I am in the middle of an online “Gratitude Challenge”. This is a form of public declaration of gratitude for which you are named by someone having just completed the process. You then pick up the challenge, complete it yourself but posting three things a day for a number of days and at the end nominate three more people. They then continue with the process.
At first I kind of liked the idea of all these positive statements being put out on the internet; a cosmic positive list per day to offset the negativity that can crop up. The first time I participated it was fun. I was light hearted and excited about it. I read other’s and they were the same. Then things got serious; post were more “profound” and “heavy”. I, of course, followed suit.
The subsequent “nominations” were not as fun; in fact I was aware of this shift in my sense of gratitude and what I wanted to put out there. I, too, wanted my gratefulness to have weight and substance, to reflect the deep sense of thankfulness I have for my BEing. But stating it in public overwhelmed me.
I am a gratitude professional. I am grateful throughout the day. I drop something; I am grateful it didn’t break, or that I caught it. I loose my way driving somewhere and I am grateful for the yards and gardens I get to see that I would otherwise have missed. I check the wrong book out of the library and I am happy for the opportunity to read something the universe had picked for me. And so on.
But what I feel compelled to post ONLINE has morphed into something different. Like putting on my best clothes for a special visit, I want to pick out the best and most “public worthy” (whatever that is) aspects of my life to place in public for my practice.
Yes, once again my ego has intervened to make a right mess of a simple process. Just write down three things. BUT people are going to read them, and probably judge me, and think about how shallow I am if there are things like finding your phone under the car seat, or remembering to pick up a friend’s item from the lost and found at the yoga studio. The public statements of gratitude must be PROFOUND.
As this challenge has become the ALS IceBucket of internet postings, reading the lists of others is also having less of an impact. I used to read each one with relish, they ALL started out simple, silly, fun and light. But after the subjects of recovery, family, and friends have been exhausted those posts, too, often became heavy, esoteric. Not YOURS but some :-).
I would feel churlish if I didn’t follow the challenge, but I am enjoying it less. But now, having investigated the impact of my ego on the process, I think I will come off my high horse and be less fancy.
So, next time you read my gratitude posts, know that I will be more honest, more realistic and less vast. You have been warned!
Kyczy Hawk E-RYT200, RTY500 is the author of “Yoga and the Twelve Step Path”, a leader of Y12SR classes, and the creator of SOAR(tm) (Success Over Addiction and Relapse) a teacher certification training now available in an ONLINE study course. Go to the website, scroll to the end of the page and sign up now http://www.yogarecovery.com/SOAR__tm__Cert_all.html
You may also take her ONLINE recovery infused yoga classes