I am currently sitting at a makeshift desk out on my porch. The sun and the summer weather are too beautiful to miss out on. A new album from a favorite artist was released this morning, and the Colorado Avalanche have a chance at winning the Stanley Cup this evening. It is one of those days I am soaking up the gratitude of life and slowing down a bit to enjoy it all. Recently I have found myself steering towards the stress and negative feelings, yet I have been able to recognize this and re-direct. Practice gratitude instead and realize that the things I tend to stress over rarely come to pass. Although this process of re-directing can be tiresome, I can attest it has been getting easier with practice. I finally find myself at a therapeutic dose of my medication and am starting to feel the benefits again. This ability to seek the calm being a significant one. A large part of my perfectionistic tendencies and unrelenting anxiety is the constant need to throw myself into work or anything that makes me feel accomplished and worthy. I have been able to fight this urge more in this season of life and it is a breath of fresh air. I am learning to sit with myself and let those urges dissipate. I am learning the significance of choosing to be rather than do. We exist in a chaotic space and I have the choice to nurture the chaos or shield myself from it. I also hope to take this practice into future seasons of depression. During a depression I am still constantly plagued by the urge to accomplish yet I am frozen, making the thoughts more torturous. With the practice of acceptance and meeting myself where I am in the present I hope to relieve some of that pressure. It is easier to tackle the waves when you ride them and don’t fight them. I know it is cliche but it is cliche because it is the truth. Riding the waves allows you to swim longer. Take some time today, whether it is through meditation or enjoying the outdoors or listening to music (or whatever speaks to you), to slow down and enjoy your day. What are you grateful for? What is making you smile? If you are coming up blank, start small and realize I too have many days where smiling feels like an insurmountable task. On those days I look back and am grateful for the days like this. Continue to have hope. Continue to press on. I want nothing more than everyone to feel the peace that a calm day can bring.