The Gratitude Challenge: Day 2 Grateful for Growth
This day was meant to fully honour the gift of growth. I was sitting in my warm bed on a chilly Monday morning, preparing to bundle up and walk to work. In the gaps between my thoughts a simple message found my attention and harnessed it: Look how far you’ve come.
One Year Before…
A year ago it was October. I had just moved into my new apartment and still had my things packed up in boxes, garbage bags, and corners. The city and neighborhood was new. I was in the space of the in-between. It took a tremendous amount of courage for me to leave the quiet suburbs and relocate to a sprawling city where I was still working as an intern. Everything felt uncertain.
At this point I was leaving behind my comfort zone; I was growing. The growing manifested as it often does, as growing pains. I had an unquenchable thirst for going out, spending money, being constantly surrounded by people, and always having a plan. I resisted time alone and filled gaps with attention to my various screens. On the outside my life appeared to be full of excitement and I was happy.
Under the surface of my adventure-fuelled joy, I carried a hollowed out sense of well-being. I still believed that a relationship from my past had taken my happiness from me. I still believed that the outside world could bring me happiness with better bars, more delicious foods, the perfect body, the right job, or validation from strangers. When I was alone I felt vulnerable and fearful.
One Year Later…
Today as I reflected on the person I used to be I felt the warm circulation of gratitude fill every vein in my body. I watched a supercut of the year play out. The end of 2016 I was promoted to a permanent position at my work. I stopped fearing public transportation and explored my new city. I started dating again. I travelled to Aruba and bonded with my mom. I accompanied my sister to Iceland and flew on a plane for the first time alone.
I welcomed a new roommate and decorated my place. I read books, lots of books. I finally closed the door on my stale relationship. I repaired a relationship that had been damaged. I camped out on the grass to listen to beautiful music. I ventured across the globe to Thailand and was exposed to a new culture. I flew alone for days. I started this site. I read more books. I journalled. I meditated. I tried my first yoga class.
These changes are external, observable, and somewhat material but they reflect the greater internal transformations that took place. A few of the changes I made that defined the course of my year were largely a product of these things:
- I stopped letting fear dictate my decisions
- I started saying yes to more adventures
- I took action to manifest my desires
- I turned inward for my well-being
- I asked myself what was really important to me
- I recognized my ability for greatness
Growing this Garden
Reflecting on this year painted a vivid visualization. I saw a deep green garden full of spiralling vines, leaves that stretched upward to the sun, and flowers that burst with colour and life. My life became this garden when I cared for it. I see that holding onto my past did not produce growth, it simply made the soil stale with fear. I was afraid of moving forward. I was afraid that I wasn’t good enough. I was afraid I couldn’t survive on my own.
Sensing my worthiness and well-being has been the catalyst to growing the life of my highest and greatest good. I can say no with courage, I can act out of love instead of fear, and I can discover what is best for me and act on it. With these new tools for change I am building the life I want. I am happy and I feel a deep sense of well-being blossoming inside me. For this, I am grateful.