When I woke up this morning to the sound of Robert Benson reciting "Morning Prayer,"
I immediately gave thanks for the fact that we haven't lost power.
I am also thankful -
* that Daniel and I were able to get back and forth to the supermarket and gas station safely yesterday morning before the worst of the storm hit our area
* that there was still so much food available at the market
* that we were able to get what we needed and a few things we wanted...
* for the food I was able to prepare in anticipation of the storm
* for the fact that my daughter is safe and warm at college and surrounded by new friends and caring professors
* for the fact that far fewer people have lost power than was expected
* that I didn't have any urgent plans or appointments this week. I was planning to have a girls' night out tonight with Heather, but we will reschedule that for next week... which is closer to her birthday anyway
* that warm temperatures will arrive within the next day or two so that some of this snow and ice will melt forthwith
* for the beauty of the earth, the trees, the bushes, and the snow
* that we live here in the South where these kinds of snow events are rare and don't last long
* for green tea lattes with coconut milk
* for black bean and quinoa stew made in the crockpot
* for pizza made with hummus, salsa, spinach, olive oil, and sea salt
* for fresh juices and green smoothies
* for Trader Joe's dark chocolate and nutty bits
* for clean, fresh water to drink and shower in
* for clementines from Spain, the place I love best in the world
* for Shiva Rea yoga dvds
* for the public library from which those dvds were borrowed - along with piles of books on sewing and also books I use for homeschooling
* for the lessons that I have been learning lately. For example, I am learning to be less judgmental of other people and their choices. I am learning to stop myself when I begin to compare my life, my husband, my children, our finances, our home, my body, to name a few things, to other people. I am learning to say, "No" when I mean "no," and "yes" when I mean "yes." I am releasing the tendency to try to be perfect in every area of my life, to be "good" all the time (I'm not even sure what that means most of the time, but I try to "be good" anyway), and to always find ways to be better than other people. Again, I must confess that I have no idea what "being better" means, but those words have echoed through my mind for decades. Lately, I have been able to catch myself as I enter the comparison trap and instead I am beginning to compliment others on their achievements and successes without jealousy or one-upmanship. That comparison/jealousy/perfectionism pattern wounds the soul, the mind, the emotions, and also relationships. It is time for healing from those wounds and for choosing new ways to live and think and be on this life journey of mine.
* that I am less resistant to those changes than I was six years, six months, even six weeks ago
* for the peace, the contentment, the hope, and the joy that increase when the judgment, the envy, the pride, and the constant inner chatter are decreased
* that tomorrow is Valentine's Day, a day to celebrate love
* that we haven't bought each other anything - cuz love has nothing to do with getting more stuff
* for the paper and stickers and pens I already have that can be turned into cards and love letters - and not only tomorrow, but any day and every day
* for the many family members and friends who have been so loving towards me, especially in the past fourteen months or so
* that it has been over a year since my kanswer journey began
* that I am doing so well, continuing to get better and stronger with each passing week
* for the increasing number of days when I don't think about kanswer constantly
* for Pinterest... where I found the following quotes on gratitude.
- Gratitude is one of the sweet shortcuts to finding peace of mind and happiness inside. No matter what is going on outside of us, there's always something we could be grateful for.
- Be thankful for all the difficult people in your life and learn from them. They have shown you exactly who you do not want to be.
- If we do not feel grateful for what we already have, what makes us think we'd be happy with more?
- It doesn't matter if the glass is half empty or half full... Be grateful that you have a glass and there is something in it.
- Gratitude turns what we have into enough and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity... It makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.