the long run, and managing tasks and time from a place of lack and a screwy belief that there's not enough time to get things done and do what you love - that doesn't work either.

Martha Beck writes, "The opposite of fat is love."  And I'll add, "The opposite of clutter and time disorganization is love."  Martha encourages us to focus on appreciation and gratitude, and watch how it improves our health and well-being, and surprisingly, leads to leaner bodies and more organized homes!

I positively glowed with gratitude today.  I had lovely emails from friends, and some cheering on from a fellow coach. I sat in the grass in a sun shower, and the cat even joined me at the end.  I worked on my business and played.  I was practically floating from all the gratitude on my errands to the post office and bank, and I could feel that lightness spreading to the people around me.  And here's the cherry on top:  I got an unexpected check in the mail today - from my health insurance company of all places!  Close to $100!  And it's in the bank, not kicking around in a ten inch high pile of paper clutter!  That's a lot to be grateful for.

If you're struggling with something you're trying to change or improve in your life, see what happens when you make gratitude a daily practice.  Write down what you're grateful for and why.  See if it starts to make you feel better, lighter, more able to make the change you want to make.  And if you've played with gratitude lists in the past but slacked off recently, today is a great day to begin again.  I'd love to hear about your experiences with making gratitude a regular habit!

And here's one last thing to be grateful for:  purple coneflowers blooming!