Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Out of Muddy Waters

Last year I decided to practice gratitude at every turn, high or low. And I did. Every few nights I paused to remind myself of what I was grateful for -- small acts of kindness, ordinary pleasures, supportive people, miracles, my son, my husband. In low points, this intentional gratitude lifted me. I did not pray to have anything. I prayed prayers of gratitude for what I actually possessed. As months progressed, I began to grasp, deeply, how very blessed I am. And blessings seemed to multiply.

Now it is 2013. I have just turned thirty-eight (38!?). I realized recently that I have a hard time believing success and prosperity are a real possibility in my life. I am, like some small, shy child standing painfully stiff and big-eyed in a corner watching all of the other fresh-faced, happy children play, afraid to believe that these are possible. Success and prosperity are what other people experience and what I admire from afar. Who planted this nonsense belief inside of me? Who watered this stubborn weed?

It's time for this thirty-eight year old woman, who has much to be grateful for, to believe that success and prosperity are states she is capable of nourishing, achieving, and maintaining.

Gratitude. Growth. Prosperity. These words return to me lately in the brief moments when my mind is still. Some kind of linguistic roadmap, a mantra. The fact that I have so much to be grateful for is its own success, its own prosperity; I know this much.

The rest is muddy. That is to say, I'm dwelling in muddy water, but my intention is to bring my head above, open my eyes to clean, dry air, and to see soaring trees rooted in fertile earth, above them all, the clearest sky.

I reminded myself today that out of muddy waters grow prehistoric cypress trees and trillions of graceful irises.