The formula for Gratitude

Want to know what gratitude feels like?
Take away the every day…

Take away getting ready for work
Take away opening jars, making tea, standing while it brews
Take away hats, scarves, sunglasses, flipflops
Take away cosy chats, feisty debates, gossiping girls
Take away walking, running, cycling, swimming
Take away everything you never knew you did and everything you thought you could do
Take away showers, baths, holding your hairdryer, combing your hair
Take away making plans and keeping them
Take away meeting friends, challenges, ideas and life goals

Now add

The moment you can lift your head, make someone smile, send a text, wave hello
The moment you can write, watching the ink flow across your pad
The moment you can kiss your partner, make them a cup of tea, put their clothes away
The moment you can sit barefoot under a tree, be out in the world, eat expensive cake with frothy coffee
The moment you can sleep, and wake up feeling rested
The moment you can be a shoulder for a friend, listen to their story, hold their hand
The moment you remember how great are the little things, the every day, the sum much greater than its parts

When you become aware of every breath, the magic of your body, the love of your friends

Where the pressure fades away back into the void
Where each moment seems to find a stillness in time
Where the grass becomes rich and green beneath your feet

And you remember

***


I made it out today. It was the first time outdoors since Saturday, not too far but far enough to feel like an adventure.

My local coffee shop does great cakes, and I do love my cake. It is one of my greatest pleasures in life. As I am dipping my toe back into social media I decided to instagram my coffee and cake with a message about the little things that keep us going when bigger things are getting us down – a message to my friends and family en masse that I was still not feeling well but managing to find the joy where I could.

It crossed my mind that it is thanks to M.E I am able to hold onto the little things. With the added awareness that mindfulness practice gives me, I can go from experiencing to savouring these little thing moments. I can almost stop time just for a moment as I taste the first sip of a cup of tea I have made, enjoy a cuddle and a giggle with a friend. M.E gave me this as it took away everything that was my every day. I went from a life where these little thing moments were ignored in favour of what could be, and should be, until the most simple of things became what could not be…

M.E, Lyme disease, chronic pain, any other auto-immune condition, with which we have self-identified the term “spoonie” in solidarity, if you live with one of the above you might recognise my tale. Us spoonies may have our bad days, and often those bad days outnumber the good, but we are resilient folk often pushing through when we want to give up, dealing with well and not so well meaning people who already have decided to dismiss the invisible as unbelievable. We are creative, finding ways to live no matter the avenues now closed to us. We are resourceful, connecting with those like us, researching our own treatments and even diagnoses. And we are grateful. Not because we live with these conditions but because we can, and we must, find these little thing moments in our lives and grab on to them until the next one comes along.

For us, and whilst eating that sumptuous cake, I wrote this poem.

My little thing moment for today.

Love and light

Kirstie đź’«

Published by Kirstie Sivapalan

Writer. Poet. Indie Kid. Crystal Lady. Pisces. Enthuser. Cheerleader. Helper. Geordie Londoner. Sharer of stuff I know. Sometimes found working in HR (but not very often) Oh, and #spoonie, living with ME/CFS. That about covers it.

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