The Kick Inside (or January Gratitude List)

by Dian Reid-Jancic· Follow Dian on

In 2009 I was challenged to create gratitude lists each day leading up to Thanksgiving Day, starting November 11th. Each morning I sat and contemplated what I was grateful for, and voila, the lists were born. I ended up creating 14 lists, each of them 39 strong.

Livin’ with my eyes closed, goin’ day to day
I never knew the difference, I never cared either way
Lookin’ for a reason, searchin’ for a sign
Reachin’ out with both hands, I gotta feel the kick inside

~ Pat Benetar, All Fired Up

The Kick Inside

Sometimes the kick is from a bull named Fear. Sometimes the kick is from a donkey named V8. Sometimes the kick is from a horse named Dian.

As I work through my January Bucket List I’m being mindful of feeling that kick inside, telling me: “Hot damn, Dian, you’ve GOTTA DO THIS!!” If I didn’t feel that kick inside, it didn’t make it onto my list. Likewise, if I don’t feel that kick inside when I’m actually doing what’s on my list, that’s a call to check in with myself and see if it’s really something I want to do.

Ain’t nobody livin’ in a perfect world
Everybody’s out there cryin’ to be heard
Now I got a new fire burnin’ in my eyes
Lightin’ up the darkness, movin’ like a meteorite

~ Pat Benetar, All Fired Up

When I’m attached to the purpose of the things on my list, I’m more likely to stick with it. When I’m attached to the outcome, I’m more likely to waste my time. I’m not giving myself an out or an excuse to continue avoiding doing things; I’m giving myself the grace to make game-time decisions and not stay tied to something that’s clearly not working for me just for the sake of crossing something off my list. I know when I’m being honest with myself; I also know when I’m bullshitting myself and need to stick with it.

The Gratitude List — Part 1

Rather than cram everything into one incomplete or overwhelming list, I’m breaking this up into parts. Who knows how many there’ll be, but here are the first 4 things making it onto my gratitude list this January:

  • Yogi Detox tea.
    • I’m focusing on Clearing in my meditations this week, and this tea is helping me flush the toxins I’ve been clearing out of my body.
  • P90X.
    • The exercise I’ve been doing for the last 60 days has given a tremendous boost to my health. Not only is my body getting the exercise it’s been craving, but I’ve become more conscious of the decisions I make as far as my health and diet are concerned.
  • Moments of Presence.
    • It’s amazing to me how in control of my own presence of mind I am. I can choose to be present or choose to wander aimlessly (or something in between). I find myself being more present in more moments of my day, and for that I’m truly grateful.
  • My Kindle.
    • I contemplated getting an iPad because it’s so much “cooler” than a Kindle. Then I contemplated what I wanted the Kindle for in the first place. And as I read from the soft, soothing, digital screen of my Kindle (nearly) every night, I’m oh-so grateful that I chose the tool that helps me focus solely on reading.

Like the items on my Bucket List, these four things that made it to my Gratitude List have me feeling the kick inside. “Hot damn, Dian, MORE OF THIS!!” I’m through livin’ with my eyes closed. It’s not the new fire burnin’ in my eyes that’s lightin’ up the darkness, movin’ like a meteorite.

It’s me.

Jump to Part 2.

Kick image used under Creative Commons License 2.0, courtesy kaibara87.

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