One of my favorite things is to wander…to follow that little voice that says “turn here” or “that looks interesting, let’s go there.” There’s something about not having an agenda or destination of any sort that allows my mind to dream. A few days ago I wandered (walked) 10+ miles, yesterday 6+ and so far today 4. I’ve been on my annual desert sabbatical. I’d forgotten how much gratitude and joy I feel when I’m out and away and the world stops for a while.

I’m using my walkabout time to re-write my internal software….the way I’ve hardwired my brain to react and emote. It’s no longer serving me so I’m changing it. I’m staring down generations of “ways of being”  and relating. I’ve decided that I can’t create new things in my life using my same old brain and thought patterns. Wandering and pondering provides the necessary space between thoughts to insert something new.

What’s My Inspiration?

I’ve done 18 or so interview now for the Upheaval to Uplevel interview series. I have been humbled by the courage I’ve experienced. I’ve felt contrition that I’ve made my personal upheavals such a big deal when some of these folks have come through some unspeakable  life events. The common thread in nearly every one of these stories is some form of gratitude, even joy. Maybe not gratitude for the upheaval experience, but gratitude for the way they have been “shaped” by their experience. And then of course there is simply choosing to be joyful despite it all because the alternative just sucks.

Gratitude For The Small Things

Re-writing my software requires, first and foremost, that I focus on gratitude. Here are some of the things I noted on my drive here. Some are big, some are silly…but I guess that’s the point….to be grateful for it all.

  • Witnessing the (almost) full moon setting in the west as the sun rose over the Sand Dunes
  • Legs that carried me over 10 miles to visit an ancestral ruins on a plateau.
  • Having this ancestral site to myself to witness the ruins lit by the orange glow from a brilliant sunset while the full moon lit them from the east.
  • Orange-tinted headlights in oncoming cars instead of those ice blue, retina-piercing lights
  • This lovely little cord that sticks out of the dashboard in my new-to-me car that plays my music and charges my phone
  • Passing lanes that allow me to drive as slowly as I want without bothering anyone
  • This funny little app I’m talking to that allows me to catch these thoughts as I drive
  • The black horse and the white horse playing in the frosted meadow
  • The road cuts that reveal the story of the earth
  • A perfect camp spot that reveals itself at just the right time

My gratitude list is less exciting when I’m home in my usual routine. I guess that means I need to look harder, or perhaps get out more!  Maybe you, too, will be inspired to write down a dozen things for which you are grateful…big things, small things, silly things.