Day 3 of 7: Drawing Gratitude
Today we get grateful for the tough stuff. Oof.
Hey beloved GUT fam.
We are on day 3 of 7 of Drawing Gratitude. If you are just catching up to our week of Gratitude (aka shifting our perspective away from an Either/Or/Deficit mindset and towards to a Both/And/Abundance mindset, you can join us for a reflection and drawing assignment every day for a week anytime.
Heads up: today is a little different, subject wise.
Anyone lucky enough to live through their 20s will agree: we learn the most from our mistakes and tough times. But when we’re in the midst them… whew. Hard times feel like forever, like things will never change. But then… time goes on. And things change. A little at first. Or all at once. And later, when we look back, the experience looks different. It still sucks. But we can also see what came before and what came after. If we are lucky (and work at it) we find things to be grateful. For who it helped us become.
It makes me think of this quote I shared earlier from author and monk David Steindl-Rast, known at the “Grandfather of Gratitude.”
So yeah, finding gratitude - even joy - in hard times. That’ what we’re doing today: getting grateful for the tough stuff.
But first, a poem.
This poem is by the US’s current poet laureate Ada Limon. It’s called “Instructions on Not Giving Up”.
More than the fuchsia funnels breaking out
of the crabapple tree, more than the neighbor’s
almost obscene display of cherry limbs shoving
their cotton candy-colored blossoms to the slate
sky of Spring rains, it’s the greening of the trees
that really gets to me. When all the shock of white
and taffy, the world’s baubles and trinkets, leave
the pavement strewn with the confetti of aftermath,
the leaves come. Patient, plodding, a green skin
growing over whatever winter did to us, a return
to the strange idea of continuous living despite
the mess of us, the hurt, the empty. Fine then,
I’ll take it, the tree seems to say, a new slick leaf
unfurling like a fist to an open palm, I’ll take it all.
What I love about his poem is how Ada brings us into a present moment of explosive joy and beauty by painting so vividly with her words (much like how you called on your senses to draw your first two assignments.) And then come the other seasons, when the tree loses its hues (you can imagine it brittle and barren) and then becomes a green tree again. “A return to the strange idea of continuous living despite the mess in us, the hurt, the empty.” This is a poem about resilience. About life’s different seasons. And how if we keep our eyes open and pay attention, we learn so much from each of them. 1
Okay, now onto our drawing prompt for the day. I can’t wait to see what you all create and share. <3
Day 3 Assignment: Gratitude for the Tough Stuff
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