Lessons from Gratitude: Part 1

From Thursday November 30, 2017 through Sunday December 3, 2017 I experienced “Gratitude Training Part 1” in St. Petersburg, Florida. For convenience sake I will call it a seminar in the self-help vein, but it’s more than that. It’s a full training program with three parts, I’ve only experienced Part 1 so far. It came highly recommended to me from my Step Mom Laura, who has since been through the rest of the training parts.

For me Part 1 alone was a lot to take in and I’m still processing some of it. As someone who has been doing a majority of my personal development journey through books, I noticed and felt a difference with experiential learning. For that reminder alone, I am grateful.

I journaled my experience at the end of the weekend. This is part 1 of 3.

I noticed myself getting very frustrated at the beginning of Gratitude Training Part 1. I like to think I learn quickly. You only need to tell me something once, I don’t like things being repeated. I really don’t like people asking dumb questions. It makes me irritable and impatient. During the entire introduction I was thinking “hurry up and get to the point.” I noticed my thinking pretty quickly. I realized this was one of the lessons because it forces you to notice how you “do you.”

We did so many interesting exercises in Gratitude Training Part 1. I feel like I did one of these exercises completely differently than everyone else, which ended up being the case based on my one-on-one conversations as well as the group discussion afterwards. I decided ahead of time that I was going to let my intuition take the wheel, and that’s what I did.

So the old Erin would come up with a plan and execute it, and I did do that. But the new Erin would be willing to trust intuition as opposed to my mind (and my mind’s inclination to base the decision to trust or not on my beliefs or on the physical appearances of others).

It seemed like the point of the exercise is to illustrate how your concepts and beliefs are driving your life and preventing you from being in the moment. But I outsmarted that without even knowing what the point of the exercise was. {Edit: reading this I’m seeing some old Erin’s need to control/need be right in this statement}

This exercise really drove home the point for me how trusting your intuition and being in the moment is the way to go, and that’s already what I was going to do/did. I hope to continue operating that way since the results felt good to me.

In another great exercise I embodied my Mom and then my Dad and tried to illustrate my relationships with them. During this exercise I was flooded with good memories and overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude for each of my parents and what they brought into my life and taught me. My Mom showed me selfless love, patience and dedication. My Dad showed me passion, creativity and authenticity.

From hearing all of the sniffles around the room afterward and during the sharing, it was so clear to me what key, important relationships your mother and father are in who you are as a person. They truly are foundational relationships in life and I really felt the full weight of that through this exercise.

For the first time it made me think about having that relationship from the other side, as a parent rather than as a child. Do I really want to cheat myself out of such an incredibly important relationship in life and forgo the role of mother? I don’t know. That question has never occurred to be before. I need to be with that question.