Why gratitude is the best attitude.
During a recent yoga class, my instructor said, “Gratitude is the WD-40 of life.”
Hold up. What does gratitude have to do with squeaky doors? But once I deepened into my position, my mind started to open up.
Although one of the weirder sentences I have heard to date, it still rings true. Here is the connection I made: When you are just squeaking by in life, and things feel a little tight, a spritz gratitude will loosen everything up.
This definitely resonated with my story. Finding myself working an 8 to 6 in a field that I wasn’t passionate about was taking all I had. I wasn’t as happy as I was telling myself, or more honestly, as I was letting other people tell me I should be. I mean, with a boyfriend of three years, our own home complete with cat and dog, and a well-paying job on top of a college education all by the time I was 23 is kind of hard to complain about. But the truth is, seeing myself now, I know that I wasn’t happy. I was completing the motions of life routinely, and, like an over-worked machine, my cogs were starting to squeak.
In college and the years directly after, I became caught up with keeping up. Whether downloading the latest social media app, keeping my nails perfectly gel manicured, or pre-ordering the newest Urban Decay Naked pallet, I wanted in.
The minute my boyfriend asked me to move out, the tension I didn’t know I was living with released. No longer tied to Northern California, a world of opportunities opened and with it, so did my mind to a fresh start.
With this reset, I stopped just squeaking by, trying to accomplish too much in a 24-hour period. With perfection no longer the ultimate goal (I was 23 and unemployed and living with M+D again, I was pretty out of the perfection competition), I began to loosen up.
Upon moving home, I decided to take the first three months to just enjoy my family and life in Los Angeles. With no plans, except to sleep without an alarm and to hike more often, I stopped moving at 80 miles an hour.
I first gave myself the time and energy to focus on what I already had around me. Placing shirt after shirt on hangers, hearing the clang of too-many perfume bottles in the box I was lugging upstairs, and examining the dozens of unused samples I had received from Sephora over the years, I realized as I unpacked that I had too much. I wasn’t living in the realm of necessity, I was living in excess.
Giving my belongings a thoughtful once over, I began to purge. I donated the items that no longer brought me joy and made a promise to use up any product I owned before purchasing another (I still marvel at how I came to have three open body lotions at once).
I stripped away the excess. I took the time to enjoy the things that make up my life – the products, the places, and the people – I have realized that I have all I could want. Gratitude turns what you have into enough.
What are you grateful for? Let us know below.