My Gratitude Walk
The other day I got up and went for a walk. A really big walk. Let me explain.
Two years ago I came home from the hospital after delivering my son, a child we had been wanting for eight years. I had a 36 hour labor resulting in an emergency c-section followed by major blood loss. While I was ecstatic to finally bring my son home and so grateful he was healthy, I felt as though I was going to die.
Each day I woke up to the fear that I would not be able to take care of him. I was so terrified I couldn’t sleep more than an hour at a time. My body became inflamed and I remained depleted for a very long time. Breast feeding was a struggle. Getting through the day felt impossible. I had postpartum depression and anxiety that lasted four months. I was so stressed I cracked a tooth. I had a weird problem where I couldn’t fully bend my left thumb and it freaked me out. On top of that, I had intermittent pain throughout my body and was constantly thirsty, tired and anxious. This experience rattled me to the bone and tested my physical, mental and emotional strength like nothing else ever has.
The only thing that kept me from completely falling apart was the deep inner knowing that everything would eventually be OK. While at times it seemed as if my world was unraveling and that my life was in danger, I held on to the idea that I would somehow make it through. It wasn’t easy but I told myself to focus on all the things I had to be grateful for, especially my beautiful, healthy son. Having an active gratitude practice in place was instrumental.
Fast forward to today. For the first time in two years I feel like I have my body back.
Up until a few days ago, I was still having painful hip and back issues that affected the way I walked and hindered my ability to exercise. But last week I turned a corner.
I had a few private yoga sessions with Gail Grossman, the beautiful yogi who created Om Sweet Om Yoga Studio.
I also had a session with Adam Hakim, a cranial sacral therapist with magic hands. I don’t know how he does what he does but let’s just say he put my muscles and bones back where they needed to be. But that is only part of it. He talked to me during my session and helped me release all the fear that got stuck in my body when I went through that trauma two years ago.
Which takes me today. Today I can walk without pain, tightness or feeling off balance.
When you get so used to living with something, you almost don’t even realize there’s a problem. But when you can release it, you feel brand new and whole again and it’s as if a miracle has taken place inside your body.
To celebrate, I went for a walk. I walked up a steep hill without getting out of breath. I played my Gratitude Playlist on my iPhone and felt grateful. Grateful for every person who played a role in my healing these past two years – family who came to visit, friends who brought food, neighbors who checked in, babysitters who were wonderful caregivers, healers who I called upon to help me, and my husband who was a rock through it all.
Next, I thanked my body. While it was challenging for me to accept the limitations it had placed on me, I never once lost faith that my body would heal.
I also thanked myself for doing what I could to stay positive and focus on what I had to be grateful for. I acknowledged myself for taking the time to make healing a priority.
This is something my gratitude practice has given me–permission to appreciate myself, my body and my own happiness.
I share this story with you in the hopes that it will inspire you to keep going. Whatever struggles you face, listen to the voice inside that can guide you to your own success.
If you have health issues, know that your body can heal.
If you have relationship challenges, know that you are loved.
If you have financial troubles, know that you are supported.
If you feel lost, know that you are guided.
When in doubt, practice gratitude.
Most of all, know that you are always right where you need to be. Know that every step of your journey matters. Every challenge is an opportunity for growth. And know that your gratitude practice can be your best friend when times are tough, moving you out of darkness and into the light.
I invite you to go on your own gratitude walk this week. Get out in nature and appreciate everything, even being able to walk and to be alive. I promise you’ll feel good all week!
Already have a gratitude practice? Please share in the comments below or on my Facebook page how it helps you stay grounded through difficult times.