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Terrain Collective Inc
2625 28th St. #110
Boulder, CO 80301

303.953.8620
we@pockitudes.com


P.O. Box 19551

Asheville, NC 28815-1551
USA

A Pockitude™ is a gratitude recorded in a pocket-sized journal. It’s choosing to focus on the better things, the things that remind you why it’s great to be alive. We all need consistent reminders of the good things, and writing them down as you see them is a great tool in your arsenal. The Pockitudes™ journal fits in your pockets and purses, so you can record your gratitudes as they come to you.

With a quick jot, you get a monumental shift on your outlook in life. We encourage you to write your gratitudes for just two weeks. See for yourself the benefits. See for yourself the change in your attitude. See for yourself how you will begin to discover the good in things, people, and places.

Join the happiness movement.

 

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READS

A Pockitude™ is a gratitude recorded in a pocket-sized journal. It’s choosing to focus on the better things, the things that remind you why it’s great to be alive. See for yourself the change in your attitude, and how you will begin to discover the good in things, people, and places. With a quick jot, you get a shift in your attitude. 

The Constant Companion and the SuperPower

Frederic Terral

I feel its presence every day, some days stronger than others. It sits with me like an old friend who doesn’t need conversation, or to fill the space with meaningless chatter. Its presence gently reminds me to remember compassion for myself and others, to never forget grace and gratitude, and to make space for embodied attention. I’m okay with this constant companion, despite the daily passthrough of melancholy. Honestly, I don’t see much choice and I learned the hard way that it’s better than pretending grief is not here. The repercussions of ignoring grief can be seen and felt everywhere, everyday, through anger, resentment, denial, violence, war, hate…it’s enough to keep any of us self-medicating, numbing, pretending, and hiding. 

Even still, many of us are not hiding. In fact, finally, many of us are emerging, awakening and manifesting. I am so inspired by our fellow humans not afraid to speak up and take action. Many are doing the hard work. Many are facing this grief, seeing it in each other, and reaching out to say “I’m here for you, let's do this together.” Many of us are relentless in our pursuit to remain conscious and connected to truth, to keep hope alive, and heed the call to use the gifts and talents we’ve been given to serve the greater good. If we lean in and pay attention we can see it, we can see our superpower.

This superpower is spawned by our ability to live with grief as a constant reminder to increase our connection to each other, to help each other, to be kind to one another, to uplift joy and share the abundance in our lives despite the ugliness we see, despite the bombardment of loss and violence. If we pay attention, we see and understand that our superpower is our Humanity. It is our faith that love can still prevail as long as we are conscious, forgiving and giving. Humanity is our courage to uphold authentic kindness and unconditional benevolence in the face of our old, programmed or ancestral stories, in defiance of our fragile egos, and despite what societal illusions feed us. Our humanity is our lifeline to each other, to this planet and to all that sustains it. We sorely underestimate ourselves if we can't see what we are capable of with our humanity.

The promise of being human is that I will forget, I will lose my temper again, anxiety will find me, my gratitude might fail, and the apathy of all that I cannot control will re-employ my earthly sorrow. I look at my grief, feel the weight of it in my body and I ask it, how will I remember? Grief smiles a slow smile and points softly towards my chest. "We travel south", it says, "we travel from your head to the beautiful sanctuary that houses your humanity. We travel to your heart and we stay there for awhile, for as long as it takes to remember who you are." The wisdom is there. It's always been there. This miraculous, blood-red, powerhouse drumming rhythmically beneath our ribcage urges us to see, hear, feel, breathe, taste, smell, feel alive, love, laugh, cry, and grieve. Our heart begs us to come back, rest, and remember, as much as we need to, again, and again and again.

The Healing Rivers of Regret.

Frederic Terral

Photo by  pine watt  on  Unsplash

Photo by pine watt on Unsplash

Regret is a funny thing. Many of us have them and wish we didn’t. Many of us may even fear and avoid them, or convince ourselves lIke a mantra meant to soothe, “I have no regrets, just life lessons”. Here is what we do know, regret is not often paired with a happy occurrence, regret is often paired with a painful loss and a belief that it could have been different. Perhaps it’s true. I think what I’ve learned most from my regrets is how accurately human I am, and despite age and wisdom, experience and anticipation, I will always do something that may one day cause regret. So what does regret give me, if it’s not something I can avoid? Can I compost it somehow and turn it into something rich to feed my life or others? 

Regret gives us our stories. Regret gives us our humility and our humanity. It reminds us that suffering is universal, that each of us has done, said, or been something we wish never happened. To be loved and forgiven, despite our actions, is the highest form of humanity, and with that love I can carry my own burden of regret, and help others carry theirs by sheer compassion, solidarity, and knowing. 

In the watery depths of regret, there can be healing, and it all begins with sharing our stories, and the vulnerability of truth behind those stories. So share them. Share your regrets, tell your truth, and surrender the pain knowing it’s never been about fixing or changing the truth, but seeing our humanness and forgiving ourselves for it.

When Gratitude Fails

Frederic Terral

Photo by  Zohre Nemati  on  Unsplash

It does happen, failure to feel grateful, I mean. There are times when our pain or anxiety is so strong, it’s less energy to surrender into the downward spiral than reach out and grab hold to stay afloat. Many of us have been in the darkness before, and the familiarity can be a comfort, despite all the pain it invokes. So, what happens when gratitude fails? What do we do when we’ve listed our gratitudes and we still feel terrible?

  1. Write about what’s bothering. Acknowledge it. Give voice to the pain and anger, and let it have its say. To move through our challenges, to heal, it is crucial we process what we are feeling, and especially write about it. Acknowledging the truth of where we are is a good first step. The blank page for reflections in our journals can be used for these moments. 

  2. Say "This too shall pass.” Impermanence, in all its difficulties, is also a promise that nothing lasts. We will get through it. If it’s particularly challenging, we can ask for help, call a friend, turn to our joy list, and give ourselves a break. No perfection here. Just progress.

  3. Come back to our senses. Literally. We don’t realize how much anxiety and tension we carry in our bodies. The energy gets trapped and our breath gets shallow. Our physical responses to fight or flight, anger and anxiety, sets the tone for us to ruminate and run circles in our mind. When we come back to the body, we allow our senses to take over and give ourselves the chance to physically shift our energy to a more gentle, peaceful state. Stay in it as long as you can. Give yourself this gift to let go of the mind and sink into your senses.

  4. Gratitude revisited. We can do steps one through three as many times as needed, but always come back to gratitude. Start with the simplest thing that helps you FEEL gratitude, not something that we think we should be grateful for. THIS IS IMPERATIVE. If gratitude is an obligation, just a task, a list, a consolation prize, then gratitude won’t work. Authentic gratitude is when we feel it stirring in our hearts, our body. It may even evoke emotion if it’s truly real. To cultivate a lasting practice of authentic gratitude, we must know it in our body first. 

Embodiment exercise: Find a place to sit and listen—preferably outside or by an open window. Tune in to the body and all its senses. Close the eyes or use a soft gaze. What do we see, hear, touch, feel, smell? Notice our breath. The moment our thoughts begin to wander, come back to the body, come back to what we see, feel, and hear. What do we notice? Has our breath slowed down, has our body relaxed? What’s still tight? The jaw perhaps, neck or shoulders. Relax them if they are tense. Repeat. 

Perfection is such an illusion. Being human means giving space for the difficult emotions, giving permission for resistance to happiness and the good things, but we must always be curious. The resistance to finding gratitude is information that something is wrong. Follow that thread and see if we can find out why.

The Joy List

Frederic Terral

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What does joy feel like? The joy that grips and electrifies us from the inside, when all the right sensory conditions merge to create bliss, elatedness, even ecstasy. Joy is manifested by the purity of feeling—feeling freedom, weightlessness and love for what we are experiencing. Joy holds us in the arms of lightness and laughter, reminding us the reasons we want to be alive. Joy is a gift given to us by the miraculous existence of this breathing body built to feel joy and pleasure just as it’s built to feel sadness or pain. So how do we find joy when we need it the most, without addictive substances, without desperation or dependency on something that in the end doesn’t serve us? How do we make joy so accessible, it becomes part of our daily rituals? How about making a Joy List?

It’s almost too simple. Try it. Right now. Write a list of all the things that bring you joy (in your Pockitudes gratitude journal ;-). You can even categorize your list. Joy in the home, Joy outside of the home. Joy with friends, Joy with family. Joy that costs money. Joy that is free. Spontaneous Joy. Joy that needs to be planned ahead. Joy I need to experience!! Whatever!!

Off the top of my head, here is a short list of my current joys:

  1. Hiking in the woods alongside a creek or river, listening to nature without distraction

  2. Laughing and connecting with friends

  3. Moving my body to music, in dance class, or anywhere else

  4. Teaching Dance

  5. Celebrating birthdays

  6. Walking barefoot in soft grass

  7. Seeing wild animals/creatures in my backyard (like fireflies in the summer)

  8. Making my husband and/or children laugh

  9. Going to a music concert of one of my favorite groups

  10. Puppies and kittens

  11. Cooking together with the family

  12. Improv comedy shows

  13. Bali!! Haven’t been yet but it’s on the list!

Your list will change, and hopefully it will grow. Use this list as a go to on a rainy or sad day. Use this list to change your life and make joy a priority.

PS. A joy list = gratitude list :-). More joy = more gratitude.

FIN.
by Misa Terral

My Anger, My Teacher

Frederic Terral

Photo by   Alexandro David   from   Pexels

My anger, my most prolific teacher. In my mind, no other emotion exposes my hidden truth more than anger. Anger, in all its fury, is powerful enough to turn us into something we are not, clandestine enough to hide and fester in our subconscious, and intense enough to bring explosive and destructive consequences, causing more shame, regret, pain, and grief. At the same time, anger can be a driver for action and change, a protector, a boundary defender, and a portal—a key to our shadowy, inner pain and memory that we may not even realize we have.

The two faces of anger. How do I tell the difference between these two faces of anger? Consequences. Do the consequences of my anger exert aggressive power over, crush or create fear in something or someone? Does it cause shame or pain in the aftermath? Or is the consequence constructive, expressive of boundaries, strengthening resolve with reason and accountability? In this kind of anger, there is no shame, but vulnerability and growth, even healing. We have courage to speak our truth and lay out our boundary with conscious awareness of how our words fall on the other person. Can we be firm without bullying, strong without overpowering, and have conviction without the need to be right. When I finally started paying attention, and with the help of my incredible loved ones, it became very clear when my anger was more harmful than good. With awareness, cultivation, practice and a deep commitment to action, anger became a a messenger, showing me time and again which face of anger I didn’t want to be. I was pushed to get curious about my anger’s purpose, how to ask for what I needed, how to express myself without defaulting to rage, and more importantly, how to stay with the process, not run or hide from it.

The art of the PAUSE button. One of the most difficult lessons I’ve learned (and am still practicing) from anger is the art of the PAUSE button. In the heat of anger’s appearance, the moment I am triggered, the moment I feel the rage rising up from my chest to my throat and face, I MUST pause. In Jill Bolte Taylor’s book she talks about the 90 seconds it takes for the chemicals of a stress reaction to disperse through our body. This is fight or flight. You can actually feel this move through your body if you lean in close and feel. After the 90 seconds have passed, the emotions left behind like fear or anger, are something we CAN control. Hence, the pause button. The counting to 10 slowly. The three deep breaths. The short walk from wherever you are to somewhere else. No split second reaction, no words to fly out of my mouth, nothing.

The most compassionate question you can ask yourself. What do I need right now?With this one self-compassionate question, I have learned to look upon my anger with kindness, soften my eyes and know, this is not who I am, but there is something I’m missing to feel balanced and whole. Sometimes the answers to why I am angry don’t come right away. Sometimes the reasons that trigger my anger feel absolutely justified, but in that moment I know I need to shift, nurture, and take care of myself. When I take care of myself, I take care of everyone around me. In the car, that means pull over if I can, take a deep breath, say a forgiveness prayer, a gratitude prayer, the Ho'oponopono prayer or play a song that soothes. At home that means, going outside, standing in front of my altar, or sitting in stillness. In relationships, feeling triggered means naming it before going any further. Say “ I’m triggered, I need to stop and breathe, I don’t want to lose control. “ This is the hardest piece. It will take practice. It will take making mistakes. It will take patience, compassion and forgiveness.

“What other people think of you is not your business. If you start to make that business your business, you will be offended for the rest of your life.” ~Deepak Chopra

The portal to exposure. Ultimately, anger has taught me that more than anything I want to feel heard, valued, loved, cared for, and safe. Part of our healing and education is learning not everyone can give this to us. nor should they. Anger shows me that I cannot control everything or anyone, and perhaps my expectations are what need to change. Anger also reminds me that I carry more grief than I realize, and to be gentle with that grief. If anger keeps showing up, I might ask what do I need to surrender? Does forgiveness need to happen? What is really chipping away at my spirit, how do I voice what I need without causing damage, and what balm can I use to soothe and heal? These are some truths anger can reveal if we are wiling to be vulnerable enough to really look at ourselves. When we get curious about our feelings, dig under the iceberg as I’ve heard Brené Brown once describe it, this is our first step towards healing, change, and even gratitude. Here would be a good place to say that I began reading Brené Brown over five years ago, and she was integral in helping me look at my anger, and I am grateful to her and her work.

I can say with full certainty that my relationship with anger has evolved, leading me to know myself better, inviting more self care, more courage to dig deeper, more vulnerability, more self compassion, more deep breaths, more time with what soothes me, more patience, more joy and more laughter. And I am witnessing, the more I do these things for myself, the less volatile I’ve become, and the more I am able to hold and reflect the same compassion for others when they sit in their own anger.

With practice, we can re-wire our brains. We can forgive ourselves and others. Healing is not an external event. Healing is internal and will always begin with us saying “Yes, I can pause. I can pay attention, I can re-learn and I can forgive.”

by Misa Terral

Different. Everyday.

Frederic Terral

"It's no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then." 
~ Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

To know we are different every day feels like grace to me. It means opportunity blooms with each rising day. It means another chance, another dance, another way to see without having to do much more than awaken and say… “Thank you, I’m ready”.

To know we are different every day can also feel like grief to me. All change carries loss of some kind, often taking a piece of us to a far off place we are never meant to retrieve. Grief is a mournful, heart song that grows in verse with the passing of time. With grace’s help, we get to practice singing this song, expand our lungs and sway with sweet memory to what once was. To understand grief is to accept that what we know now, was never meant to be known then.

To know we are different every day is a gift given to us by growing the skill of gratitude. Fleeting moments mark time only when we remember to slow down and reflect. Gratitude is the unfolding relationship between grace and grief, reminding us how far we’ve come, and reminding us we have no idea how far we’ve yet to go. The wisdom we gain from knowing we are not the same day by day, is gratitude reminding us to pay attention, slow down, make joy your priority while awakening to the truth that nothing is meant to last.

7 Steps to a Successful Daily Gratitude Practice

Frederic Terral

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Hello Grateful Beings!

The benefits of a gratitude practice is indisputable. Our biggest challenge is finding consistency. Once we conquer consistency, then we have a natural practice and can reap the benefits. Below are 7 tips to help you have a successful daily gratitude practice.

  1. Make a conscious, intentional commitment to have a consistent gratitude practice.
    Say it aloud: "I commit to practicing gratitude every single day by writing at least one Pockitude in my journal every day." You can even add a little ceremony by lighting a candle as an invitation for the energy of gratitude to come into your life.

  2. Take your Pockitudes gratitude journal with you everywhere.
    Put it in your pocket, your purse, your car, take it to work with you. This journal is your gratitude companion and reminder, and will help bring gratitude to you if you engage with it. Pay Attention. Notice, in big and small ways, when you have a sense of calm, joy, happiness, relief. As soon as you notice it, write it in your journal, and add the "why you feel grateful." Notice any self judgement (like "oh that's stupid" or "that's not good enough", and let it go. All gratitude counts as long as it's a genuine feeling you have. This is a very different energy than just writing to write something down.

  3. Set a Daily Schedule, put a reminder on your calendar.
    For some people, having a routine and carving a specific time in the day for their Pockitude is extremely helpful. Put it in your (digital) calendar with an alert. Put it on your daily to-do list and enjoy the pleasure of crossing it off. If you like wall calendars, cross off each day you wrote a gratitude for that visual feedback and reminder.

  4. Pay it Forward with an Act of Kindness.
    This part is crucial. Why? Because gratitude is more than what we have or receive. Gratitude is just as much about giving, without strings, without needing to be recognized (this is where the ego monster wants attention), without making a big deal. It could be doing the dishes in the office kitchen. Letting someone go ahead of you in a grocery line. Buying a friend coffee or a gift, or leaving a note on their car, for no reason at all. We are so often in our heads, so often wrapped up in ourselves, we forget that giving with pure kindness is our way out of negative thinking. No act is too small. Look for the opportunity, there will be plenty.

  5. Forgive yourself and move on if you miss a day.
    Gratitude is also about self compassion, as well as resisting perfectionistic thinking. Many people think they have to do it all or nothing. This is where a gratitude practice can consistently fail. Get right back into it the next day. Keep moving. If you are in a rut, and having a particularly hard time coming up with a Pockitude, use the prompts and act as if. Go to the eleven tips in the back of your Pockitude gratitude journal and change your state!! Then try again.

  6. Get your family and friends involved.
    For fun, for community and family togetherness, for accountability, invite others to join you. Or ask them to support you in your gratitude practice. Have them point out or remind you what a good Pockitude or Act of Kindness can be for that day.

  7. Don’t stop, keep it going.
    For real shifts in our well-being to happen, for our brains and attitude to change, authentic gratitude must become a way of living. How do you know you've gotten there? When it becomes effortless to feel grateful, thankful, fortunate, blessed. When you notice how present you are in any situation, knowing you may never have this beautiful moment again, so stay with it. This doesn't mean you don't get sad or angry, it means that you can be grateful despite the difficult things. Gratitude is not meant to fix everything, but it will help you move through all of life's challenges with grace and humility.

Let us know how it's going and post pictures of your beautiful practice on Instagram or Facebook with #pockitudes.

With love and gratitude,
Misa & Frederic, Founders

Feel and know

Frederic Terral

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In the vast wildness and fluidity of my emotions, I have permission to embody every single one. Then, with loud, generous, borderline obnoxious conviction, I exhale them all free. I notice…what wants to be stifled, what wants to resist, when do I recoil? I ask….what braces, tightens, squeezes my body, what clenches my jaw, or stops me from breathing? I acknowledge…what is heavy or infuriating, what keeps me doubting, or groping in the dark. I employ…the bright shimmer that brings lightness, connection and laughter, the gratitude that grounds me firmly, and keeps me rooted in a raging storm.

As my emotions rise and fall, shape-shift and transmute, the space I give them to swim and breathe while excommunicating judgement and the swirly story my mind wants to tell, this is the very space where truth lovingly steps forward. This is the space I hear the wisdom in a voice that is not mine, and merge with a strength that sometimes I forget is always there. This is the same place I know without question, my legacy, my purpose and the divine truth that we ALL are miraculous beyond measure, primed to divinely give and receive with all of our beautiful relations, if we can remember, if we can feel and know deeply two very simple things. We are never, ever alone, and we absolutely need each other.

~ Misa Terral

How to come back when something else tells you to run

Frederic Terral

Photo by  Oliver Pacas  on  Unsplash

It’s the fur-lined hollow I look for, the soft space between panic and sleep that rocks me gently back to deeper waves of stillness. After all these years, you’d think we’d have this down pat by now. Those moments of sheer bliss, where fear and anxiety don’t exist had me fooled into thinking I’d never see them again, until I do. The stories that say we can rid ourselves of fear, anxiety, ego and doubt forever if we just do this or that, take this or that, become this or that, read this or that, heal this or that…are they true? Maybe for some. Maybe for some for a time. Maybe for others not even close. We are so different, and so many of us have experienced pain in ways that seem un-healable. So we search and search for something that makes it all better, something to help us heal. Perhaps it’s not a thing we have to become to heal. Perhaps what needs to change is perspective, and redefine what healing means.

Death and being with the dying has taught me this. Healing doesn’t always mean fixing. Healing does not always mean all better. Healing means a sanctuary of wholeness within the confines of our human and mortal body, within the confines of all the challenges that have changed us permanently. Healing means knowing how to come back to ourselves, to the essence of who we really are as a soul having a human experience. To come back to the things that authentically love and nurture us, even when we are still broken, even when fear and sadness tells you to run and hide.

It takes courage to do this. It takes resilience and vulnerability. It takes changing the definition of what “okay” looks like. It takes seeking joy and the pleasures of laughter and community, especially when it’s hard to look at yourself in the mirror. Maybe a phone call. Maybe a short visit by a friend. Maybe a terrible movie that gets you out of the house to feel the fresh air again. In this time, when pain and suffering are so readily available, when ego is so ready to pounce and take over our hearts and minds by never feeling enough, we fight back and say “NO” by leaning in to that soft place. That beautiful fur-lined space where we feel totally, utterly and lovingly held by grace and goodness, so that we may, once again, know ourselves.

by Misa Terral

Embodied Attention

Frederic Terral

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Distraction. The necessity of our our humanly devices, which have now become the heartbeat of our humanly tasks, have us in our heads nearly All. Day. Long. As a result, we’ve become busier, more distracted and more disconnected from the immediate world around us. Ironic, isn’t it? How our devices can show us, teach us, and connect us to this amazing world we live in, but disconnects us from the most important thing that keeps us grounded: our mindfulness to the present, and the awareness of our breathing body.  

Despite our best intentions, we will always find our way back to thinking, doing, solving, watching, texting, scrolling, fixing, or numbing. Do we notice the angst arising within us from too much head space, too much screen time, too much stress and anxiety? Maybe the truest test of how we evolve in our human journey, is how well we tend to ourselves gently and lovingly when we feel the severence of our mind, body, and spirit.

One simple practice can help. It’s faster than running, cheaper than hot yoga, and more accessible than forest bathing. It is the simple practice of Embodied attention. Embodied attention is more than tuning in to the senses, but feeling how our body responds to everything we see, hear, touch, and taste. It’s savoring the space we occupy and the our relationship with the swirling, sensory experience around us. Embodied attention can be a practice of reverence if we come alive to the wonder and awe of every detail. We don’t just see, but we feel the colors in the room, the way the light hits the walls, the sounds coming from our surroundings. We begin to notice what our breath is doing— does it slow down, does it speed up, or are we holding it? When we look out a window and notice the way the trees shake in the wind, or a bird swoops, what does our body do—what does it want? Can we stay with the senses, can we stay with our body without going back in our thoughts? Without judgement or the need to fix?

We can make anything into a waking meditation by giving our bodies the space, intention and attention to feel the energy of a moment. Embodied attention reminds us we are a living organism that needs sun, water, and movement to feel alive. When we remove thought and judgement, gratitude naturally tends to fill the spaces. Gratitude is not just an idea, it is a real emotion that radiates and feeds our cells from inside out. We know we need experiences to connect us to all that is greater than what’s in the palm of our hand or a screen on the desk. We need more earth, wind, water, fire, more green. We need more uninhibited wildness. 

New Year's Wish

Frederic Terral

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May we all find reverence for all that we’ve been given, knowing everything we have is given to us on borrowed time. The material things we’ve worked hard for, or our titles and roles, the land we live on, the bodies we live in, the relationships in our lives, the pets we love, the food we grow, all of it rests on the sands of impermanence. To know this deeply is to understand and embody gratitude. May the wisdom we learn and the love we receive during this borrowed time fill us so completely that we are compelled to give it back, in stories, in generosity, in acts of kindness, in compassion and in hope that all we’ve been through has not been in vain. To serve each other is to serve the world, one generous, no-strings attached, act at a time.

May we all awaken and see the futility of self deprecation and the illusion of separation. May we forgive ourselves, our past, our ancestors, those that hurt us and the ones we’ve hurt, and realize we are the same, birthed from the same stardust and miracle that is earth, air, water and fire. May we remember how small we are as one speck in the cosmos, and how beautiful, enormous and powerful we feel as one collective. One heart-driven, light filled energetic vibration. Our experiences, our stories, hence our lives, give meaning when we know our purpose—to give back what we’ve been given, and to love— love the earth, love ourselves and finally, love each other.

Surrender

Frederic Terral

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Surrendering is my everyday practice. Surrendering ego, surrendering expectation, surrendering into a moment which might be wrought with the angst of unknowing, of not knowing. Surrender that I might have said the wrong things to my kids. Surrender that I ate too much sugar. Surrender that I miss loved ones so much it hurts.

I practice surrender for aliveness, and I practice surrender for death. I practice surrender because sometimes it’s the only way I can forgive, or grieve. Or feel joy, abandon, compassion, love, vulnerability and laughter.

Surrender was my word of intention for 2018, and as we approach the Solstice, as I reflect on all that has passed this year, I understand surrender was the only way I could feel soft enough to keep from breaking, to trust enough that everything I need and want will be there. It’s all any of us can ever do to step into our resilience, our true nature, and the unveiling of our life’s gifts and purpose. .

Surrender is a portal, an opening that gives us the space to unfold, get messy, and reassemble into a deeper wisdom. Never alone, always with help, if we can just remember to ask. Surrender if you don’t know what else to do. Surrender because it’s the only thing we can do. Surrender because without it, we cannot be reborn.

Gratitude is Not a Consolation Prize.

Frederic Terral

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Gratitude is not the same thing as happiness. Happiness is the sweet layer on top, the moments that comes with icing and sprinkles. But gratitude is something more. A wisdom that exists far below the surface, in the darker places, the places excavated by deep dives and less oxygen. Gratitude cannot be turned on like a light switch, nor is it meant to be a quick fix. It can't be "taught" to children, nor is it an ideal that can be used to incur shame. Gratitude is not a consolation prize. Gratitude is not a "fake it until you make it" or an “act as if” practice. Authentic gratitude, the kind that stirs like a rumble from deep within our core, is showing up to truth in a way that does not circumvent pain, replace loss, or negate the everyday existence of grief.

In a world where terrible things happen hourly, when things can suck at anytime, when grieving loss is a part of every single day of our lives, gratitude is not a cure all.  It can be a life preserver, but it doesn't fix anything. Sometimes it comes easy, sometimes it doesn't come at all. The truth is, gratitude is usually found in the things that never last, the impermanent things, the things we get to hold for brief, savory moments, moments lined with the wisdom of knowing we'll eventually need to let it all go. Some might argue that it's only when we lose these things, that we begin to learn what gratitude really is.

By walking through challenge, by fumbling around lost in the dark, by losing the ones we love, by enduring pain, by knowing grief will never disappear, by living with unfairness and witnessing injustice, through anger, through doing the hard work of keeping it together, or falling apart, through surrender and forgiveness, only then do we get to know wisdom, only then do we get to know what it is we truly live for, only then do we get to feel gratitude at layers deep within our soul. Through these layers, through practice and presence, gratitude is an evolution of being, and a way of feeling, knowing we can never have it all, and finding love for something...everything, anyway.

Preparing for the Onslaught

Frederic Terral

Photo by  Kyle Cottrell  on  Unsplash

Photo by Kyle Cottrell on Unsplash

November has arrived and we all know what that means. It means the flurry of the Holiday season is preparing to pounce upon us. It'll start with holiday decorations in the stores, the onslaught of junk mail from magazines, and the questions to-and-from family members -- "What do you want for Christmas / Hannukah / Kwanza, etc.?"

This also means holiday cheer, the anticipation of gathering with friends and family, the joy of tradition, and remembering that behind all the commercial craziness, there is a deeper meaning and purpose for this time of year. For me, the season is about gratitude, togetherness, family, love, and kindness, and I cannot embody these things if I get swept away in the anxiety of busy-ness, the drama of what's happening in our country today, and the pettiness of the little annoyances I cannot control.

I believe SO much in the impact we have on others just by remembering our own centeredness, our own integrity and conviction in remaining true to who we really are. How do we find peace when the tendency towards chaos, drama, or fight/flight is so palpable and eager to consume?

For me, the best I can do is knowing how to come back to my center. What tools will I employ to re-establish balance once I've teetered off....because I will teeter off.

But first, how do we know when we are off center? What does it feel like? What happens to our body? What happens to our mind? What do we do? What do we say to ourselves? I know when I’m off center because that’s when the negative self-talk happens, or when I start to blame others, or flashes of anger appear out of nowhere, or my need for something sugary is heightened. When I recognize the signs, and sometimes it takes awhile, instead of perseverating on the problem, I ask myself, WHAT DO I NEED RIGHT NOW?

It is a compassionate question, a question that means “Hey, I know this is not who you really are, so what do you need to help you find you again?” Sometimes what I need is just a moment (or several moments) to stop what I am doing and breathe. To stop the incessant chatter in my head knowing it accomplishes nothing. To listen to the silence and feel the stillness, to get back into my body and FEEL. Maybe it means getting something wholesome to eat. Maybe it means going for a walk, or pulling out the gratitude journal, or going to a dance or yoga class, or canceling plans to honor some solitude. Whatever it is, whatever we need to find center, we must listen to our bodies, pay attention and take the time to know wholeness again, even for just a few minutes.

This is a Lifelong Practice, but we will get better at it if we commit to it, knowing we are worth it. Being compassionate with ourselves, allowing room for imperfection and allowing space to return to center is imperative to survive the holidays, to survive anything.

The 6 Lifelong Practices of a Human

Frederic Terral

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TRUTH is a lifelong practice. We are all broken in some way. When we really see it, and can sit with it, then we can begin to heal.

HEALING is a lifelong practice. No quick fixes. It doesn’t matter what ails us, or where it began, a wound is a wound, it all hurts, and it can show up anywhere at anytime. And healing doesn’t mean curing. Sometimes healing means acceptance and forgiveness.

GRIEF is a lifelong practice. Grief is promised to us from the moment we were born. Many of us carry it and don’t even realize it. If you are sad, you are grieving, if you are angry, you are grieving, if you are numbing with alcohol, drugs, sex, tv, games, gambling, etc., you might be avoiding grief. See Healing.

FORGIVENESS is a lifelong practice. Forgiveness heals. I once heard this wise woman say “In order for forgiveness to happen, something else needs to die.”  Expectation. Old stories that no longer serve. What we think we deserve. When we replace how we think something or someone should be, with how it actually is, knowing we can’t control it, change it, fix it, then we can begin to forgive. See Healing. Then see Love.

JUDGEMENT is a lifelong practice. Judgement is poison. We learn it from our environment and the people around us, and it happens rampantly Every. Single. Day. To stop judging is a lifelong practice and it begins with us. Stop judging our bodies, imperfections, aging. Stop judging our past or present, stop judging our children, stop judging our partners, parents, stop judging the person in the car next to you. No one wins when we give in to judgement. Catch yourself, stop yourself. Judgement is a dirty band-aid for ego that never sticks. See Forgiveness.

LOVE is a lifelong practice. We are creators, carriers and vessels of love. We are meant to hold and keep love for ourselves, give what we create, as well as receive love from others. Love is a superpower and requires energetic balance. If we constantly give all of our love to others, without keeping any for ourselves, our vessel becomes empty, tired, and resentful, and the imbalance eventually becomes harmful. If the love we need is only taken from others, if we are dependent and expectant of others to fill that void in our vessel, we become vampires, exhausting the ones around us, which is also harmful. Finding balance in love is a lifelong practice, not meant to be easy, not meant to be painless and quick. We don’t know balance until we lose it. But with love, we can recover. With love, we can find truth, healing, forgiveness, and let go of judgement.

And with all of these things, WE CAN DO HUMAN.

The Gratitude Matrix

Frederic Terral

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BY MISA TERRAL

The depth of grateful living, to really feel it earnestly and consistently in our gut, bones, and heart, goes far beyond feeling fortunate. It means stepping out of self, out of the mind of busy and our entitled me, me culture and living within what I call the “Gratitude Matrix”.

The Gratitude Matrix is constructed by the infinite web of relationships, connections, and energy between every alive thing. This includes the relationship between humans, animals, insects, trees and plants, and the elements and energies that keep this web flowing-- earth, air, water, and fire. It means recognizing, and seeing on a regular basis, that without these relationships and connections, we unequivocally have nothing. When we understand fully there is no separation between us and all the natural wonders around us, that everything is our relative, our family, we consciously awaken to the world around us and within. We see everything as a gift, a beautiful energetic flow that slows down for us because we are paying attention.

When we understand fully that everything given to us is only borrowed, that what we see and have is not only life sustaining but temporary, the futility of judgement, scarcity, aggression, and hate becomes apparent. We see that the harm we do others is harm we do to ourselves. The kindness, generosity and good we do for each other, this planet, and all the living beings in it, is good we do for ourselves. Giving and acts of kindness becomes easier and without agenda, and we do it for the good of what needs to be done, what wants to be done.

It is a practice to see the Gratitude Matrix every day. We forget because we get caught in the artificial web of our man-made necessities. We forget because we get in the web of not enoughness. We spend so much time thinking, we impose much on ourselves in the name of expectation, society and its definition of a good and happy life. Things get difficult and instead of further leaning into the Gratitude Matrix to keep us steady, we dive further into our thoughts, our fears and need to control and fix. We must be gentle with ourselves and each other. We must forgive ourselves and each other, and turn our attention back to the abundance that exist outside of ourselves. Pockitudes was born for this reason. It’s why we encourage random acts of kindness and why we encourage slowness and stillness to pay attention to what we are grateful for and why.. Eventually, it gets easier. Eventually, the Gratitude Matrix appears everywhere, in everyone, and in every little thing.

"To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom" - Socrates

Frederic Terral

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I finally understand it. No one is waiting for me to be better. No one actually needs me to do anything. I become who I am when I stop caring who I am not. I become who I am because I let go of the fear, the judgements, the masks, the story that I am not yet the best version of myself. Authenticity is not about remolding, fixing, studying, chasing success, and working hard to be a better version.

Authenticity, aliveness and true happiness is stepping in to the awareness, presence, and embodiment that our truest self is underneath all that chasing, all that noise and busy-ness. We are already amazing and whole, beautiful and perfect. To truly know thyself, is to feel this in its infinite capacity.

CONNECTION & ATTACHMENT

Frederic Terral

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BY MISA TERRAL

Connection. We crave to be seen, to belong, to have meaningful relationships with depth and mutuality. When we finally find it, we begin to understand what true acceptance and community feels like. We feel at home, we get comfortable, and then.... something shifts. We experience the laws of impermanence and feel the attachment, in all its heartache and heartbreak. It doesn’t matter how many times we’ve felt it before, we will feel it again..

We would be unrecognizable without the teachings of our past attachments. From attachment, we learn more about ourselves than maybe we were prepared for. What grows as consequence is awareness, and a wisdom that separates the conscious from the unconscious, mindfulness from distraction, and true, deep and meaningful connection wary of blind attachment. Sooner or later, hopefully we can recognize our ego and it's need to define and own, name or cling, and know that each connection is an precious gift not meant to last.

Connections are not something we possess, nor are they things that define us, not if we are truly aware and paying attention. They make us better, transform us, and then they move on. What separates connection from attachment is if we can fully give ourselves to an experience, with all our love, kindness, generosity, forgiveness and our most authentic self, without expecting anything in return. Is this hard? Very, but it is our work from the start.

Looking for Abundance

Frederic Terral

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BY MISA TERRAL

Abundance. When wishing for abundance, it's not uncommon to think it means wishing for "more" of something. More money, more time, more joy, more peace, more clarity, more love, more freedom.... We know better now, don't we?

When we embrace gratitude as a living breathing practice, it changes our life in a way we never expected. We begin to see abundance everywhere, and in everything. What we have becomes plenty, what we are becomes enough, and what surrounds us becomes a living ceremony, worth paying attention to and honoring every minute we are alive. This is true gratitude and abundance, where our hearts and souls are filled just by the air we breathe, or the people we meet, the food we eat, the rising sun, the body that carries us.

This is not white-knuckled optimism, no, this is a total, honest shift in consciousness, and it’s available to anyone. It almost sounds Disney-like and fairytale, I know, but the road to living a grateful life is not meant to be easy. Simple, yes, but not easy. It doesn’t mean we don’t get triggered, resentful or angry, or grief-stricken. We will question over and again why things happen. What is remarkable is the shift in perspective, even in the anger, because we understand fully that things don’t last. Abundance lives in knowing that nothing lasts or stays the same. This is the paradox. It’s a reconditioning of the mind, a consistent exercise in paying attention and a whole plethora of forgiveness and letting go.

So where to begin? It begins with the consistent and earnest practice of saying "thank you". Every day, to every thing. Physically and mentally pause, say it, or write it down. What moves you, right here, right now? Let it become your mantra, let it become your treasure hunt. Pay attention. Abundance surrounds you.

REMEMBER

Frederic Terral

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We are so imperfect, still just kids really, making mistakes which leave us scratching our heads thinking....haven’t we been here before? Somewhere along the line we were sold an idea that happiness can be measured in milestones, money, accomplishments and accolades. For authentic happiness, there is no such thing. Such things can bring entitlement, such things can bring expectation, harsh self judgement--and hence harsh judgement of others. Such things can give the illusion of control and such things can bring the word “deserve” into play.

And so, we have since crumpled up that idea knowing that we are promised nothing. We began to ask, what is our true purpose and work then? What makes us feel alive? We work hard, we try our best, we breathe in life and exhale experience. True, unfettered aliveness, laced with wildness in its most vibrant and ecstatic sense, cannot exist without the challenges of loss and setbacks.

From moment to moment, we seek grace, we honor intention, we live with love, knowing we are going to screw up again at any minute, only to score big the next. We do the best we can. We just have to remember, we all are doing the best we can. Pockitudes was born out of this need to remember. We forget so easily, we have limited memory, we have limited time.

We just have to remember to be kind. We just have to remember that relationships, nature, experiences, and the tiniest victories, serve to bring us closer to our truest, most soulful, grateful selves. Gratitude keeps us going. Gratitude keeps us remembering. Gratitude keeps us kind, patient, present. Gratitude keeps us doing the very best we can.