How is it that some days I can feel so twinkly and some days I feel so not? …Gratitude is how.

Gratitude, in it’s true form, was not instilled in people, like myself, who were raised by rules and straight lines. Instead, things like decorum and etiquette were created, by man, and taught to keep everyone organized and appearing grateful. More than a simple value, Gratitude is a law that emits from nature and flows through the cells. It comes from the lands we live on, the lands we were born on and the lands we are from. (That sure is a lot of lands.) By it’s very nature, Gratitude is always present and, similar to how humans regard Abundance, is available to anyone open to it.

There were a couple of points in my life when Gratitude flowed strong through me. I hadn’t become an adult yet, and the world hadn’t shit on me yet — at least I didn’t notice when it had. I was free-spirited and resilient. This felt like a permanent state of happy in which things always worked out and help was always available. I didn’t really know any different — or perhaps I did, but I forgot about the different. I was fortunate and would consciously stop moments, slow down, take in my surroundings and acknowledge how beautiful my experiences were. From the mountains, to the earth, water, sky, stars, children and families I worked with and the experiences I was living, life just shimmered. When in Gratitude, I was filled and people were drawn to my good vibes. I was in awe of my good vibes for I noticed I was magical and twinkling. I didn’t know what this feeling was or how to call it at the time, but it felt good. I recall falling into bed each night and being pulled to list every single thing in my life that I loved and was thankful for.

Eventually, life shit on me. I continued with my gratitude practices — but they weren’t really working. If anything, gratitude felt more like denial. No, this isn’t going to get better, the knowing part of me said, I need to get out of here! The rest is the story of many. We’ve all been there, are there, are going to be there, or…Bless those twinkly souls who never get shit on (or at least never notice when they do). Back to gratitude…

After many years, I was able to get back on track. I was brought back into flow by a teacher who, no longer in the physical realm, was able to teach me to pray. In that time, another person come forward to teach me about gratitude. I celebrated when I soon found myself sipping tea each day, creating music and dancing. It is the small things that show you the life energy is back in your cells.

Sometimes you leave chaos, but it never really goes away. You are in an environment of chaos. Other times, you can move on and begin the rebuild; but find that life is never the same after trauma or a traumatic event. My situation is the former, but eventually, after each scenario, my head comes up and I realize I made it. I am safe. Gratitude begins to come back online. There is celebration, relief and finally, after such an intense time of focus, I begin my rebuild.

This is the point in recovering from traumatic events when I get lazy. I take a break from life — because I can. I find myself being pulled back into stagnant, lifeless colonial energy. (I have come to refer to this as “turning my white on” or, “rolling with the whitey’s”.) I share that this rolling with the whitey’s is never done without a cost to my Spirit and to those around me. Now to stay on track with the value of gratitude…

I have gotten lazy again. While I don’t have the free-spirited life I had before, nor the same teachers or healthy, safe ceremonies and traditions to Guide me, a friendly nudge has led me back to gratitude — but in it’s true form. This is the gratitude that comes from the lands that I felt many, many years ago… Could it be that the colonial way of life was my traumatic experience all along?

I want to learn to be a better human — this isn’t easy. Coming out of the stagnancy and lifelessness of a colonial system, I don’t feel the gratitude right away but in a very short time I do notice my perspective change and gentle shifts occurring. I continue with what I know by opening up and simply laying at night listing all the things I am thankful for. I feel the growth and expansion which occurs after a reintegration into life. I consciously change my language. I continue to let go of decorum, etiquette and straight lines and welcome in new teachers and experiences. I connect to the lands, nature and gratitude. A twinkle returns to the sleeping parts of me. Fuck, this is huge. Hello, Gratitude. It is nice to see you again.