July 22, 2012 § 6 Comments
365 days of appreciation…
Feeling: Well… How to put into words? I am… incredibly, tremendously Grateful.
I have had a lot of time to think about this day. I just can’t believe it’s finally here. Every day, for the last 365 – that’s Three hundred and sixty-five – I have counted down to this day. I have counted down to this day because that was the time limit I set myself. 365 days of appreciation. 365 ways to heal a broken heart.
When I started this blog 1 year ago, I was in a very dark and scary place. The 24th of July was a heavy day for me. It was the day I said goodbye to my grandfather. And it was also the day I lost the most important person in my life. You could say it was a double whammy. And the closest thing I can relate it to is perhaps that sickening, heart-dropping, head-piercing feeling you get when you trip up and fall over. Except imagine that once you get back on your feet and are just dusting yourself off… just as you start to take a full deep breath, it gets stuck in your throat as you, panic-stricken, realize you have not watched where you are going and now you have stepped into a manhole… And now you are falling. Longer this time. Deeper. Absolutely paralyzed with fear. And that feeling of falling? Imagine it doesn’t go away.
It’s like that.
So how on earth you start purchasing domains, setting up an account and start blogging in the midst of all that… I still have no idea. And I do not take credit for it. Because it wasn’t me. I look back on those first few days, those first couple of weeks and it’s all a blur. But what I can remember is the feeling of wings that were not my own, and the sudden presence of someone – something – that was above and beyond me. There were suddenly two heartbeats – one nervous, one strong. Two voices inside my head. And in the midst of what was a deafening, clamoring noise, I remember one crystal clear and liquid thought that seeped into my brain: “There has GOT to be something worth living for. There’s gotta be more to life than this heartache.” Because it was heartache. Everywhere I looked there was heartache, and not just my own. My grandfather, The Don of our family, was dying. My family – my mom, my dad, my sister, my aunts, my uncles, my cousins… – was experiencing one mammoth, collective heartbreak. My closest friends – also, experiencing their own versions of heartbreak. At work, heartbreak. At home, heartbreak. Everywhere, everywhere heartbreak. The feeling was inescapable, from the centre of my chest to every support circle I would normally turn to. It seemed a game of Pass the Parcel was in play, where only broken hearts were invited. And it was devastating.
But there it was – that voice inside my head saying, “There is more to life… I promise you, there is more to life.”
And so I blogged. I blogged and I blogged and I blogged. Every hour, every day, waiting for that moment. That one, precious moment that would prove to me that “Yes, there is more to life.” And as soon as it arrived, boy did I cry. I cried inside because I felt defeated. And I laughed and cried out loud because I was triumphant. The broken heart hated the precious moments, because every time I was grateful, it made the feeling in my chest seem petty and no longer necessary, like a small child throwing a tantrum, forgetting why he / she was crying in the first place.
But this isn’t a blog about heartache. This is a blog about Love… and Gratitude. But I felt I couldn’t really explain both without first giving it some context.
You see, believe it or not, Love has been the underlying thread behind every single one of these blog posts. I may not have mentioned it, or always tagged it, but it was always there. Silent. Patient. Present. It exists in every single one of these pages, representing every single day of the last year. It is in every letter, every page, every word. It fills all the blank spaces in between and has been the glue tying this whole thing together all this time.
I have never entered the blog title for a post – “Day XXX: …” – without acknowledging its significance. 100 days of appreciation… 200 days of appreciation… 300 days of appreciation… Also meant 100 days of healing… 200 days of healing… 300 days of healing…
This has been both liberating and scary at the same time. But slowly and surely, more liberating than scary.
For me, Love has always inspired. Even in its absence. It’s like cutting a circle out of a blank sheet of paper. First you call it a “circle”. Then there is a “hole”. But the shape never changes. It’s just in a different form.
A few years ago I started writing a book about soulmates – what they were, where they come from, how we recognize them. You know what kind of person writes about soulmates? The kind of person who believes they’ve met their own. So what happens when, in real life, things don’t turn out the way you think? This is a question I’ve been asked on a few occasions over the last few months. And my answer has never changed: Things might not have panned out the way I thought they would. But that doesn’t mean it was never meant to be. The only thing that’s changed, is the length of time I thought it would last.
They say Love is supposed to bring you closer to God – whatever it is you call God. It’s supposed to show you the deepest recesses of your soul, so you recognize who and what you really are. And inspire you to be the very best you can be.
When I say I am grateful for Love, I mean it from the bottom of my heart. Because I was lucky enough to have it. Because I was lucky enough to feel it. Because it really was an amazing time in my life. And because I believe I’m a better person because of it. Love inspired me enough to investigate its root cause. And that led me on a path of spirituality. And for that, I am eternally grateful. How could I not be?
Do I wish things were different? Sometimes. Or at least I used to. But I realize now that doesn’t matter and is beside the point. Falling in and out of love is a test. And it will keep on happening until you’ve learned your lesson. What lesson is that? I believe it’s a question of where you put your faith.
Place your faith outside, in people and in things, and chances are you will get disappointed. Because these are inconsistent, imperfect and transient when we expect them to be consistent, perfect and still.
Search inside yourself and trust, first and foremost, That which exists in the innermost chambers of your heart – and you will always find peace. Why? Because once you realize Home really is where the heart is, there is an overwhelming relief that washes over you. Because you realize that will always be a part of you – inside of you. And nothing can ever take that away.
This doesn’t mean you will never experience a sad moment in your life again. It doesn’t mean you will never feel anger or upset or frustration. But what it does mean is that no matter what happens, you know you will always be okay. Because Home is a place you now recognize. And all you have to do is close your eyes.
On Day 300, my colleague asked me if I was serious. Could I honestly say I’ve been happy and grateful every single day for the last year? I said, on the whole? Yes, I really can. Am I saying every day was perfect and rosy and that I was happy every single second of every single day? No, of course not. That’s unnatural and insane to think people live – or should live – that way. Because unless you are in a constant state of meditation, there’s a thousand thoughts and feelings we experience at any given second on any given day. Happiness is but one of many feelings on the emotional spectrum. It is one type of feeling, and there are many different kinds of feelings. The beauty of gratitude, however, is that it is a feeling of contentment that underlies all other emotions, and exist regardless of the shallower, temperamental feelings up top. It is the soft and softly ruffled sand bed that allows you to stay calm and composed underneath a tumultuous wave. And the rock that stays polished, heavy and still while rivers rage over it. This feeling can make you feel happy. But it is not happiness per se. Gratitude is finding peace in what you already have, whatever the outcome, whatever comes your way. Happiness is the result of a particular outcome, and so can be lost if something doesn’t meet your expectations. Gratitude lasts. It is retrospective and present contentment. Happiness comes and goes. It is concerned with the present and what we expect to happen in the future (continued happiness). If we lose the thing that makes us happy, we can feel sad (negative reaction). OR we can feel sad but be grateful for everything that’s happened so far anyway (positive reaction). That’s why I believe there is a distinction between feeling grateful and feeling happy. You can be sad and grateful at the same time. But you can’t be happy and sad at the same time…
Gratitude is the positive bolt-on to every other emotion. It gives feelings with a more ‘negative’ reaction (sadness, anger, hurt, frustration) a positive spin. And it magnifies ‘positive’ feelings (happiness, joy, excitement) and makes them 10x better.
So be grateful. And always pursue the path that enables you to practice grace, humility, strength, hope… and trust. When you start to feel reckless, self-righteous, weak, ugly and worthless inside… you know it’s time to let things go. Because these are the devils that would love to see you reach anything but your full potential.
I cannot begin to express how this blog has changed my life and helped me through a very very difficult time in my life. Honestly, if you want to learn more about yourself and what it is that truly makes you happy, find out what it is that makes you feel grateful, on a day to day, week to week, month to month basis. This is soul food, and the combination of these things form a recipe uniquely and especially made to nourish YOU. And you grow because of it.
For me, apparently Dharma Mittra + Family + Food + Friends + Futureplanning + Health + Home + Inspiration + London + Music + Travelling + Work + Yoga are the major contributors towards my Bliss. These are the major things that have healed me. And these are the major things that make me happy.
It’s interesting, huh? “Family, Food, Friends, Health, Home…” Looks like all the sages and guidebooks weren’t lying after all. Now I know for a fact, after a year of constant practice and recording of my own experiences, that these really are sources of joy, contentment and happiness.
And how wonderful it is to know.
This has been an incredible journey. And I guess I just wanted to say thank you for listening and to anyone that might have stopped by here at some point over the last year. Thank you for putting up with my constant updates on Facebook. Thank you for your patience. Thank you for your understanding. Thank you for your never ending support and words of encouragement. Thank you for just being there, adding to the rich tapestry of my life.
I am forever grateful.
With love and light,
– Kristina Isabel Yniguez Curran, aka “Krissa”. x
Day 362: St Vincent Street, Edinburgh, Survey Monkey, Instagram, The Ritz Hotel and my trip to Jupiter!
July 19, 2012 § Leave a comment
St Vincent Street, hello! Grateful to have arrived safely! / Edinburgh… you got a nice feel about you. Tomorrow, we can play. But today, I must focus. This empire ain’t gonna build itself! =p / Today I am grateful for Instagram. I’m grateful for Instagram because Instagram makes an already awesome day look that. much. cooler! =) / Oh hello quirky little Scottish hotel that couldn’t possibly get any more Scottish! Lol. The Ritz sure is one of a kind! =p I could get used to this… / Today I’m grateful for Survey Monkey. I mean, we spent enough time together this afternoon! =/ =p But, to be fair. It could have been worse. This is actually a great app… / Had the most amazing dream last night. Had only 3 hrs sleep but in that time I was up in the stars, staring at Jupiter… 🙂 Felt like home.
This was the closest picture I could find…
Day 359: Blackmill, Tita Dolly’s Bloom Book, The Owl and Pussycat, Shoreditch House Green Machines, Friends of Friendly Advice and The day Kat tried to trick me into sticking tampons in our fridge…
July 16, 2012 § Leave a comment
Blackmill – ohhhh I love that I found you today!! So beautiful I took 20 minutes out of my day to just listen, lie in bed and just… be… Mmmm grateful!! =) / Tita Dolly, yesterday I found a book on Indian Wisdom that my mom gave me when I graduated. Today, I found this book from you. And this time I actually read the whole thing from beginning to end… My favourite? “If you want change, begin it. If you want love, give it. If you want hope, embody it. Start immediately and do it flamboyantly. Once you’ve begun, don’t turn back. Change and growth can be painful and challenging at times, but as Lauren Bond said, ‘Every flower has to go through a lot of dirt.’ Life is about choices, growth and taking chances. It is about pushing through and moving forward. It is about loving courageously and not holding back. It is about finding a brighter, better way. You owe it to yourself and to the world to make the most out of the stuff that’s in you. Bloom into your incredibly, gloriously, brilliantly beautiful self. The world is waiting…” This was the passage on the very first page and is the reason I dropped what I was doing to sit on the floor this afternoon and just read the whole thing. If you are reading this, I wanted you to know that this put a smile on my face and lit a candle in my heart. And I’m glad it took me this long to find this book again, because it couldn’t have come at a better time. Thank you and with love always, I hope you are well… – krissa x / The Owl and Pussycat – cute little pub and great place to start the evening for some #futureplanning. Thanks for the drinks MS! (Even if I did get them wrong!!) / Kat, thanks so much for taking the time out tonight to have a chat. Know you’ve had a long day! But much appreciated! =) / These Green Machine smoothies at Shoreditch House… Oh my YUM! / Tonight, Kat tried to trick me into putting tampons into the fridge. I… yea. I dunno. I’m… grateful? =P yea, nice one FUNNY GUY! x
Day 357: Dharma Thai Workshop, The Art of War, Witnessing Mo Farah beat The Cube, Vita Coco and Gange-a-Midi…
July 14, 2012 § Leave a comment
The formula for a perfect, balanced, chilled-out Saturday is pretty simple: Embrace the summer monsoon with this Gange-a-Midi track. / Practice 90 mins of yoga with Jessica, followed by 90 mins of Thai massage basics with Rob and Casi. / Purchase 1 serving of cold, refrigerated Vita Coco and thank god you finally love coconut water and thus, feel normal. / Come up to the Stricklands, home away from home away from home… / Show Gracie some tricks of the trade… I have to say, it is friggin awesome and inspiring seeing a 7-yr-old do half of the Dharma II stuff I would normally teach in class! Crow to headstand included! Honestly, if I’d started this young… … I would’ve probably been taken off the planet by now. / Witnessing Mo Farah beat The Cube… WITH 6 LIVES LEFT! What a legend. Really, truly, made of gold! / Master Sun said: ‘Know the enemy, Know yourself, And victory Is never in doubt, Not in a hundred battles.’ He who knows self But not the enemy Will suffer one defeat For every victory. He who knows Neither self Nor enemy Will fail In every battle. – #futureplanning – comp analysis. Status: complete. Sweet. =)
Day 356: Ash’s birthday celebrations, Carnaby Street and The moment your room becomes your mood board…
July 13, 2012 § Leave a comment
The moment your room becomes your mood board… Grateful! – Grateful for the cellotape. Grateful for the blank white walls. Grateful for the reminders. This is how. And this is why. / Carnaby Street – I love you more and more. You’re like my spiritual candy shop. =) / Ash – happy belated birthday celebrations! I love my new necklace! Hahaha. Very classy. Tell Josh he did well =p Hope you had a good rest of the night buddy. See you at The Force soon 😉 xxx Love x
Day 353: Lianne La Havas, Ziggy Marley, This reggae version of Katy Perry, Ashtanga with Sophie, These reminders, The day I receive my Yoga Alliance certification and The day #futureplanning is officially incorporated…
July 10, 2012 § Leave a comment
Surprisingly, quite a lot to be grateful for today! 😉 Here we go: Today, grateful I managed to catch Lianne La Havas‘ interview on BBC Breakfast. This chic is awesome. / Think Jamaica. Hear Jamaica. Do Jamaica in our meeting room all day. Awesome. I love working in here! / Especially when I’ve got Ziggy Marley singing about yoga, and Perfect singing about gangja with their reggae version of Katy Perry, blasting all day =D C-h-i-l-l-e-d… is what I am. / Ashtanga class with Sophie and learning to drop back and lift up completely evenly for a change, no hands and all on the breath. Awesome! / Today, is a very special day. And it wasn’t even meant to be. Or at least, I had no idea it would turn out this way. But remember this day. Because today, two very special things happened: 1) I got my official Yoga Alliance RYT 200 accreditation. 2) I found out #futureplanning has been officially incorporated. =D / It all just goes to show that 1) When you do work that matters 2) Gain a bit of perspective; and 3) Let yourself be silently drawn by what it is you truly, really love… everything really does just fall into place. / This really is a wonderful day. Because once again, I have witnessed how quickly and generously the universe gives, when you stop resisting and let your desires align with all you’re meant to be and become. I am so, so grateful…
Day 346: Mom’s Gratitude article, A walk through Finsbury Park, Being able to see these purple flowers, This picture of Sue, My local Superdrug and Pretending a country is my client…
July 3, 2012 § Leave a comment
“To say we feel grateful is not to say that everything in our lives is necessarily great. It just means we are aware of our blessings.” – My mom sent me this article from the Change Blog last week. I didn’t read it right away but I’m glad I saved it for today. Because it couldn’t have come more at a more opportune time. Grateful. / I loved my walk through Finsbury Park today and I really am glad it’s right at my doorstep. That… and Superdrug! Convenience is… well, convenient! =p / These purple flowers… I’m grateful I have eyes – and the time – to notice. As one of my favourite quotes from WH Davies goes, “What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare.” / Sue – lol, thanks for this! Good to see you’re having fun over there! / When you start to think about an entire country as a client… things get interesting =p My brain says thanks for the challenge.