Pinch. Self. Daily.

IMG_2726Remember that  all-consuming feeling of utter excitement that you used to have when you were young and opened your eyes in the morning?    Like, you GET TO get up and go to school!  You GET TO put on those cool new shoes!  You GET TO play with your friends!  You GET TO go ride your bike!  You GET TO hug your baby sister or your new puppy!  You GET TO go buy some candy with the change your grandma gave you!  You GET TO go climb up into the treehouse!  You GET TO help your mom make cookies!  You GET TO, you absolutely do GET TO……..WAKE UP & LIVE LIFE.

Yes, this post is about GRATITUDE, in a way that captures that excitement that we all had as young children, before we understood tragedy and heartbreak and all that can go wrong with our day.  I propose that we try to really remember that feeling of just jumping out of bed and being happy and thrilled to start the day — and try to re-capture that electric feeling and live it NOW.

I realized it had been a long time since I’d jumped out of bed in the morning.  Even if the alarm went off and I had to get up early to do something special.  I would gradually waken while laying there ruminating about:  a) what happened yesterday, b) what do I have to do today, c) what did I eat yesterday, d) who am I going to have to see today that I don’t want to, e) what do I have to accomplish today, f) did I exercise yesterday, g) what did I not finish yesterday, h) who is annoyed with me, i) who has betrayed me, j) and let’s review all my embarrassing moments of the past 6 months, no the past 3 years, no………… well, you get the picture!  The brooding can start to get pretty depressing if allowed to continue.  And this might very well be a day filled with fun and good things to look forward to!

Whenever I get stuck in an emotional pattern that doesn’t feel good, I try to go back to a place in my past, usually in young childhood, where the good feelings were pure and uncomplicated.  Sun UP?  Then, YAY!  Let’s get this show on the road!  Why not jump up and look out the window and greet the sun?  I confess I’ve done this lately and have even scared my husband out of his gradual awakening by my sudden leap from the bed and throwing up the window blinds!!!  “Huh?!?  What’s wrong?”, he says.  “Nothing!”, I reply, “I’m just excited!”, then he looks at me with that silent quizzical eye and probably thinks “That’s another one of those silly city girl things that she does…..well, if it makes her happy….cuckoo!!!”  Yes, cuckoo for cocoa puffs, you gotta be a little crazy to ignore all the voices of “reason” and “logic” and “maturity” that are whispering to you to zip it up, get serious and don’t be so naive.  I mean, after all, think of all the drudgery that lays ahead today, the hard work, all the bad things going on in the world, how can you possibly be excited?

IMG_2298Because EACH DAY IS A GIFT.  Am I breathing?  Did I open my eyes?  How lucky am I!  Even if the day is going to be a tough challenge, let’s say going to juvenile court with your son, for example, you GET TO.  You GET TO put on those pretty new earrings!  You GET TO drive a car!  You GET TO see the enormous incredible sky!  You GET TO have a tasty coffee!  You GET TO help your child maneuver through this moment of his life!  You GET TO see beautiful scenery and buildings!  You GET TO listen to music!  You GET TO reassure your child and listen to him confess his regret!  You GET TO watch him grow!  You GET TO hear and read love messages from family and friends on your iPhone!  You GET TO hug your child and be hugged by your husband!  All these things are there for the taking, the appreciating.  Things that are the gifts to your own fabulous unique life.  It’s not crazy, it’s hyper sane if you ask me.  And it can turn your world upside down.

As we get older, our sense of time changes.  It definitely feels like its speeding up.  I think that’s because at a certain point, we’ve been there, done that over and over and know what to expect.  We take so much for granted because its not new anymore.  Even if we haven’t done that particular thing before or gone to that particular place before, we pretty much can predict what the experience will be like because of similar experiences in our past.  But if we try to look at the situation in a new way, with gratitude eyes, looking for the silver lining, the true thing that we cynically ignored in the past, then suddenly it all slows down.  We’re not sleepwalking through life any more.  PINCH ME!  I get to LIVE, right now, right here!!!!!

IMG_2731Even in the worst predicaments, like major health problems, or being in an abusive situation that feels endless, you still GET TO have dreams and hope.  And if you’re stuck in a seemingly boring, routine life and work, pinch yourself to remind yourself you’re alive and its STILL YOUR DAY.  Always is.

IMG_2724 editSo my 1.pinch 2.self 3.daily collage this week is a portrait of my hands.  Pinching self and reaching toward the sun.  I think this might be my new mantra.  The sun and rays are a recurring motif in my art, I’m noticing.  This collage another “assignment” from Brave Girls Art School (http://bravegirlsclub.com/wing-sessions), using a great technique for those of us who are challenged in the life drawing department!  Take a photo of your hands, print it out and then paint over it and add whatever clothing or jewelry you want with other collage techniques.  Easy!  Really!

What are you pinching yourself about today?  I’d love to here about instances where you’ve found the silver lining in a bad situation.  Did it make it more bearable?  Did it make you feel grateful, more alive and in the moment?  Please don’t hesitate to leave a reply comment!!!  And make sure to check back if you do, because there just might be a reply to your reply.

10 thoughts on “Pinch. Self. Daily.

  1. Lisa, I love this picture and your energetic embrace of the day. I too have been trying to major in gratitude studies: remembering how lucky I am to be where I am and where I’ve been, and trying very hard not to give myself the putdown messages I’d NEVER give anyone else! You are giving me fresh strength to look closer at the simplicity of being GLAD ALL OVER for good feelings ~ even if, in my case, they might occasionally be feelings of being glad to stay in bed and watch the sun shine in! 😉

    • Well, Laura, I try!! Can’t say there aren’t any days where I’m not glad to watch the sun rise from my cozy bed, LOL!!!!!
      And isn’t it too bad how hard we are on ourselves? Something that I heard that I keep in mind is: talk to yourself like you’re your own best friend. Because we are, aren’t we? We should be. I think embracing gratitude becomes ever more critical as we progress in age.
      Hey — there’s another blog post topic, teehee!!!

  2. Oh Lisa how you inspire me! Gratitude is my word for this year and I am really struggling with it. I know that we all have challenges in our lives but it takes real commitment and tenacity to hang in there and be grateful for each day. You are so right though, there is something to be grateful for all the time. Today I am grateful for the bubbly, curly haired roommate that shared so much with me over a year ago and that even though we are no longer roommates you still found a way to keep us connected! ❤

    • Aw, you make be blush, Kam! And what a terrific gift I received when I became your roommate. The gift that keeps on giving!!!
      I am impressed by your word of the year, given all the challenges that keep being given to you. The relentlessness of it all, often feels hopeless and helpless, I know. But I think to myself when I am in that mental state, how awful it would be if I weren’t here, how I wouldn’t be able to love and help the ones who need me. So even being put in impossible situations is a gift.

  3. I’m still picking up 1,000 Gifts a few mornings a week and today I taught our Sunday kids about gratefulness and love and how we are all made to love different things and each of those things we love is a gift! Your artwork is inspiring to me! maybe one day I will be brave enough to produce something artful! 🙂

    • I just love that book too!!! It really changed my life, it’s such a treasure and will always be so. Thanks for your kind words, Nancy. Maybe some day we can do some art together.

  4. My Dear Sweet Brave Sister Friend,
    Thank you, thank you. I love and am grateful for:
    1. Your writing
    2. For having the blessings of knowing the sound of your laughter and voice.
    3. YOU!

    • Dear Anna,
      Thank you for being so real with me!!! I cherish our time together and think of you all the time. I love you too!!!!

  5. I got to reread this and be cheered by it all over again. I have a year old grandson I GET TO see a lot of, and he’s a lesson in gratitude every day! You know how that first year goes ~ so amazing to see the persistence ~ I’m going to GET TO walk! Doesn’t matter how many times I fall! etc.! The pure happiness with which he starts each day is a gift in itself. So I am waking up, this last day of the year, determined to keep that GRATITUDE/GET TO! on my nightstand. Thanks again Lisa for this sweet inspiration!

    • Oh, dear Laura, you make me so happy!!!! I can’t wait to have a grandchild!!!!!! little kids are our greatest teachers, aren’t they? I follow Zeller on FB so I see some of his shenanigans. And I can’t help but remember Mars as a baby, not so long ago!!!! Thank you for telling me this, it means to world to me to hear you are well and that this inspires you!!! xoxoxoxxo

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