National Gratitude Month – I am grateful for… a scratchy throat?! (NOT)

National Gratitude Month – I am grateful for… a scratchy throat?! (NOT) November 16, 2020Leave a comment

OK, this is a difficult.

A scratchy throat is something we’ve all had at some point in our lives. I had one last week, and it’s not easy being grateful for that!

I was drinking hot tea while making poached eggs for breakfast. We like to add a bit of wilted spinach to our poached eggs – Florentine!

Well, on one mouthful, a spinach leaf got stuck about halfway down that scratchy throat of mine. That was pretty nasty. I tried drinking water, drinking my tea, eating a bite of egg. Nothing moved it down. I was pretty uncomfortable, but couldn’t think of anything else to do, so, naturally, I kept repeating what I’d already tried.

After about an hour, I decided enough was enough. I went into the bathroom and forced myself to gag a couple of times until I finally coughed it up. A bit painful, coughing with a scratchy throat, but at least the spinach came back up.

Whenever something unpleasant happens, I try to ask myself, “What is the opportunity here?”, or, “What is the lesson here?” So, I began that process. Well, it’s been a few days, and I cannot think of anything to be grateful about from that incident. I’ve decided that I’m grateful that I was able to finally get the blooming spinach out, and that eventually my sore throat went away. Pretty lame, I know, but that was the best I could come up with!

Some things are easier to be grateful for than others, but it’s still a good exercise, to practice being grateful for everything that happens. There have been much worse hardships in my life than a bit of spinach stuck in my throat, and I have not only come through all of those, but been able to see where I have grown, or become wiser, from those experiences. Life is not simple for most of us and the more we can learn from our experiences, the more we grow. 

Since it’s National Gratitude Month, let’s all play the “What am I grateful for?” game. I’m always grateful for my two beautiful children, my lovely home here in the paradise that is the Berkshires, and my family and friends. Those are easy and make the top of my gratitude list every time. Then I keep thinking about my life and come up with lots more to be grateful about, including at least one difficult lesson. Here’s some of what I’m grateful for today:

  1. I am grateful for all of my coaching clients and students
  2. My many, many teachers that have shared their knowledge with me
  3. Mother Nature’s beauty
  4. Excellent health
  5. Zoom meetings that have allowed me to continue to teach during COVID
  6. Facetime, which I use to talk with my daughter in Oregon and see her pretty face
  7. My lovely Prius which is fun to drive and gets 50 mph
  8. Working in my vegetable and flower gardens
  9. Eating healthy, natural, or organic foods
  10. The death of my brother and best friend in Viet Nam

Seemingly odd, I am grateful for the many lessons that came from that last one:

  • Although it took years, I learned how to grieve, which makes me understand others going through the grieving process.
  • I (and many of my classmates) learned that war is real, terrible, and should ALWAYS be the very last option, which has made me vote for candidates who will not lead us blindly into war again.
  • I learned that forgiveness (in my case of the Marine Corps) is the only way to achieve peace of mind.
  • And many other important life lessons.

Make your own list now. Include one thing that was difficult and write down the lessons learned, or do a forgiveness ritual of your own and achieve more peace of mind. Let me know if you need help with the ritual.

Right here and now, with this epidemic building again, is the best time to take care of ourselves. Use your gratitude journal, make peace with your past, and find as much joy in the daily life around you as possible. Do what you can for your own peace of mind, which will help you live a healthier, less stressful life.

Meanwhile, try this Yogic Breathing Practice to help reduce your stress!

As always, I wish you all the Best of Health,


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