Gratitude IV

Spiritual Boot Camp
James Dempsey
Attitude of Gratitude

2016 has been a wild ride so far for many of us.  It is as if each one of us has been on an endless roller coaster with a spin cycle added to make it even more perilous at times.  For many of us it has not been much fun at all.  Time seems to be speeding up, sometimes almost to a fever pitch.  The lows have been frequent and long, and the highs have been filled much more with anxiety than with exhilaration.

The cosmos has been incredibly active this year with solar flares, magnetic storms, and rare astrological occurrences.  The entire planet is in the middle of getting a GIANT energetic upgrade, and for many of us it can really hurt.  Sensitive folks are really feeling the effects of this upgrade and it makes for a rough time.  Many people are having psychic openings for the first time in their lives and it can be very confusing and irritating.

The energies are bringing up a lot of stuff from our personal and collective past.  Some of the symptoms many of us are feeling are similar, although each being on their own roller coaster, these symptoms don’t always sync up with others.  These symptoms include high anxiety combined with exhaustion, irritability, rage, anger and grief.  It is as if the universe is vibrating each one of us down to a cellular level, kind of like a cosmic fracking or something.  And there is nothing fun about it.

Why am I feeling all this anger?? Why do my co-workers suck so bad this week?? I am so exhausted all the time and I can’t even sleep for all the anxiety I feel!! I’ve been sad for 3 days and I have no idea why.  My fingers are bleeding I have been chewing on them so much.  These are all things I have heard many different people say, over and over so far this year.   Sounds pretty bleak doesn’t it??

Here is the rub.  I have been telling folks that they should be grateful for all this.  GRATEFUL??  They scoff, I feel like crap all the time.  I should be feeling grateful for that??


We are in the middle of a giant awakening.  These feelings coming up are not just a trial, they are an opportunity.  The feelings of rage, anger, anxiety, and irritability that are coming up continually this year are indeed a wonderful opportunity.  We must be prepared to dump all the garbage before we go to light speed.  If we can examine these incidences of rage, anger etc.  that are popping up for us, we have an opportunity to let them go.  It’s all a matter of choosing.  It’s all a matter of looking at our current personal and collective state from a different perspective and actually doing something about it.  Our fears are coming up so that we can actually examine them and release them. 

So the regret parade in my head between 3 and 4 am every morning this week is an opportunity??  Absolutely.  Its shadow work, I say.  Every instance of regret you are probably feeling is a chance to forgive someone, either somebody else, or yourself, or both.  Many of the regrets people are feeling are long buried hurts that are coming out of the shadows to be examined, released, and transformed.  It’s like “Spiritual Boot Camp.”

Anyone who has ever been through boot camp most likely doesn’t have very fond memories about it.  But at the end of it, they were a new person.  They were probably in the best shape of their lives, and they had very likely found new reserves within themselves they never knew they had before.  They learned how to react quickly to changing conditions, how to make better decisions, and that they could work effectively as a part of a team.  Maybe some folks also found they had leadership abilities.  They were transformed into a “Lean, Mean, Fighting Machine.”

The spiritual boot camp we are going through is tough on everyone.  Look around you.  See all the shadow work going on in the world??  The political landscape out there looks like the Western Front.  Right here in the US our collective shadow is coming up big time.  Racism, xenophobia, anger at the government, anger at the uncaring corporatocracy are all jumping out of the shadows to be examined, and hopefully, transformed. 

Channeled properly, all of this shadow work can be an impetus for positive change.  If we are grateful for the opportunity these shadows present us, we are more likely to transform our feelings mindfully and peacefully, rather than lash out with rage and destruction.

Many of us that realize we are in an awakening process are doing the work on ourselves, and some are even helping others to work on themselves.  Maybe releasing some of the old hurts and regrets, maybe planting their own non GMO food, maybe organizing a drum circle, or a healing circle.

An attitude of gratitude has certainly helped me during some of my darkest shadow work this year so far, and I know that it has been helping others too.  Making a short gratitude list can change your brain’s chemistry very very quickly and that is an important tool when you are feeling cranky, and irritable.  Sometimes it is hard to pick up that tool in the moment when your co-worker is chewing you out over something that may even be their fault, but I have found that when I do remember to be grateful, I can get nearly instant relief.

Spiritual Boot Camp can seem to be endless and shadow work is often like trying to clean up a toxic waste dump.  But Gratitude is, without a doubt, one of the best industrial strength cleaners there is.