#334 The Nagging Psychic

A friend suggested I should describe myself this way: “Jett Sophia, the Nagging Psychic. She’s on your side.” 🤗

Owning that moniker, I’m here to nag a bit: Are you practicing gratitude?

Specifically, what are your gratitude practices? What are you actually doing to practice gratitude every day?

The Live Oak trees, beautiful and majestic shade givers that they are, are shedding pollen right now. That pollen is hard on me, so I don’t go out much. Since my primary gratitude practice happens in my car, I need to develop some new practices.  https://www.jettsophia.com/259-gratitude/

I imagine some others of you are looking for ideas, too.

Suggestions, please. Let us know. We can all learn from each other.

#333 Practice, practice, practice

Actively practice gratitude. Every day. Practice gratitude every time you get in your car; every time you get out of your car. Find other things during your day that will remind you to feel gratitude — when you eat, when you go to the bathroom, when you go to bed. Be diligent. Be deliberate. Be intentional. Make it your primary spiritual practice.

Then actively practice being vulnerable. Use the practice I’ve taught you called “walking with your organs exposed.” Recognize when you’re being controlling, and let it go. Recognize when you’re being judgmental, and let it go. Soften. Be openhearted. Trust yourself.

Then welcome joy (or begin to recognize how you protect against it). Let yourself sink into it wherever and whenever you find it.

Notice all the ways that you defend and protect yourself. Let them go.

Like playing the piano, you only get good at these things if you practice them daily, diligently.

Tie a string around your finger to remind yourself. Copy this newsletter and tape it to your mirror, to the dashboard in your car, to your computer, to your phone. Put it in your purse. Put it in your billfold. Put it in your shopping bag. Put it under your pillow, under your dinner plate, under your coffee cup, in your refrigerator. Copy this and hand it out to your friends, tell them this is what you’re doing, ask for their support.

Keep a record of your practice. Are you taking the time to really do it? How’s it going? How do you feel? Keep daily notes. Keep a journal. Keep a checklist.

Report back.

Perhaps I’ll send this very newsletter out every week until the end of the year. I truly think it’s that valuable a practice.

I love you. I’ll be doing this with you.

#331 Hug Your Heart Again

It’s been a couple years since I wrote about the Hug Your Heart breath. Here’s what I said in December, 2017:
“I am frequently freaked out about the Republicans. Wise counsel says when that happens, just love them. But I have found myself to be unequal to that task. What to do?
Then I remembered my Hug Your Heart breath. Hugging my heart allows me to take a step back from the fear and frustration. Hugging my heart, I can feel love for all people, and indirectly, as it were, for the Republicans. 
 
Even if there were no white supremacists, no misogynists, no child molesters, this would be a good time to practice the Hug Your Heart breath. Because for many people, the holidays cause their own kinds of frustration and anxiety. 
 
Hug Your Heart!
 
You can find the Hug Your Heart breath described here: https://tenacitynotes.com/2013/01/29/628/  I encourage you to practice it. I find it to be quite helpful.

#330 The Living Spirit of Gratitude

Focus on what pleases you.

Paying attention to what you like is gratitude in action; it is living in gratitude.
Try it right now. Look around you. What do you see that you like? What do you hear, smell, feel that pleases you? Take a breath, take a moment, and savor it.
As the days lengthen, may yours be filled with the living spirit of gratitude. Happy Solstice.

#329 Complaining

Do you ever complain?

About the person who didn’t return your phone call or email? About the long line at the grocery store, or the less than courteous clerk? About the percentage of your monthly income taken up by bills? About the government? About an irritating co-worker or neighbor or relative? About the weather?

Regardless what the complaint is about, you can use it as your ally. Every time you find yourself complaining, either in your head or aloud, take a breath and find your way to gratitude. Think of it this way — hidden within every complaint is your ally, nudging you to feel gratitude.

You might call your ally spirit, or your higher self, or your angel, or the divine, or the universe, or your conscience. It doesn’t matter what you call it, just trust that it’s there — an ally, reminding you to feel gratitude.

So complain as much as you want, but use every incident of complaining as a reminder to feel gratitude.

#328 Cultivate Awe

You can cultivate awe.

How? By noticing. Noticing and not knowing.

Notice the flower in the crack in the concrete. Notice the snow on a green leaf. Notice the flavor and feel of salad. Notice the feel of your lover’s skin. Notice the aroma of whatever you’re cooking.

Sometimes, after I wash the kitchen floor, I pause and notice how nice it looks. And I am filled with awe. Not necessarily about the kitchen floor, although it does look pretty good, but about ME. About being alive, being in life, and not knowing what that means; not knowing what or even if there is a purpose to it all. I am filled with awe at life and the mystery of it.

So begin to cultivate awe. And once you’re cultivating it, you can engage this cycle of awe. Experience awe, and exult; be filled with gratitude, and exult; exult, and experience awe.

#328 Definition of Love

A definition of love, by Brené Brown.

“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known; and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness, and affection.

Love is not something we give or get, it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them. We can only love others as much as we love ourselves.

Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed, and rare.”

#327 Stalk Expectations, Stalk Beliefs

If you’re stalking expectations, here’s a clue — should.

Whenever you catch yourself saying or thinking “should,” it’s likely you’ve encountered an expectation.

He should, she should have, they should, it should, I should have.

When you come across a should, investigate it. Is an expectation lurking there? Not always, but more often than not, you’ll find one.

Should/should have is a good clue when you’re stalking expectations. And it is also a good clue when you’re stalking beliefs.

If you go to https://www.jettsophia.com/signal-fire/, there is a search function. Look up beliefs.

Stalk your expectations. Stalk your beliefs. Free yourself to be yourself!

Eschew Expectations #326

Eschew expectations!

“If you tell someone that you are about to stick their hand into a bucket of scalding water, but instead you plunge the hand into ice water, most people will cry out as if the water was hot.” ~Deepak Chopra

Expectations can mess you up!

Think of a conflict you’ve had. If you look carefully at it, you’ll likely discover that the real cause of your conflict was your expectations. And while you may believe that you’re interacting with another person, you’re actually interacting with your own expectations. In this way, expectations get in the way of solutions.

And they’re everywhere. Our personal reality is built on expectations. Stalk them. Identify them. Make them conscious. Then let them go.

Eschew expectations, and you may be able to build your personal reality on curiosity and appreciation and wonder.