Sparking My Own Evolution

One word at a time...


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The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars... *************************************** -Jack Kerouac ***************************************


JUNE 30, 2010 11:09AM

A Small Offering (w/ Updates)

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I woke up this morning  with my mind racing with a whirlwind of 'to do's' and 'what have you's' beating on my psyche.  Thoughts of peace, let alone gratitude, alluded me.  There is a lot on my plate right now which seems to be the never-ending pace of the last several years.

My seven-almost-eight-year-old was lying next to me.  Her brown hair swirled in ringlets around her sweet, rose-kissed mouth, which she paid no-nevermind to as she slept peacefully.  She must've crawled into bed at some point last night looking for a cozy place of comfort.  I breathed in the knowledge that I am that cozy place.

That is where I started my shift...

Over the years I have engaged (and forgotten) many practices which have helped my heart find its balance point amidst the fray of life.   This morning the act of making a gratitude list trickled to the top.  Mentally, I began my list with the knowledge that I am my daughter's first thought of comfort.  I got up and made tea - more gratitude - I have tea and honey and cream today.  When I sat down to meditate, I knew there was someone out there suffering physically and I sent prayers of love and light to him and his family through the art of Jin Shin; another piece of gratitude, I know how to do this.  

Soon, you all, Open Salon came to mind and here I am.  

I used to write my gratitude lists down every day, at one point I was part of an online group which shared there lists with each other (which helped me start the discipline).  Another way I challenged myself to prepare soulfully for my day was through 'morning pages', which is something I learned from taking an Artist's Way workshop.  Lately, meditation has been my grounding point after I wake from slumber - even if it is only five minutes - I still make an effort.

Life has been difficult lately.  I know I am not alone in this, economic indicators like the length of the line at the food bank make this abundantly clear to me, but I easily forget this sometimes.   I find solace in the fact that I am not the only forgetter out there.  It goes without saying, it is much easier to find gratitude in the good times than the hard times.  However, when I look, it is amazing just how much I have to be grateful for.  Starting my day on that note somehow transforms my racing thoughts into a hopeful stepping stone to launch my day from.

Here is the start of my list today:

  • The art of Jin Shin Jyutsu
  • Open Salon
  • My cold has mostly passed
  • I am fed, housed, and clothed today
  • There are healers all around me
  • I don't live in Far East Russia
  • Meditation
  • My husband and I have our 10 year anniversary this month and that we've made it this far together
  • Birds
  • Drawings from my daughter
  • Blessing others
  • A new pencil sharpener
  • Torman's horse video I got to share with my daughter (which she helped name)
  • Notes from friends
  • A sunny morning which has been hard to come by this spring/summer in Seattle
  • Starting my day like this... 

10:15 a.m. Pacific Time Gratitude Update:

  • When I catch my husband wearing his read and blue striped underwear which remind me of Dr. Seuss' a Cat in the Hat for some darn reason 
  • Watching Torman's dog pack video which really made my morning bright!
  • Catching up on some OS reading
  • Seeing so many faces that make me smile
  • All of your nice comments
  • Sneezing uncontrollably about seven times in a row - always makes me smile
  • The joy of a new message in my Inbox and the *bink* sound my computer makes
  • All things electronic
  • The above item made me laugh as my mind went to the gutter (even at this early hour)
  • My only plan for today is to take my daughter to spend some of her hard earned allowance which I couldn't afford to pay her but did anyway 
  • A day that is going much better than the last several... 

2:02 p.m. Pacific Time Gratitude Update:

  • My husband getting a picnic together for us all to go and enjoy
  • Spontaneous happenings
  • Wednesdays are our play days, like most people's Saturdays
  • My daughter's friend coming over
  • Walking much better the last two weeks and how quickly I am bouncing back from my latest health setback
  • The people who own the property around us come to groom the fields once or twice a year and are always so polite
  • My poppy red sun dress, even if I have to wear a sweater over it
  • The word 'wonky'
  • That things look up when I choose to see it that way...


Taking action to just put words on the page to a group of lovely people I have come to adore is a start.  The creative juices are not flowing as I would have them lately, but I am still grinding away at life like many of you are.   

I * am * alive. 

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This is great! I need to make a list. Thanks for showing us how. R-
This is a wonderful idea--thanks for sharing it today.
I am alive.
That says it all.
Rated with hugs
"I breathed in the knowledge that I am that cozy place." What a great realization! Oh, that all mama's and papa's knew how to write and live that sentence. I love the grateful list! msp
Amen. It's easier to be grateful in when times are easier, but harder to remember to be grateful . . . how ironic, no? Blessings to you and yours, sparking . . . namaste.
It is so good to start the day with thankfulness and meditation, I find it keeps me focused and sets a tone of good energy for the day.
It's wonderful you are a safe haven for your child, that's so beautiful!
I like that you put Open Salon second. After checking my mail, I always go to OS to find out how my friends are. I'm glad you're doing good!
Sparking, we are feeling the same vibe. I just wrote a post about counting our blessings. Especially in difficult times like these, we can take so much for granted. Thanks for the reminder.
Really lovely, grandkids visiting. Sorry to be gone so long.I am back. This was so lovely..counting our blessings.]\

Ps.. Bear my cat wanted to say hi..he walked across my keyboard.HA!
Dave - oh, you are so welcome. Sometimes just the act of putting words on a page, however they are assembled, makes me smile a little more.

Sophie - you are welcome my friend. I owe you a visit! Sorry, I have been under the weather and just beginning to poke my head out!

Linda - hug received and reciprocated!

Kit - I know, huh? Sometimes I get stuck in the 'what I didn't get' and forget to be grateful for the magic that 'what I get to give' is so much more rewarding.

Owl - ironic indeed. Namaste my friend, namaste.

Poppi - It does help a lot, doesn't it? It especially helps after several days of forgetting to be grateful for anything. I think I will add, "when I catch my husband wearing his read and blue striped underwear which remind me of Dr. Seuss' a Cat in the Hat for some darn reason"...

Scanner - just seeing your avatar made me break out into a wild grin. I love you man.

Fay - I am definitely taking a lot for granted lately, which has taken me wildly out of the present. Fear lists help me too - they remind me of what I don't have control of and what I need to 'turn over' for higher guidance as little 'ol me is just sputtering on my own.
You are an excellent cozy spot.
It is an honor to be a part of the OS gang for which you express gratitude. It is hard to remember to not take for granted such things as those on your list and I admire your ability to keep your perspective when times are tough. Here's to better days !
I love when you come up on my feed!!! I am glad you are still hanging tough.
What a great find. I'm so glad I read this this morning. I, too, am in Seattle and wondering when/if summer will get here. Or at least the sun. When I lived in Port Townsend, some years summer never did come. Thanks for the lovely reminders here.
It has been a long run of joys followed by disappointments for me. I do my best to stay as even as I can, so I can weather these storms better, like you have figured out for yourself. So, whenever I find out that a patient has "graduated" or a job is ending, I think... okay, more time for rest, more time for exercise, or writing. Of course, I grumble that I now have to work, again, to find more work. Going to this grateful space allows me to cope. thanks for the reflection.
What a wonderful list. It made me feel grateful. rated!
Yay! a positive post! someone willing to be grateful...whew...thanks for this ---
Isn't tea with cream and honey the best??
So good to see you here my friend. I absolutely loved this line:
"I breathed in the knowledge that I am that cozy place."
I can just picture little sunshine...Look forward to seeing you soon.
This post is just right...
I too am grateful when I remember._r
I cannot tell you how much this reached me this morning. I wake up like that almost every day (including the sleeping child:)), and I have been feeling the same lack of peace lately. I am committed to going to my meditation class tonight to get back on track. And gratitude lists are the best. They need to go right next to the "to do " lists.
Cindy - I have been off the ranch, too. I had a cold and got a little down in the smile. Thanks for coming by!

Joe - so are you, my loyal fan.

Rosycheeks - An amen and hallelujah!

Hope - I try! Send me an email with what you've been up to. Better yet, I'll send one to you right after this!

Delia - Ah, yes, Port Townsend really is a place where summer is intermittent. Thanks for the perspective!

Oroyoki Bowl - I am glad there are others out there finding that space of gratitude to rebalance their lives.

Caroline - Glad you are *feeling* grateful, too!

Just Thinking - yes, yes it is. I used to be a coffee drinker and now tea is the only thing I can handle. But, there is such an art and ceremony to it, I enjoy drinking it much more!

Trilogy - yes, my time with you! Another amazing thing to feel grateful for. Thank you OS and you!

Joan - Ah, yes, remembering!!! ;)

sweetfeet - It helps (and I'm grateful) to know I'm not alone. It is so easy to get wrapped around our own axles, sometimes we need to see others to remember we're not alone. You've done that for me here!

Natalie - Yay and Yay back to you my dear friend!
My first read of the day and boy do I feel lucky. I've been missing you. I love your spirt, Sparking. I want to cuddle with you and that little sunshine bug but you know that.
I'm going to research this meditation thing. I need it, methinks. Sooo good to hear from you! muah, muah, muah.
Thanks for the reminder about counting my blessings. I have gotten out of the habit of doing that. Surrounded by sunshine and green I will start my list for today.
"her hard earned allowance which I couldn't afford to pay her but did anyway "

I know this feeling all too well.

You remind me of all I have to be grateful for. Thank you.
Small Offering? Great Love.
Gratitude listing is a fine way to heal and look for the good in the world. A sunny morning and I am heading for a long bike right along the river. I love being alive and active. Like your routine.
A healing list, Sparking. I like that. Always important to find things to be grateful for, even when other things are not looking too hot.

It's good to see you again.
I've been spending too much psychic energy thinking every silver lining has a dark cloud around it, and our NW weather has made that easier. Yours is a more favorable approach.
Enjoy the day.........
I loved this and I believe it is a worthy idea. I must discipline myself to this practice, it seems something which might help me. Thanks. R
Amanda - I feel the exact same way when I come to read you!!!

Dave - ah, yes, 'green', I will mentally add that...

Duane! - so great to see you my friend. Ah, someone else who knows the gratitude of giving from empty pockets!

anna1liese - Ahhhh....too kind!

Dr. Spud - oh, how nice. I can always picture your path by the water since your excellent post about the client you had and the bridge. I hope you enjoy the sunshine!

Smithery - it is always a pleasure to hear from you.

alsoknownas - It has been really easy to do that with this weather, hasn't it? I am one who typically isn't bothered by the rain here, but man, it has even worn on me. Here's to us both finding sunshine despite our weather! Always great to hear from you...

Sheila - I am glad you enjoyed it.
I love the idea of a gratitude list. To keep things in perspective.
So nice to always hear from you. In my old age I have begun the ritual of list writing. Also with old age comes remembering the last place you put it. But other than that I hope all is well with you and your family and congratulations on your anniversary. Our best to you the Exasperated's Michelle, Andrea, and Meredith
I love this idea! What a wonderful way to start your day...thankful
I'll start my gratutde list with:
A new post from Sparky! I look for these every day.
You are an inspiration my friend, a real inspiration.
This is a lovely post, Sparking.

When I feel like that I think of a poem called "Living" by Harold Monro. ~~~R
Amazing. "Not living in Far East Russia" and "new pencil sharpener" are on my list too!

Nice post. It reminds me of William F. Buckley Jr's book, "Gratitude," which I highly recommend.

Happy 4th.
thank you. wishing you a month full of gratitude-filled wednesdays.
Wonderful. I'm bookmarking this.
Lucky girl. And the best part is... you know it! Lovely post.
Gratitude list, hmm... Although mindful of an old indian proverb..."Life is not a continuum of pleasant choices, but of inevitable problems that call for strength, determination, and hard work”... The crazaziness of it all, affords too few introspective moments... Amazed at how those precious, gleanable ones bring pause ! The quest for meaning, begin with love and understanding, breath deep my Maslowian friend... RRR