Practice Gratitude

We can spend our entire lives in scarcity . . . just waiting for for the other shoe to drop and wondering when it will all fall apart. Or, we can lean into the uncertainty and be thankful for what we have in that precious moment. When I’m standing at the crossroads of fear and gratitude, I’ve learned that I must choose vulnerability and practice gratitude if want to know joy. – Brene Brown

I’ll never forget that day. The day the water came through the ceiling. Lots of water. A pipe burst 3 floors above our office. 

All of our carpet – destroyed. The ceilings needed to be redone. The cleanup company installed dryers that sucked moisture from the hardwood floor. They also sucked electricity from the meter. My keyboard was fried. Our brand new office was offline for what now felt like months though if you told me was weeks – I’d believe you.  There was a moment of panic about insurance coverage.

There were other problems too. Ones not for this post. But at the time the water was both real and metaphorical.

My anxiety levels were very high.  I was waiting for something worse to happen.

This is exactly the place many clients find themselves in when they meet me.

Something bad happened. And when something bad happens unexpectedly it makes us very aware that another bad thing can happen unexpectedly. It is a scary place.

For the most part we can deal with problems. We can hold the safety rule violating company responsible for the damages they have caused. Carpet can be replaced as can keyboards.

In some ways the harder part can often be the anxiety.

Lee Rosen has a nice list of things you’ll fear when you open a law practice.

I found Brene Brown somewhere along my journey in the not for the faint of heart world of legal self employment. Brene Brown teaches that in the face of anxiety, scarcity, and fear that gratitude is the key to being joyful.

When I get to work, I try very hard to begin my workday by thinking about what I’m grateful for in my practice. It helps. It really does. If I could go back to the day the water came through the ceiling, I’d tell myself to practice gratitude.

If you come to me with an injury case, don’t be surprised if we talk about Brene Brown. Practicing gratitude may be a piece of your recovery puzzle.