I continue to fight for myself as I climb my way out of my sleepy, dark well of consciousness. I listen to my intuition and guides. I smudge the shit out of my house. I make fun of my own desolation. I take too much Excedrin Migraine and Imodium. I read a lot.
All to keep negativity from pulling me back down into the darkness.
Recently I read an article by Steven Parton, called The Science of Happiness: Why complaining is literally killing you. The article talks in sciency terms about how every time you think a certain type of thought, whether it be happy or complainy, a brain synapse fires a chemical over a gap to another synapse in order to create a bridge to carry the electric charge and relevant information. Each time the charge is triggered the synapses grow closer together, making it easier and more likely for either a positive or negative thought to occur. The habitual way a person thinks can evolve by the brain’s incredible ability to physically rewire itself according to the most strongly bonded synapses, or what is thought about most often. Eventually over time, a way of thinking, positive or negative, becomes the natural, go-to way of thinking.
“Your thoughts reshape your brain, and thus are changing a physical construct of reality.”
Yeah, the brain is a crazy thing.
Lots of things in the physical construct of my reality make me happy. Birds, fondue, love and twinkle lights… However, I realize that I need to practice recognizing the things in my life that I am grateful for each day. Otherwise, time, necessity, and division absorb all of the small and beautiful moments that make up a life.
During the latter part of the year, my daughter and I adopted a practice that’s kind of like a reverse fortune cookie—a way to send tiny nuggets of gratitude out into the universe to acknowledge and cultivate happiness. I found an old fishbowl that likely once contained some amount of tequila, blue curacao and drunken Swedish fish, and/or a middle school science class goldfish rescue, and cut some tiny ribbons of paper. Off we went to reshape our brains and change the physical constructs of our realities… No big deal.
On New Year’s Eve my daughter and I read our offerings together, and realized all that we had to be thankful for. I hope it becomes a new tradition.
Here are a handful of thoughts and words that made us happy for the year that had passed (in no particular order, and author’s names withheld)…
I am grateful for my friends and family who love and support me.
I am thankful that Drake ran through the 6 with his woes, and for spectacular rain and lightning storms.
I am thankful for Krista, Scot, David, Danny and my Toot and for the trifecta of betterment.
I am proud of my tiny baby. She is brave, fair and fierce, like a tiny fire-breathing dragon.
I am thankful for Aunt Bev and her sass, and that she is able to visit during Christmastime.
I am thankful for new Justin Bieber music. #hotcanadiannuggetblessing
I am thankful that I am so sensitive, even though it hurts. A lot.
Today I am thankful for Grandpa teaching Evie how to drive a truck and be a badass.
I am thankful for mi madre and for my homo bestie who hates my boobs. I’m also thankful for guys underwear cuz they comfy.
I am thankful for the opportunity to evolve.
I’m happy that yogurt has a hot cousin and that Salvation Army exists. I am thankful for selectively *conservative grandpas who fart, and also listen to me.
I am thankful for my thyroid doctor.
I am thankful for the wonderful and nerdy friends in my life. I’m also happy that camels and goat unicorns exist on 5K runs.
I am happy and thankful that Liz is here and in my life. She slays. I am happy and thankful that thunderstorms are a thing. #myinneremotions
I am thankful for my mom and amazing family who support me when my life is shit. Even if they don’t always understand.
I am thankful for my dog, Jack.