And so it is the end of the month. A momentous month! If you are just tuning in, November is the month during which I do a deepened gratitude practice. This practice consists of, every day, making a list of ten items for which I am grateful. Without repeating anything on the list. Which means at the end of the month I have a list of 300 things for which I am grateful. Doing the deepened gratitude practice this month was a bit different than in previous years. I remember my first few years of doing this practice, my gratitude lists all consisted of things: I was grateful for items in my life that either gave me joy or made my life easier. Things like kitchen appliances and vehicles, coffee pots and Instantpots and slow cookers. Hay, delivered and stacked for me. This year was different. Yes, I did list the things. But more importantly, I also listed inner awarenesses and shifts. Things like my confidence and inner peace and communications skills. Things like compassion and courage. This is important because when you believe in a teaching that says it all begins within, all those things are inner things, and I am happy to say that if I were to count the items there would be more inner than outer. And for that I am very grateful. Spiritual practices such as this are powerful, and when one takes the time to do the same practice each day for an entire month, it shows.
I’m working on a book about spiritual practices and principles. It’s called How to Live Fearlessly Feral. It’s going to be a bit like a daily reader, only instead of daily, it will be monthly. There’s a description of spiritual principles, and also of spiritual practices, and then for each month there will be a combo pack of practice(s) and principle to concentrate on for the month. A deep dive.
In anticipation of that, I’ve decided to start that right now. Tomorrow will be December 1. I hope you will join me in the spiritual practices of mindfulness and contemplation, all based on the spiritual principle of love. With a practical twist: clearing the clutter.
As you go through the month, pay attention to what occupies your day. This is basically what mindfulness is. As you pay attention, you may discern that there are some things that you wish occupied less of your day, and some things you wish occupied more of your day. You may see things in your home that seem like they are in the way, or that seem like they give you more joy than others. The key to this is to move towards having more things and activities that bring you joy, and less of the things and activities that don’t.
There are two things to consider here: there may be some activities that you don’t enjoy but can’t get rid of. Like a job. The key here is to change your perception. Surely you can find something about that job you enjoy, like perhaps the paycheck? If you have to be doing something you don’t enjoy but you have to do it, there is no sense in just putting up with it. You can change your perception of it by finding things to be grateful for about it. And if you can’t do that, perhaps it might be time to consider a different job.
The other thing to consider is that if you release things you don’t enjoy, there is a void. As they say, nature abhors a void. Which means that void is going to be filled. Here is the beautiful part: you can fill it, or let nature do it. It’s up to you. Personally, I like filling voids myself. I’m at choice as to what I want to fill it with. And here is where daydreaming comes in. I like to play a game I call “what if?” when it comes to daydreaming. I dream of possibilities, and then I fill voids with things that make it possible for good things to manifest.
So, for December: mindfulness and daydreaming. Based upon a foundation of love. Love what is happening now in your life, and find ways to love it all. Love the possibilities. And because it is holiday season, love everything and everyone. Find things to love!
In this way, you will set yourself up for a wonderful new year and enjoy the holiday season!