Monday, July 31, 2017

SPIRITUAL SMACK: THE TOMORROW LIST


S P I R I T U A L   S M A C K  |  T H E   T O M O R R O W  L I S T
On how to expand and extend gratitude from just here & now into tomorrow . . .


lthough I look chipper as a little bird here, swinging on a wicker chair, I was experiencing one of the toughest days of my life so far. I'll spare the details for my privacy and safety's sake, but I felt the anxiety of this particular event to ensue the following day down to the single strands of my hair. I felt like Medusa with coiled thoughts snaking around my mind, stifling any settled or stable thought. 

That night, my husband asked me, as we ask each other every night, the three things I was grateful for that day. An internal coup d'œeil, and I was about to chuckle over my desire to instead make a list of all the things that I was nervous about but then I held my tongue. I remembered a sentiment that Elena Brower had shared of Dr. Douglas Brooks's teachings: "See through the eyes of one who has already done it, accomplished it, climbed over and above that hill." As I glanced over again over the piled-high mountain of anxiety, I decided to turn towards the different view of what's rising. 

Instead of listing what I was grateful for that day, which despite my inability to articulate was still aplenty, I made a list of what I would be grateful to have realised tomorrow. If all went according to my desire's and the sake of my safety, how I would feel at the end of my day. Following that night, I have continued this practise. If I have a project with a deadline looming over me, I express gratitude for the financial support it's going to bring me upon completion. If I'm in a rut with my training and feel tired by the mere thought of my morning run, I dwell in awe of how my legs are going to carry me through the park then back home for a comforting breakfast. Perhaps it's a conversation that I have been delaying having with someone. It's simply a list we can create—out loud or by pen—to restructure and reprogramme the way our minds view what we are about to approach.

This practise of The Tomorrow List allows me to extricate myself from the bounds of my own universe of here and now. I expand into a perspective of a future that has an effect beyond my microcosm of today's anxiety. Our ability to have gratitude for the effect of having something realised, finished, or achieved in the future can allow us to surrender our inhibitions against beginning the task. It also enables us to slide the lens on events that are grander or beyond our control to focus on elsewhere—the weight we will leave behind to carry matters important to us when it is over in our favour.

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