It smelled like heaven. I breathed in, deeply savoring every nuance, my taste buds doing their happy dance, and a bit of drool accumulated at the side of my mouth. Brussel sprouts sautéed with bacon and blue cheese, oven roasted pork, and fresh green salad with dried cherries and sliced honeyed almonds. I bet you’re feeling a bit of rumbly in your tummy. Yum.
As I set everything on the table, I realized how big and expansive my heart felt. Amidst the craziness with COVID-19, I felt so grateful. Dinner with my daughters, an unexpected gift, was a chance to connect with one another and enjoy just being. My kitchen table is one of my happy places.
The past week, like you, I’ve been inundated with media stories, surrounded by negativity and fear, and doing my best to be both grounded and go with the flow. I’m not an anxious person, but I’ve had moments where I’ve felt untethered and a bit scared. Those feelings, more than the threat of the pandemic, caused me to be stressed, because it’s not my normal state of being.
But, at dinner last night, while I sat with the two people I love most in the world, eating gorgeous and delicious food, and listening to my girls’ laughter, I felt a shift. I was so grateful. Grateful for the unexpected gift of having dinner with them, when Abbie should have been at college and Amanda in New York on a school trip.
I’d temporarily forgotten how powerful gratitude is, how it can shift my energy from a negative state to a positive one. And as a bonus, the more I focus on what is going well for me, the more good stuff shows up.
I decided to make my COVID-19 gratitude list, because even in the middle of all the uncertainty, there are things about the situation or the general world around me that I appreciate:
• Watching my girls make brownies together after doing at-home manicures. Seeing them together makes my heart so happy.
• It’s spring in Minnesota and I can get outside and walk. Thank you that it’s not 10 degrees and snowing.
• There are birds at my feeders and their song makes me feel just a bit lighter.
• I picked up a client just before the crisis hit, so I am financially secure, which means I can give more to others who aren’t in the same boat.
• I’ve always been an “eat fresh” person, so the absence of canned goods hasn’t impacted me and I’m enjoying cooking new recipes.
• I have time to paint watercolors and not feel like there is something else I should be doing.
• I bought a big case of toilet paper at the beginning of March. I can spare a roll or two if you need some.
• There’s more daylight and that always makes me feel a bit more elated.
• My friends. Receiving texts and phone calls from those I care about and who care about me, there’s a stronger sense of connection and love in the world.
• I’m taking time to slow down, appreciating the pull of reading, meditating, even taking a nap. I’m more in tune with the rhythms of my body.
Gratitude helps me to remember and focus on what truly is important to me. It keeps me anchored to my values and provides a safe haven, when I feel a bit adrift. Gratitude is my superpower in fighting the pandemic. It’s what I can do to help me, my family and my neighbors. When I’m in a joyful place, that acts like a beacon, allowing others to find their own joy.
I encourage you to make your own gratitude list and then add to it daily. It’s a reminder of your blessings, and it shifts your mind away from fear. I’d love for you to share your list (or just one thing) either on my facebook page or by commenting below on this article.
Lean into your love and your joy, because that is where you’ll find your peace.