Journal that says "happy days" on the cover

And your cute little journal too. 

Ok. I know that’s a loaded statement, but just stick with me on this one. After trying to be a gratitude junkie for a spell with little or no change in my overall personhood, I’ve created a two-step practice to help shift myself out of a weird place. 

Before I get there, let me tell you where I’m coming from. Life feels sorta hard for me right now. I was hanging in there with the global pandemic until it took a very beloved relationship away from me due to differing approaches to risk. I feel like every article or meme I come by in regards to getting one’s self out of a rough patch involves BEING GRATEFUL (read in a scolding disenfranchised Sunday school teacher voice). 

Why does being told to be in a state of gratitude just make me roll my eyes? Because—I feel an unmistakable undercurrent of shame, guilt, and obligation come over me when I start making lists of my thankfulls. 

Yeah. I get it. I have a roof over my head! I’m healthy! I have a car! I have plants! Recognizing these gifts should make me a better human and bring me joy and happiness—right?!

Guess what, the world still feels gray, sad, and zero percent fun, EVEN WITH A PERFECTLY GOOD GENTLY USED HONDA CRV. 

To be fair, I think the goal of the people that make memes is noteworthy. They’re trying to help all of us stuck people change our perspective and shift into a higher state of being. Only I don’t think gratitude is the only tool to use because shame or guilt, even in small doses, does a pretty good job of lowering your vibe.

BUT….thank goodness I’m a Capricorn and therefore tend to scrap and/or re-engineer any advice that ever comes my way. 

Here are a few tricks to getting your mind back under control when you’re struggling—without the use of toxic positivity. 

Step One: Find beauty in your immediate surroundings to bring yourself into the present. 
Being separated from my bestie has me bouncing between the past and the future. I’m ruminating between what was lost and the bleak and miserable future I’m sure I’ll have without them. To get myself to stop compulsively time-traveling, I’m using this hack to get back into being present with the now.

When my thoughts and emotions start to go all willy nilly, I stop and find ten things that are beautiful. Anything. 

  • The way light reflects off my little glass octopus on my desk.
  • My flowers on my desk from my co-worker.
  • My tiny terrarium.

By finding beauty in my environment, I’m able to get back into this body, into this room, into this time, and my thoughts begin to even out. Beauty is very neutral and indisputable to the observer. It’s just a tiny ping of pleasure to the brain and overall energetic self. No pressure, no guilt, no obligation—just look at pretty things. 

Step Two. Tap into the vibration of abundance.
The reason I like abundance over gratitude is that I think it’s bigger. It’s less about material conditions and more about a mindset of appreciation for the creative power of your own mind. It’s the opposite of lack, emptiness, or dissatisfaction. By getting into a creative abundant mindset about my own renewal I’m able to take breaks from the grief and look towards growth.

Find ten areas in your life where you easily have more than enough of something that you feel worthy of having (the feeling worthy part is key btw).

  • I have more than enough pairs of leggings.
  • I have more than enough hot water for my shower.
  • I have more than enough Cheezits in my office drawer.

Now bottle up the way you feel in those micro-moments of observing beauty and abundance and just breathe it in—into your inner world. Be those vibrations and your outer world will start to match you.
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Blog written by Three Brodsky (aka King Three), a Boulder Psychic Institute student and staff member. Three handles social planning, marketing, student support, and is the BPI Love & Relationship Psychic. three@boulderpsychicinstitute.org

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