Yesterday morning, I stumbled upon an article about a little girl, homeless in Brooklyn. The writer eloquently engages the reader immediately on a journey, through a year of Dasani’s life. We went with her to school, we got into fights on the block, we listen as rats scurried around the baseboard of the room that she and eight other people lived in, in one of the darkest and forgotten homeless shelters in New York. She was a spunky kid, ready to learn new things and grow out of the ghetto, sometimes calling herself “Ghetto” in order to get through the teasing and taunting about living where she did. I learned that over 22,000 homeless children fill shelters in New York city. I couldn’t put the article down, even though I felt sick to my stomach, even though the feelings I was having were indicating to me that I was indeed engage my own poverty level mentality.
You see, I had not attended to my morning rituals, I had not sat, stretched my body, grounded, or set my intention for the day. Instead I got sucked into this article. It didn’t occur to me that once the article was finished, my body was tired, it took everything I had to wash the dishes and stay standing.
I hadn’t realized that I’d eaten probably the cheapest food in my house for breakfast.
I hadn’t noticed that I had skipped my glorious morning shower.
I hadn’t realized that I had fully engaged my feeling of lack.
I hadn’t realized that all of my plans for being productive were slipping out the window fast.
I had set the tone for my day to be struggle. The weight of my body a bit heavier on my dragging feet.
I do know that focus is power.
I do know that when I am focused on lack, I’m drawing more lack.
I do know that when I see where I lack and ask for fullness, my focus is not drawing more of what I am missing, I am not drawing abundance into my experience — but rather drawing more lack.
I do know that when focus locks into the pain, the power of the pain increases; I can see the gaps between me and my desired destination grow wider. The people in my sphere show me more sadness. My facebook wall fills up with cries for help that I have no power to assist with. My friends need more than I can give.
I do know that the beautiful and wondrous things about myself and my life experience become clouded when I disengage from them by locking my focus on what is lacking in my life.
I do know that I have a blessed and beautiful life —
When I look at my life’s salad bar, there are more incredible, juicy, delectable morsels to chew on, than I could enjoy in one day. And that is just my own life, we could go on forever with what the Universe has to offer!
So why did I dive head first down that rabbit hole yesterday? Because like attracts like attracts like attracts like attracts like…..
When I finally got out of the house, first stop was the post office. Instead of going to the faster, more efficient one, I went to the one that, I should have known — with my feelings about the place and it’s foibles — would host a line out the door. By the time I got out of there and on to the first choice, I had forgotten one of the addresses. I had to drive halfway back to town for cell service, so that I could check my email, and get the address. As my tired, sluggish, sad energy turned to frustration, my energy started to come back.
And it occurred to me, as I was pulled over on the side of the road checking my smart phone, that I had lost my own tenacity to get through my very very simple day. And I thought about Dasani and what her day must be like. And how could I have the AUDACITY to lose the tenacity for such a simple life?!? And I scolded myself for being frustrated with such simple and easy to remedy situation.
I have much to be thankful for, a beautiful family, a warm house, food on my plate and in my belly. I may go without sometimes, and choose to provide for others before myself. Sure, when the going gets rough, I may make choices that put others before myself, But for all intensive purposes I really do have everything I need. I am loved and blessed, I am fortunate, and many auspicious things have come into my reality and brought me only the best of even the simple things.
And here I am complaining that we are a one car family now driving each other to work and sharing our vehicle. Worried that Christmas is coming and I have a kid and no money. The case on my smartphone (really? you are complaining Rach?!?!) is falling apart. I looked at myself sitting on the side of the road… And I was ashamed.
By the time I got to the post office, my energy had moved from powerless to frustration, to anger. The anger, at myself was strong, and healthy. Because from the anger that I had directed at myself, I was able to move toward gratitude.
The post office was a breeze. no line, simple in and out… I had cleared some thorny brambles from my pathway.
A friend called, and it was a quick flash for me to notice her offerings of lack. Turning it around, we left our conversation on gratitude.
My next stop was at the home of two of my dearest and most cherished friends, but one of them was on a run to the post office. Instead of going inside to wait, I took a little drive on a beautiful road until she returned. And on that beautiful ride I was able to move from gratitude, to Appreciation (with a capital A).
The movement from gratitude to Appreciation, for me, is an important one. A stepping stone for me, gratitude feels like there is an element of “worthiness” attached, as though I had to do something “right” to reach a place of giving thanks.
But the part where I actually give the thanks — where I feeeeeeeel it — is the part where I am Appreciating. Reveling in the throes of what I am appreciating.
When Tara got back from her errands, I was pulling into her driveway, Psyched to see her. And this is where I had to be, to fully appreciate our visit, in Appreciation. They were in such a delicious mood! Excited and ready for newness and great things, we shared ideas and laughs. When I arrived, I was not carrying the sad, negative, hopeless energy that I embodied when I set out to the post office. I came ready for the goodness that was to be shared, brought goodness instead of pain and we found plenty!
Monitoring our thoughts is a time consuming, near impossible activity. As much as I try to pay attention to my thoughts, they move so fast, and I move so fast through this overstimulating environment. So I pay attention to my emotions.
Some people believe that our power is in our focus, and the emotions we feel act as a guidance system, directing us through every moment like a GPS toward our goals of well being, health and happiness.
I believe that too.
I recently had some energy work done by a friend. I wonder if yesterday was an opportunity to resonate with an old habitual thought pattern and break it. I think I said goodbye to that old bitch, Poverty Mentality.
I want to send a gift to that little girl, because she gave me so much today. Her story will hopefully bring attention to the people who can make some change in the lives of many people. The shelter where she lived for three years will surely come under review, and I expect this may be the best christmas she’s ever had in her life. Let us hope so. I pulled a card this morning from my favorite tarot deck. Breakthrough.
I have linked the story, but I warn you. before you read it, set your tone, put yourself in a place of appreciation for the beauty in your life, the goodness you share and receive. Find your happiest place, and know that strength comes with appreciation. Once you have read it, stop and center yourself back in the appreciation place. Look around you at your surroundings and don’t just give thanks… Appreciate it, magnify it, and feel the goodness.