My Transformation Memoir

Being the change I would like to see in the world

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Word of the Year: Appreciation

As I have written in past posts I choose a word a year and examine the role it plays in my life, my thoughts, and emotions for a year. Last year was Resistance and I am so relieved the year was up in October. I picked a tough one but I learned how much resistance plays a role in just about every aspect of my life. I learned I resisted just about everything that showed up. I have come very far with my relationship with resistance but I also learned I have a long way to go. After a year of examination I am exhausted and glad to be moving on. I know I will have to revisit Resistance later on but that being said I had to pick a new word. I decided my new word would be Appreciation.


You would think this would be a much more gentle word to examine and in many ways it is but on the flip side it also offers many challenges that I will have to face this year.Initially I began looking at all the many things I appreciate in my life. In doing so I found I have many things I appreciate but one must go deeper to really peel back the layers.

In my ministry training one of the things we needed to ponder was the complaining we did. There is nothing worse than a person that does nothing but complain but as I sat with that I would catch myself many times complaining about this or that and lo and behold I discovered the unpleasant fact that I too was a complainer. It becomes easier to recognize and discontinue the act of complaining when you must stop and think about what you appreciate about this situation instead. So far that is what I am doing. When I recognize a complaint bubbling up I stop and consider the part of the given situation that I appreciate instead of finishing the complaining thought. Its not always easy especially when you have been groomed to be the ultimate victim. That is literally the only way I knew how to go through life….looking at the victim part of myself instead of the grateful and appreciative part of myself.

I fully believe you can change your life if you merely change your thoughts.So I challenge myself to look at the part I appreciate in everything I do or experience in my life. I stop and consider everything through the lens of appreciation.


Photo by Lisa Day

I have struggled so much over the last few years. Nothing is coming easy. I can pretty much count on everything I do to be the most difficult way possible. Feeling appreciation does not change the fact I must face these challenges but it certainly makes how I “feel” about the challenges much better. I have decided whenever I face these difficulties I can have appreciation for all it is teaching me and I appreciate the feeling I get when I finally achieve something or if it cannot be achieved than I appreciate just having the experience  and feel gratitude that it was probably not something that would have served me very well.


Photo by Lisa Day

Today I am feeling very stuck….as I have been for quite sometime. So I forced myself to find the things I appreciate about the whole thing. In the time that I have felt stuck I have built a house with my husband and it is truly a beautiful house. I resisted the entire experience of building it but now that it is built and I am living in it I really do appreciate it. I appreciate all the windows that let in so much light and sun and allows me to look out and see all the wildlife that comes through in a day. I hate that I do not have any cell reception and very limited internet reception but I am grateful that it is forcing me to find other ways to navigate my life in this technological age. I appreciate all that I have for it is so much more than many people who live on this planet. I wish I had the money to go and stand in solidarity with my fellow water protectors. I wish I had the money to send much needed supplies but I just don’t. I am unemployed right now so it is just not something I can do but I appreciate the power of prayer and the fact that I know that. The other day there was a post on my face book feed that encouraged everyone to go to their nearest body of water and to pray. I had to force myself to do it (when I feel stuck I lose all motivation and energy to do anything) but when I got to the water (the Mancos River in Mancos Colorado) all was quiet. It was just me and the river and it was so beautiful. I poured all my appreciation into the water, I said my prayer and I offered my tears and I felt so positive afterwards. My primal self could feel the water appreciate all the love I poured into it.


Photo by Lisa Day

Right now about the only thing I can do for my loved ones and our Mother Earth and the Water Protectors is prayer but prayer is a powerful medicine and I appreciate that I recognize that.


So I urge all who read this to sit and ponder all the things you appreciate in your life. I bet it will be much more than you even realized.



My Year with Resistance

While riding with my boss at Adopt-a-Native-Elder (ANE) on the Navajo Reservation we passed a big billboard in Chinle, AZ. that showed a woman in a fetal position with the word  Resilience at the top. It was referring to domestic violence as it is a huge problem on the reservation brought on by alcoholism which was ultimately brought about by the fact these amazing people are essentially a conquered people. But that is a whole different topic. My boss said that she began taking a word a year to explore and heal and this year her word was Resilience. She gave me a warning when I exclaimed “What a great idea!” She said she has been doing this for years….each year a different word. The minute she made the decision to work with Resilience her 91 year old mother began to decline and her hip went out. Her mother died in September and she had a hip replacement in November. She has gotten up close and personal with Resilience….mainly her own.

I heard all that. I really did but I could not get past how great it would be to really commit yourself to a word and stick with it for a year. Every time it would come up it would make you aware how much it is in ones life and force you to examine the role it plays in your life. So in my little room at the Chinle Best Western I sat in front of my “Traveling Altar” and I would pray and meditate on what my word could be. Every night for a week I kept coming up with the word Resistance. I kept rejecting it, praying hard for another word. In other words I was resisting Resistance. Once I realized that very notion I knew I had my word. The next morning in my room at Rodeway Inn (by this time we had moved the food run to Winslow where we could deliver in three more areas) my husband called me to tell me we had sold our house but he wasn’t sure when the closing would be. I had to laugh because that was an obvious example of my resistance to something. I had been resisting selling our house we had just restored after 2 years since he mentioned it to me almost a year ago. I was against it but knew it was the best decision we could make. Then I thought about how well the food run was going and smiled because I was Really resisting going on the food run. I was almost a baby about it. It made me ask why? The answer was always fear.

resistance 1

I patted myself on the back while getting ready thinking how much I had already conquered and trotted off to my day thinking this Resistance thing was going to be a piece of cake and it must have shown up to prove to myself what a spiritual master I was. I felt like I was definitely in the Vortex which was such a relief.

My food run went really well…I gained more confidence and strength and wisdom on that trip than I think I ever had in a short amount of time. That was last October. It is now March and I am getting my butt kicked. It feels like I feel resistance to just about everything in my life. NOW I understand why this showed up so strong as the answer to my prayers. This is a huge mountain I have to climb and it is exhausting. Don’t get me wrong…I am profoundly grateful and truly feel as if I am a warrior of light right now but some days I just struggle so bad. It triggers small bouts of depression (something I have had address most of my life). I haven’t had to fight depression for almost a year so I was floored that it was showing up again whenever I noticed resistance in my life. Needless to say I have my hands full.

resistance 2

For now I am sitting with it. This will come up again probably many times until next September when I pick a new word. Have any of you dealt with resistance and if so how does it impact your life?

Walk in Beauty


Other posts I have enjoyed today:

Dealing with My Resistance