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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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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. 

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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.

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. 

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.

Sunflowers

Frederic Terral

Now, more than ever, we need to remember WHY we are grateful. It's almost too much to bear, the collective grief happening everywhere I look. Some days the sorrow is too deep to muster the energy to write a brand new gratitude. So I don't. I accept the state of where I am and instead, borrow a gratitude from last year. I grab a used Pockitude journal, open randomly and read. 

The memories and gratitudes collected in these journals reminds me that joy still sits with me, and can co-exist in consciousness with grief, and anger, the madness in this world. The act of taking the time to read and remember is a gratitude itself, and a form of self care. Today, I am grateful for the treasure trove of memories written permanently in these journals. August 2017: Blooming sunflowers in the community gardens. Why? Because I am reminded to turn my face to the sun and bloom. 

A gift for readers and followers, enjoy a 10% discount code at checkout with Promo code: SUNFLOWERS (expires first day of Spring March 20) --> www.pockitudes.com/shop/

Progress with Cookies

Frederic Terral

How? How do you pause to be grateful when the indignation to just brood feels better? There’s no stifling to be done here. I’d rather scream until my lungs are inside out before finding something to be grateful for at this moment. I’d rather cry long heaves of breath and spittle before disengaging this powerful urge to plant these sorrows at my feet and wail.  But….I have been here before. I have indulged in each and every feeling that would cause me to turn a blind eye to the joys of anything. And each time, I am brought to an edge far worse from where I began. And so I ask again. How? How do I pause to be grateful when the indignation to brood feels better

Just one thing. One tiny thing, a memory, a joke, a convenience, a reason---one step in the direction opposite of the darkness where I’ve already been. This is gratitude. It doesn’t need to be grand. In fact, it doesn’t even need to be more than a word. Cookies. Cookies was my very first word in my Pockitudes journal. Why? Because they taste good, especially with lots of chocolate chips. When I eat cookies, I feel warm, resilient and comforted. This isn’t rocket science, this is progress.

Discover the Three Keys of Gratitude to Unlock Your Happiest Life!: Jane Ransom at TEDxChennai

Frederic Terral

Jane Ransom helps people build great relationships-with themselves, their partners and the rest of the world. As a coach and speaker, she draws on the latest brain science, while using true stories to teach and to inspire. A professional hypnotist, Jane specializes in the subconscious mind, that hard-to-pin-down part of ourselves that guides our feelings, thoughts and behavior.

A Beginner’s Guide to Gratitude

Frederic Terral

Needlepoint pillows remind us to count our blessings, we gather around the table at Thanksgiving every year to give thanks for what we are grateful for, and since the late 1990s Oprah has been telling us we need to keep a gratitude journal. Gratitude is a concept we can all understand, but isn’t something that is always put into regular practice. Making the conscious effort to make gratitude a part of our daily existence will rewire the mind, to be more receptive to noticing, and savoring the moments of happiness that give us contentment in our lives.

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”
— Oprah Winfrey

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The 31 Benefits of Gratitude You Didn’t Know About: How Gratitude Can Change Your Life

Frederic Terral

Gratitude makes us happier.

A five-minute a day gratitude journal can increase your long-term well-being by more than 10 percent. That’s the same impact as doubling your income! How can a free five minute activity compare? Gratitude improves our health, relationships, emotions, personality, and career. Sure, having more money can be pretty awesome, but because of hedonic adaptation we quickly get used to it and stop having as much fun and happiness as we did at first.

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How Gratitude Motivates Us to Become Better People

Frederic Terral

Gratitude has become a hot topic in recent years. Celebrities from Oprah to James Taylor to Ariana Huffington have promoted an “attitude of gratitude,” and gratitude journals, hashtags, and challenges have become immensely popular. Much of this enthusiasm has been fueled by research linking gratitude to happinesshealth, and stronger relationships.

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4 GRATITUDE PRACTICES THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE

Frederic Terral

1. Keep a gratitude journal.  Writing frequently in a gratitude journal is a wonderful way to begin your practice. Set aside a certain number of things to write down throughout the day. Don’t worry about being regimented, but look for the goodness in every situation, savoring every moment you have to reflect.

Consider: Who or what inspired me today? What brought me joy today? What brought me comfort and deep peace today?

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