Last week was an uphill week. The time change kicked me in the ass. Monday I missed yoga because the clock I was looking at was the one I hadn’t remembered to change over. Tuesday I was so tired I could barely get Orion out the door. I slept through my Dr. appointment. (Literally, I went back to bed.) Wednesday the alarm didn’t go off. I woke up spontaneously at 730 am, which would have been great the week before when it would have been right on time at 630! By Thursday I realized the week was almost gone and I hadn’t done anything to prepare for Paganicon. Friday started the convention, which of course threw what was left of my sleep schedule entirely out the window.
In the course of my sleep deprived daze I heard someone say, “What if instead of being angry at the weather I was grateful instead.” I actually think they said it to me weeks before when it was so cold but it finally sunk in. My women’s group is working with Hanuman this month. He helps us with our lessons by sending both good and bad energy. Then I saw Peg-o-leg’s blog about her struggle with her own pity party. When the universe sends the same message three times I start to pay attention.
I spent the weekend working at being grateful for everything that came across my path, good and bad. I’m trying to be grateful for all the time I’m spending in health care hell. I’m considering gratitude towards my physical limitations. Instead of grumbling about how many extra things I have to do making arrangements for Orion this week, I’m grateful his Dad is taking him so I can go to Paganicon unaccompanied.
The attitude adjustment made all the difference in the world. I still hurt, couldn’t do as much as I wanted, and didn’t get anywhere near enough sleep but it didn’t matter the same way. I got to spend time with my publisher Taylor Ellwood and his wife. When we were told there was a 40 minute wait for a table at dinner we took the opportunity to sneak over to the hotel and get them checked in. When we got back we were at the top of the list. My workshop was scheduled first thing Saturday morning. That meant only the people who really wanted to be there showed up, and it was a good-sized group. For a first time presentation it went really well and much of the feedback I got was that even after 90 min. at 9am they could have stayed and talked another hour or two.
I had a book signing with Taylor scheduled in the afternoon. My new book When Gods Come Knocking: An Exploration of Mysticism from a Deity-Based Perspective was released in time for the event! Because I was with Taylor I was introduced to a few other Immanion Press authors. The friend who came to help me was miserable with allergies, but her presence also brought folks over to say hi who may not have noticed us otherwise. I was debating going home for dinner when my friends hosting the Standing Stones hospitality suite realized they didn’t have trays to put cheese and crackers on. I volunteered to dash home for trays (this con is VERY close to my house) and came back just in time to get an invitation to dinner with my students.
I had a great time at Paganicon and felt really good about the marketing and presentation that I did. I was grateful to have the time with friends, old and new, to really sit and talk. I always enjoy the opportunity to learn new things and was delighted by the art featured in the Sacred Gallery space. I really do understand that sometimes the bad things really are a lot better than they look.
All that “understanding” doesn’t make it easy or automatic. I find pushing at gratitude an exercise in futility. Gratitude is something that requires opening up and accepting unconditionally. It is making room for the bounty of life to fill that open space. When facing frustration, practicing gratitude is a step back, taking time to breathe, letting go and allowing. When I achieve gratitude I know that anything is possible and that I will have all the support I need for whatever dreams may come.
So I continue to remind myself to be grateful, for everything. I remind myself to be grateful for the irritants, the frustrations, the stumbling blocks. I remind myself to be grateful for the pain and the heartache. I remind myself to be open to the possibility that it’s all for the best.
Maybe with enough practice I’ll be better at gratitude.