I wrote a supplement to the last piece on gratitude journaling. But then i started looking back through the blog posts and had a few other follow-ups to share.
On Be a gracious guest, of life (gratitude journaling): I had the idea that I would write in the gratitude journal each evening before turning in. I fell off the wagon on that routine after several weeks. Not because I didn’t have things to be grateful for—everyday there was always something—but somehow I began to “not see” the journal book on my bedside table and just turned out the light and went to sleep. I found that what helped was placing the journal in different locations around the house and simply having the intention to add note something more-or-less each day.
On a semi-related topic, I got a little notebook with tear-out pages from the dollar store and titled it “Conundrums” and when there is an issue/problem/question in my head, or in my soul, I start a page and jot down a few details, options, possible solutions. Something about putting it in writing seems to absolve responsibility for keeping it on the mental front burner and it takes up less “space”.
On Reality emerges from stillness (minimizing activity to cultivate presence): Technology, specifically smartphones, is a horrible culprit and thief of presence. Next time you think of it, stop attending to the phone (or computer or tablet), look up and switch on all your senses. What can you see, hear, smell, feel, taste at that moment. Really tune in to the senses. What have you missed the past 10 minutes, half-hour, or more, you have been using that device. Try doing this at various times. You will be shocked, maybe even sad.
On Building your fire of motivation (about the niyama Tapas): Ever since writing this blog I’ve been seeing additional elements to the analogy of fire and personal motivation. I think the big take-away is just keep the fire burning… even if no flames and down to just coals, it can be rekindled with a bit of care, air, and patience. But once a fire is fully out, restarting it is much more work, and requires more resources. So on those days you wake up and just “not feeling it”, well keep doing something, even if it is just the most minimal thing; try to avoid coming to a full and complete stop because then there is zero momentum. For the majority of us, the fire doesn’t burn brightly every single day, but do whatever you can not to let it extinguish all together.
On Can’t hug a person? Hug a tree! (just what it says, hug a tree): Subsequent to this, I read in a couple places about how trees have far more genetic material than humans (see Science Daily article: Your Christmas tree has seven times more DNA than you do). Amazing! I don’t feel quite such an oddball for talking to the Spirit Tree at Off-Grid Retreat ;-)