It seems like every other minute I am off on an internal tangent. I find it easier to snap out of it and come back to a better perspective of reality when I focus less on what I was actually thinking about and more about acknowledging in a grateful way how I got there, what allows me to even have that problem/issue and, usually and how I have so many options, solutions and possible ways out of it.
As I fall asleep each night, I become aware of all 10 raised fingers. One-by-one, I list what I feel grateful for in that moment, and one-by-one each finger goes down until I have acknowledged 10. Sometimes it takes 10 seconds, sometimes a minute or two. Either way, there is never, ever a shortage of items to tick off finger-by-finger.
It’s quick and it works. Sometimes I make myself laugh (like the night I listed toilet paper or tampons). Or feel like crying, when I list people I love who aren’t here anymore, like my Bubby, or times and places I’ll never see or touch again, like the house I grew up in. Or wistful, when I think of how my kids go back and forth between two houses, but grateful that they have two parents who love them, that their parents live so close to each other and that they have not one but two warm, safe and crazy bedrooms.
Sometimes I try to be specific, like instead of listing my dog and being done with it, I list something specific my dog does, like how excited she is every morning, as if it were her first time ever, when we go to wake up each kid, me taking the verbal duties and her on top of the kid-sniffing responsibilities.
Some nights, I feel blah or as if I didn’t have the kind of day I’d wanted to have. Those are the best times to do the 10-finger exercise. One night, I was thinking about the dents on my car and how,when my lease is up later this year, I will likely have to pay big time for the damage. I quickly turned it around as I thought how grateful I was to have such a car and to be able to make my monthly payments, drive anywhere I wanted to go anytime and not have to worry about my relatively young car breaking down or not starting.
Sounds super-simple because it is. It’s not magic and there is no secret. It’s also quick as hell, almost instant, really. Your bad and annoying and frustrating stuff isn’t going away, but that doesn’t mean there is only one way to look at it. Oh, and it’s also sugar-free, gluten-free and allergen-free. And it’s free-free and in it doesn’t cost you a thing.
All you need is your 10 fingers (or however many you have and having all 10 is something to be grateful for, too) and a minute or two.
And thank you for reading this 🙂