“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” — Marcel Proust

I have a dear colleague whose professional life is a stressful whirlwind, sweeping her off her feet daily.  It came with the territory – she’s a first-responder and knew what she was in for.  She has little capacity to direct the flow of her days but still, she summons the energy and finesse to serve others, dutifully, soulfully, even when she has nothing, nada in reserve.  Fumes.  Just fumes.

As our friendship grew, I learned from her and adopted one of her healthiest self-care rituals.  So simple, yet restorative in that it helps me close out one day and settle in for rest, setting the stage for slumber, which is essential for me, one of the chronically sleep-deprived.

What is the wizardry, you wonder, the magic that I commandeered?  Well, it starts with this:  Create a bedtime routine and treat it as sacred, first and foremost.  And then, take the time to consider the day that was — the good, bad, and otherwise.  Especially the bad and the otherwise. I know what you’re thinking!  Whaaaa??? Focus on the negative?  Yes, yes…here’s why!  Lest you give those needling bits their due before you sleep, their end trails may plague you, creating restlessness thanks to the heaviness of unfinished business. 

Those heavy bits? You might see them in your ‘replay reels’, the ‘what ifs’ and the ‘if onlys’ as we consider how we might’ve done better.  Don’t dwell and linger, just acknowledge the pesky vermin by deploying a little imagery…Roses and Thorns.  Those negative nuggets?  Yep. They’re the thorns.

After addressing the thorn-y bits, dismiss them.  In…and out. Maybe your thorns included interactions with insensitive, unkind people.  Maybe you returned fire.  Maybe you wish you hadn’t.  Maybe you overlooked an important task, let someone down.  Maybe you snapped when you shouldn’t have and forgot to apologize.  Whatever the thorn-y array includes, remember that a new day is on the other side of sleep along with fresh and abundant opportunities to improve.  Then you can get to the good stuff…the roses.

For my friend, the ‘roses’ are the wondrous moments, the glimmers of good that punctuate every day.  Even our lousy days.  They’re there – we just need to keep our peepers open.  As a bedtime ritual, I find myself whirring through my highlight reel.  The more I mull over my day, the more I can summon those glistening moments.  And the recall relaxes me, makes me smile.  And, truthfully, some days ARE stinkers and my ‘rose’ recall might be sparse, but I don’t mind.  I don’t need a bouquet.

Which brings me to this.  The quote from Marcel Proust.  “Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”  Oh, indeed.  The past several years have taught me that some of the most powerful and positive “gardeners” in my life are dear friends who lift me up, receive me as I am, join me in the pursuit of better days.  

I can’t think of a better way to sum up the intention of my latest passion project with Wynne Leon and our amazing team at Heart of the Matter.  If you haven’t yet checked out the hub, the community we’re creating, please do.  I can’t wait to see you there as we listen, learn, and lift one another up, heart and soul.

Vicki 😊

Photo by Oscar Gloria on Pexels.com

30 thoughts on “See the Good

  1. I love this idea, real, practical, and incredibly helpful. I’m one of those who tend to be hyper focused on the things that have gone wrong with my day and to replay them over and over. I love the simple rose/thorn idea. Really cool. What was it and move on. And as far as what you’ve created with Wynne, I would describe it as the start of something special. Definitely needed during these crazy times.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Brian! I’m glad it makes sense to you. It really helps me…and I love your thought about good things afoot! Thanks for being a part of that and for sharing yourself. Appreciate you! 😉😉😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, thank God for those “…dear friends who lift me up, receive me as I am, join me in the pursuit of better days.” A beautifully stated post, Vicki! And I loved what you said about acknowledging all parts of your day – even the thorny parts – and why. Lovely all around! 🤍

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I love this! A dear friend’s preschooler brought a similar, nifty thought activity. Tell the class about a thorn (bad thing that happened), a rose (something good that happened), and a bud (something you’re looking forward to). What a great way to welcome and explore ALL emotions and experiences. Oh, and I fully agree with Brian that the Heart of the Matter is truly start of something special. I can’t wait to see where it takes us! 💕

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, good golly! I hadn’t heard about the ‘buds’. That’s fabulous…. something new to add to my bedtime meditative moments. So good…some things in life ARE just buds and need positivity and nurturing. As always, we learn the most from the littlest ones, right? Thanks, Erin! xoxoxo! 💕💕💕

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Is it possible for someone creative to invent a reliable off switch so the concept of view and acknowledge the negative comes and goes? I would be so grateful if anyone could whip that up right away. I get so caught up in negatives (like the mulling I am focused on over a recent dental related issue) that my brain won’t shut down. It was 1AM this morning before I could begin to shut the chaos off. That all being said by someone (me) who knows and has taught some helpful relaxation and calming techniques yet cannot conquer my own head! Thank you Vicki!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m smiling, Deb –not because of your dental issue — goodness — hope you’re not in any pain – but because we could’ve been up chatting overnight. 😉 This whole “can’t shut down the brain” thing is a son-of-a-gun, isn’t it? And you’re right…just because we know stuff and have taught it to others doesn’t make it easier. Wowzers. Work in progress = me. Sending hugs to you! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for the empathy Vicki! I second the work in progress label- strongly, and no the dental thing is more about ethics and my trying to get facts straight before I say things I shouldn’t. Future blog perhaps…

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Never one to cast shade on the power of positives over negative and as much as I love the idea of this bedtime ritual with the examples given, I’m not sure I’m ready to start a relaxing night reliving some of the hellish moments I’ve recently had to drag myself though. Perhaps a caveat: review and then set aside for good those minor thorny issues of the day, but stay clear of the guy with the weed whacker heading for the rose garden. It may be just a temporary fix to avoid the true life disruptions this way but if it gets me 8 hours of restful sleep even knowing tomorrow I must address them again, I’m willing to let them go for a night.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohhh…what a great point you make, Michael. Thanks for that. The imagery of a crazy person with a weed whacker conveys a lot! Yep — what you shared about ‘letting go’ makes so much sense, especially letting go of hellish moments. Appreciate you and your comment, friend! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Just so you know I don’t let go of everything like that. I like the idea of taking stock at night and dealing with the little problems first. I am going to give that a whirl and see what it does for me!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, I love this. It’s written beautifully, of course (I’m still laughing about returning fire). But more than that, it’s a routine that I need to adopt.

    And I’ve started asking Miss O how she helped at the end of the day (per your story about Lisa) but this makes me think I also need to help her create a routine with the thorns too. Wouldn’t that be amazing to start with this young? Oh the years of sleep I could have saved.

    And thank you for the shoutout. I love our new project – it is so exciting, energizing and full of promise!! So grateful for you!! ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Wynne. And yes…funny you’d zero in on the mention of “returning fire”…a very real and true, true, true confession on my part. But I’m working on it! 😜 xo! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m pleased that Heart of the Matter is taking off. I’m sorry I couldn’t join in, but wish you all the best with it. I try to approach my days with a grateful mindset, even when there are thorns. And messes everywhere I turn. Perhaps the trick is to re-write the narrative in my mind so that the thorns and messes are merely plot twists!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Ally. No matter how we get our ‘Ally-goodness’ we’ll take it — and I’m not surprised to hear that you try to navigate with a grateful mindset. I love your thought about ‘plot twists’…oh, that’s so perfect! And…I know I’m not just speaking for myself when I share how much your ‘lead by example’ has meant to many. Your Ally wisdom with a dash of humor and flapdoodle (did I get that right?) sets the bar very high here in the blogging world. xo! 🤍


  9. I don’t know if anyone knows or cares, but a review of the day before going to sleep is known to be an important spiritual ritual. So, not only do you get to transmute a bad day into a better one in your mind, you also take yourself one tiny step closer to heaven! Can’t argue with that, right?

    Liked by 1 person

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