The end of summer is rapidly approaching, and I am savoring the slower paced days and nights before the scurry of autumn arrives. I’ve been in a contemplative mood, which coincides perfectly with the prep work I need to do for a spiritual business retreat I’m attending in early September.
The first assignment was to look over every aspect of my life and document what I’m grateful for in each area. The second part of that assignment is to keep a daily gratitude journal, writing in it each night at least 5 things that I am grateful for today. While I haven’t been perfect at keeping up the journal, I do spend a few moments in bed each evening in gratitude. I’ve noticed a subtle, but deeper degree of peacefulness and grace through my days since I’ve started this practice.
Another assignment is to look back over my life and chronicle everything I have manifested, intentionally or not. It has been quite a powerful exercise to look back at where I’ve journeyed since leaving college 14 years ago.
One potent example was remembering when I lived here in Salem in 1998 and 1999 and commuting to Cambridge on the train to work at my awful hi-tech job. I remember those days biting back tears as I got on the train, super sad to be leaving the friendly people, fresh air, ocean and trees here on the North Shore and trading them for long, hard days in a cubicle surrounded by cranky city people.
I remember wishing fervently that I could somehow transform my life and be on the North Shore every day. I wanted to be able to take a walk at lunch by the ocean or in a quiet park, smile at people and receive smiles back instead of frowns, and be doing creative, fulfilling work. I wanted to be someone with an office close to home and a short commute, so I could spend those precious free moments of my days doing something more meaningful than commuting.
It’s been more than a decade since that longing first began. It is amazing to acknowledge that despite all the twists and turns my life has taken in the years since then that this desire has manifested in my life.
I can walk to the ocean, nice parks, and wander around friendly neighborhoods near my home and my office. Everything I need is within walking distance: locally owned small businesses & shops, farmer’s markets, grocery store, hardware store, bakery, library, and coffee shops. All the important people in my life are less than 30 minutes away, and I can even get to work and graduate school in just 10 minutes most days.
Someone mentioned recently that she hasn’t seen me so happy, confident and content as I am these days. Despite all the challenges life has brought this summer with my health and grad school, the truth is that I am exactly where I need to be in all aspects of my life right now. Taking the time to notice and be grateful really brought that home for me.
As we approach the end of August, now would be a really great time for you to do your own version of this exercise. How far have you come? What are you grateful for in your life? What have you manifested over the years?
PS. Thanks for the wonderful response to last week’s email about celebrations and having supporters in your life. For those who expressed interest in the mastermind, I will be in touch soon with a few ideas on how you can try it out and see if it’s the right fit before you commit.