When I first heard someone say "What you focus on expands." I was sceptical. I didn't quite believe it but at the same time they challenged me when they said " If you don't like what's happening in your life right now, what do you have to lose? Give it a try.
I didn't like what was happening in my life so I did as suggested and decided to give 'er a go.
I suspended my disbelief for a while and decided to be grateful.
My life was a shit storm - a series of unfortunate events as it were. A bankruptcy close on the heels of divorce, downsizing before I was ready, living below poverty with a ton of debt, a single mama who was continually a disappointment to my daughter and no real prospects for change. The thought of jumping out of bed, doing a few fast fist pumps while expressing gratitude seemed like a pack of......
...what I was doing wasn't working. What did I have to lose? I eased into the new routine.
Step one was writing in a journal as soon as I awoke. Those first thoughts of gratitude needed to get down on paper. The writing prompt.....
"I am grateful......"
I wrote the first thing that came to mind.
"I am grateful that the cat pissed in the litter box."
The rest of my life was a shit storm. I was putting all of my chips on that cat keeping this up.
My mind kept wandering back to "what you focus on expands."
My mind wanted to wander back to the fact that I was avoiding my friends because I couldn't afford to buy a coffee and I had no money for the laundry machine in the new apartment - the one that I had to move into when I could no longer live in my house. Did I mention that I had a foreclosure notice on the same day that I got an offer? Phew!!! These things are not accidental - don't get me started about real estate agents with agendas.
So here I was with my journal and it was a chore. I had one sentence.
"I'm grateful that the cat pissed in the little box!!"
Then I drew a picture of the cat in the litter box. After all what you focus on expands. I didn't want to fall back into old patterns and if I looked up from the paper I might notice that I was drinking no name coffee and that would really piss me off.
So I drew the cat and then I started thinking about the lady at the bus stop who was telling me about her cat one day. She loved her cat - I didn't really get this. I was one of those mamas who purchased a cat because her kid liked cats - this woman cherished her cat. She would pull out her cell phone and show me pictures of this cat. That got me laughing.
"I am grateful for belly laughs."
Of course, I stuck with it because if I didn't I might think about how I was legally
blind and almost 50 without a pot to piss in so to speak. No job prospects
in sight living in a place I detested.
There's a theme here - cats and piss.
That woman at the bus was weather beaten, she had been taking that same bus for more than 20 years to a minimum wage job. I thought about my life and how I had enjoyed so many
magical experiences in the army and how blessed I was to not have had to do what she was doing.
You're wondering where I'm going with this story?
I seem to be meandering.....but it is going somewhere. I'm telling you that if you want a better life, you're going to have to control your thoughts. I have gone from the cat, the litter box to
owning two businesses and wondering when my fourth book will come out. Yes, I
did take many action steps in between then and now but it started with gratitude when I could hardly find a thing to be grateful for...
...except a cat pissing in the litter box.