I’m really excited to be starting the 6th installment of our self-care retreats—the 3rd December Sanity Retreat! (More on the retreat & contests below.) Every year, I always post on the things I want to add or simplify in my life: more movement, more meditation, more mental/physical/quiet space. This time around, I plan to try something totally different and post each day on something I’m grateful for, because that’s what’s calling to me now.
To be totally honest, I’m both eager and intimidated. I’ve never tried to post daily, and there are times when I skip weeks! And I also know that it’s easy to think about maybe 10 or so things that I’m grateful for, but 31? That’s a lot. I do tell Mr. Dude the things I’m grateful for on most days but it’s about a 30 second listing, not something where I take a good 5-10 min and marinate in the good stuff.
To me, gratitude is simply expressing joy and appreciation for something. I need to get this out of the way first: gratitude isn’t the same as positive thinking. I remember when I first got sick, and a whole lot of people babbled to me about healing through thinking happy thoughts. What can I say, it seriously pissed me off. The stated and/or not so subtle the implication was that it was my fault for being sick. And it also meant that I was “bad” when I expressed painful emotions of grief and sadness. It felt like code for painting on a happy face no matter what. While it’s lovely to always look on the bright side, “enforced happy” or some sort of always happy obligation just doesn’t fit for me.
What I did learn is that gratitude DOES fit wonderfully well for me. No matter where I am or what is going on, there is always some silver lining that I can find if I chose to, some gift in the mix. I don’t need to deny any part of my experience, but I can decide which part of my reality I want to consciously focus on. For me, that feels authentic and empowering.
And so, here goes. Today’s gratitude will be short!
I’m grateful for having this space to express myself. I had no idea what to expect when I started blogging—I just wanted to share recipes and ooh and aah over yummies. That was almost 6 years ago. For me, blogging has given me a space to ramble when I wish, an invitation to express my thoughts, and most importantly of all, connect with others. 9 years ago the gluten-free world was small and scattered. Reading blogs, and later blogging, helped me feel connected, supported and inspired. I never would have imagined that I’d see blogging as a community, or develop beautiful friendships. It’s been a blessing to me.
The holidays can be a beautiful time of family bonding, celebration and beauty. They can also be an overdoing, overspending, overstressing time of all flavors of excess. For the last 3 years, I’ve been delighted to host the December Sanity Retreat and the July Self-Care Retreat. This is our 6th retreat! It’s been wonderful for me to have an extra excuse to focus on self-care and rein in my natural tendency to need to bake (at least) 18 kinds of cookies.
I know how powerful it is for me to focus on self-care, and I imagine it’s similar for most of you, so as a gentle extra nudge, we’re doing 2 giveaways.
Prize: a $50 nuts.com gift certificate) they are not sponsoring, I just wanted something with healthy gluten-free, vegan, sugar-free, etc. options (US/Canada)
Comment on any of our hostesses’ posts on the Sanity Retreat, like this one. Leave me a comment on how you cultivate gratitude in your life, OR what you’re most grateful for.
Giveaway #2: make the challenge your own!
Blog on your own self-care plans, and a post will be chosen at random as the winner. If you don’t have a blog, contact the hostess of the week and they’ll post for you.
Prize: a box of fun things from me.
As always, self-care is whatever it means to you. So the December Sanity Challenge can be on whatever YOU need to work on to stay sane during the holiday season
Balance around food * Joyful movement * Sanity & stress management * Making space for art, expression, and spirituality * Connection with friends and family
Or whatever else speaks to you along those lines.
The challenge—post on what you plan to do to make your holidays sane, happy and healthy. Make it specific! Not just “I’ll get more sleep”, but “I’ll get at least 7 hours of sleep, 5 days a week”. Not just “I won’t go crazy making desserts”, but “I’ll make a maximum of XX desserts, and space them out over XX time”. You know what you need to do to keep this doable, and writing it down will help you get there!
I’m delighted to be joined by wonderful hostesses with likeminded blogs:
- Kickoff: Gluten Free Goodness (moi)
- Dec 7th Kate of Eat, Recycle, Repeat
- Dec 14th Carrie of Ginger Lemon Girl
- Dec 21st Valerie of City Life Eats
- Roundup: Gluten Free Goodness (moi)
I hope you choose to join us, too. Grab a badge and we’re good to go!
We’ll also be meeting up in our Facebook group for extra encouragement and support. You’re more than welcome to join us there.
Posts so far:
- Valerie’s Kickoff post
- Carrie of Ginger Lemon Girl’s Seeking Joy
- Eat Recycle Repeat’s Joy to the World
- Ginger Lemon Girl’s Seeking Joy Every Day
My 30 days of gratitude:
- Day 1: Gratitude
- Day 2: Grateful for Genghis Khat
- Day 3: Grateful for amazing people
- Day 4: The roundabout road to gratitude
- Day 5: Grateful for beautiful weather
- Day 6: Grateful for New Experiences
- Day 7: Grateful for Local Apples
- Day 8: Grateful for Acts of Kindness
- Day 9 & 10: Grateful for Everyday Miracles
- Day 11: Grateful for Resilience
- Day 12: Ah, Grateful
- Day 13: Peaceful Day
- Day 14: Grateful for Pomegranates
- Day 15: Grateful for Interweb goodness
- Day 16: Grateful for Snuggle time
- Day 17: Grateful for Crackers
- Day 18: Grateful for Flowers and Fun
- Day 19: Grateful for Beauty
- Day 20: Grateful for Chocolate
- Day 21: Beautiful Day and Tree Gratefuls
- Day 22: Grateful for Tomorrows
- Day 23: Grateful for Houdini
- Day 25: Grateful for peaceful moments
- Day 26: Grateful for a beautiful Christmas
- Day 27: Grateful for the power of a dream
- Day 28: Grateful for my nephews
- Day 29: Not really gratefuls
- Day 30: Grateful for Love
- Day 31: Grateful for Mr. Dude