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
- My husband and I have our 10 year anniversary this month and that we've made it this far together
- 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.