Most of us that are on any sort of spiritual path (even those of us who are prone to veering off from time to time!), know that one of the best ways to maintain balance is to practice gratitude.  Sounds simple, right?  All we need to do is to take a few moments each day to remind ourselves of just how blessed we really are – and yet, at least for me, this is sometimes easier said than done.  January is always a difficult month for me.  I find it very hard to get motivated after all the hustle and bustle of the holidays.  As a jewelry designer, my business comes to a stand still in January.  This is a time that I ‘should’ be recharging my batteries, indulging in hours of ‘play time’ in my studio, exploring new creative outlets and letting my creative juices flow.  Instead I’m often paralyzed with anxiety and find myself stressing over ‘not enough to do’.  I’m a deadline worker – and yes, I’ll admit – a procrastinator.  If I have 20 things on my to do list – and they must have a deadline – I’ll get them all done and manage to clean out my closets, too!  BUT, if I don’t have any impending deadlines, instead of being grateful for the free time I’ve got, I find myself floundering – and stressing.  Will I ever have another trunk show?  What if I don’t have any new creative ideas?  How will I pay my bills next month?  And so goes the little voice in the back of my mind.

January Daisy

Today I walked into my courtyard and was greeted by this beautiful, cheery gerbera daisy!  We’re having an unusually warm (70s plus!) January and it feels more like Spring than the dead of winter.  Just seeing this happy flower made my heart do a little dance and I was reminded of how grateful I am to live in Charleston – and just to be alive and able to experience this simple pleasure!  Then I started thinking of everything else I’m grateful for – I get to wear sandals today and I don’t have to bundle up in winter clothes, I’m meeting a good friend for lunch and we can dine al fresco, I’ll be able to take my dogs for a nice long walk and enjoy the sunshine … you get the picture, acknowledging my gratitude for this one lone flower in my garden, started an avalanche of things to be grateful for in my life.

As I sat looking at this daisy, my creative muse returned and now I can’t wait to get started on new pieces for my Daisy Collection!  I’m taking a metal smithing class and am anxious to get back into my studio to start working on a copper daisy pendant.  And, I’m feeling gratitude – gratitude for this creative inspiration that has reminded me of two of my passions – jewelry design and Daisy’s Place Retriever Rescue!

I’m the first to admit, we all need a gentle reminder now and then, to count our blessings!  It’s easy to get bogged down with stress and worry and to focus on scarcity rather than abundance.  What are you grateful for today?

with blessings and gratitude,

Melissa

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