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Boulder, CO 80301

303.953.8620
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Asheville, NC 28815-1551
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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. 

Filtering by Tag: grief

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.

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.

The Beauty of Gray

Frederic Terral

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What’s your favorite color? Do you ever say gray? Most people choose blue, or green, and according to this article, color choices can be influenced by age and gender, too. Funny enough, gray isn’t even referenced in that article, so there you go. For many, gray is for energy-less, lackluster days. Gray is for grief, surrounded by “meh”, blasé, gloomy, or indifference. But what if I told you gray can hold and create space for goodness and gratitude?

They way I see it, gray is the perfect blend of black and white, and the result of letting go of absolutes, certainties, and defining stories. Gray is for the gray matter in our beautiful brain that holds so many gifts, mysteries, and abilities. Gray is for getting older, acquiring wisdom, patience, steadiness and elderhood. Gray is for acceptance, allowing for co-existence with the hard things, the shadowy things.

We are made of light and of dark, and seeing the beauty of gray just means that all things are impermanent, that this too shall pass, that we are exactly where we need to be, and that we cannot do any of this wrong.

Exhale and the Life Preserver.

Frederic Terral

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I stopped telling my kids that all I want for them is to be happy. Happy is great, happy has been the long held standard for a satisfactory life. As long as we are happy, all is well. I call BS on that. I’ve been happy plenty of times, and I love it when I’m happy, but happy is fleeting, and like most wonderful things, aren’t meant to last. I want to teach my kids what to do when happy isn’t available, when things just suck and we are trying to survive a mess of a day. What I tell them is Exhale, and Thank you.

There are all kinds of breathing techniques to help anxiety, or anger, but for me, it’s the exhale I long for. The extended, exaggerated, vocal exhale that releases me. We do it subconsciously with sighs, a semi-muted expression of discomfort. Forget the sighs. Bring on the guttural flow of carbon dioxide. Exhale the nasty, exhale the yuck, exhale the sad madness of it all. And then, and here’s where it really counts-- say “thank you”. Thank you sun, thank you breath, thank you end of the day, thank you pillow, thank you stars, thank you sunset. Thank you for life lived another day. Thank you for reminding me that if I can make it through days without happy, I can make it through anything. Gratitude is the life preserver that keeps us above the water, keeps us moving, just long enough until happy circles back around again.

Gratitude is not "OMG I'm SO grateful for my BMW!"

Frederic Terral

Gratitude does not mean denying reality, sadness, grief, or loss. On the contrary, it's about acknowledging all those things. In fact, feelings of sadness and loss can often lead you to greater feelings of gratitude.

For example, contemplating how alone we appear to be in a vast universe devoid of any signs of other life might make you grateful for this precious life-sustaining blue planet. On the other hand, maybe it just makes you want to go shopping, which brings us to...

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