Gratitude for 2018

2017 Gratitude Jar

2017 Gratitude Jar

Hi! It's Sylvia.

Welcome to the next chapter of my newsletter, Tuesday Tune In!

As it turns out, you can't put Spirit in a box! What I do is channeled writing, meaning that I "tune in" to Spirit and write down the messages I receive, as they come in. The Q & A format worked great for the newsletter, until it didn't.... The thing about channeling a newsletter is that I have zero control over what comes in every week, aside from setting the intention that the message will serve and uplift my readers. 

Another fun twist is that a large part of my Spirit symbols come in as musical references when I do readings, so the "tune" works for that, too! Thank you to some special friends for helping me nail that one down!

Last week, I talked about the magic of picking one word as a mantra or intention, or overarching lesson for the year. This week, we'll be getting into a few ways to practice Gratitude throughout the year, and how powerful and transformative it can be. 

GRATITUDE = MAGIC

Life happens. It really doesn't matter what our outlook is; life will continue to happen. The sun goes down. The moon comes up. We get up, go to work, cook dinner, put the kids to bed, clean the damn kitchen, put away laundry, and do everything over again. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Over and over. And then we die. 

That's depressing. 

If we go through life shuttling mindlessly from one task to the next, the wash/rinse/repeat cycle is all we're left with. In order to open our eyes to the magic all around us, it's up to us to slow down and open our eyes. The magic is always there, in the moments in between. While we look down at our phone. While we have a stress meltdown. While we're cooking dinner. The last thing I want to feel when I'm on my way out is that I missed the magic of life. That I didn't understand it until it was too late. 

Then again, there's still a crazy human life to live, without the added pressure of having to be mindful all the time. It's about balance. Doing what we can, when we can, and letting go of the rest. Gratitude is a practice of both noticing and appreciating the magic all around us. Approaching life with a spirit of wonder, whenever we can. And when we can't, gratitude enables us to give ourselves some grace, and a chance to start again, whenever we want.

We always have a choice. We can focus on feeling awful while we're sick in bed... Or we can focus on writing an uplifting Tuesday Tune In email, while the rain washes away old stagnant energy. Both may be true... But the version of the story we tell ourselves has a very different effect on our entire experience. One extends the depletion and depression, and keeps us feeling small and disempowered. The other opens up to the possibility of feeling good, and celebrates the richness of life, in all of its ordinary glory.

Here are a couple ideas to start implementing gratitude in your life this year.

1- Gratitude Jar
I kicked off 2018 by sitting down, coffee in hand, to review 2017's Gratitude Jar, while the Rose Parade played in the background. Of course, it wasn't a perfect daily practice (I'm pretty sure I skipped almost the entire fall), but as often as I could, I tried to write down a good thing that happened that day or that week, and toss that piece of paper in the jar. I got to relive a whole year's worth of moments I hadn't remembered, surprise gifts that would have been unnoticed and forgotten. I got to live and notice them in the first place, honor them by writing them down, and remember them months later, all in one simple ritual. It was such a beautiful way to start the year, and I'm excited to do it again this year.

2- Rampage of Appreciation
This is a fantastic quick tune up for whenever you're feeling completely down in the dumps, courtesy of Abraham Hicks. It's also a fantastic way to rev your engine in the morning, and start the day on the right foot. The goal is to write as many things you're grateful for, in under 5 minutes, without stopping. Some people aim for a whole page, but I find the 5 minute timer helps to get our thinking brain out of the way quickly, and opens up a shortcut to our heart. Plus, something about the time limit helps the ego step aside, since everybody can carve out 5 minutes to do anything. And if you don't think you can spare 5 minutes, then it might be time to seriously reevaluate your priorities and time management practices.

3. 1 Second Everyday (1SE)
I first saw this app used in the movie Chef, but my friend Caroline Lee (a brilliant photographer and stellar person, you MUST check her out) shared a 5 minute video that she made of her favorite moments from 2017, and it just blew me away. For the visual people out there, especially those who love movie montages as much as I do, ISE captures everything I love about a gratitude practice. Sometimes, my favorite moments are so entirely ephemeral and inconsequential, that it would take a more skilled wordsmith than I to articulate them properly. So, since I want to be just like Caroline when I grow up :), I'll be doing a 1SE video for 2018. It's already gotten me seeing and thinking in terms of capturing those moments that would otherwise be lost forever, and that makes me so happy.





There are so many things to be grateful for, that of course it's impossible to catch them all. But what is abundance, other than a perspective that notices and appreciates the beauty, humor, surprises and wonder in an ordinary life? As you start to shift the way you see your own day, you'll find there are more and more moments that come in to fill you up, just when you need it. 

The feeling of my almost 3 year old's little hands on my neck as I help her put on her own shoes, as slow as molasses. (Toddler time is real.) 

The way the raindrops look like they're falling in time to the music I'm listening to.

The smell of coffee in the morning, especially when my husband is making it for me. 

We all see the world through our own eyes. What is magic to us might not matter to another person, but at the end of our life, if we've done it right, the moments that flash before our eyes will be completely our own: deeply personal, sometimes ordinary and utterly breathtaking.

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To a magical 2018!

Sylvia Hendershott