Gratitude, Part II

Hello, again.

Last week, I wrote about my return to gratitude, about being challenged to name 3 things each day that I am grateful for.

The challenge is complete, and it was a delicious one. So delicious, in fact, that I plan to keep it up privately now that I’ve done it publicly for a week.

I’m rather delighted with the beauty of this gratitude practice, and I so enjoyed hearing the outpourings of gratitude from some of you, so I’ve decided to put together all my gratitude posts from the last week in one place, as a reminder.  There are some days when gratitude is easy to grasp, and some days when it is a reach.  I’m hoping that reading back this “gratitude poem” will make the reach a little easier on the days it feels long.

So without further ado, here are my thanksgivings:

7 days of gratitude:

day 1 – beginning:

 I am grateful for Jenny Mark. Thanks for nominating me, for the reminder to be in gratitude, and for the company out on the “skinny branches” as we dance a double-helix spiral through life. I wouldn’t want to do it without you.

 I am grateful for the basics. To be fed, warm, and sheltered is a privilege I do not take lightly…and even though it isn’t always easy to make ends meet, somehow they meet, which wasn’t always true for me, and isn‘t true for so many humans.

I am grateful for my little cat, Sattva. She brings me gross dead things and wakes me up to let her in or out of the apartment, she makes messes and walks on the table and is generally annoying in oh-so-many ways…and I love her beyond telling — even when she’s driving me nuts, I can’t help but smile at her, and when I’m sad, she climbs into my lap and keeps me company in it, which is really all an introvert can ask for.

day 2 – the written word:

 I’m grateful for words, for language – especially metaphor. By far my favorite medium to play in, whether I’m reading or writing (or cutting out or painting or collaging) my soul feels more at home in the liminal, symbolic type of language than anywhere else.

I’m grateful for authors who’ve moved me, inspired me, or taught me something. There are truths I gleaned from fiction and fantasy that I would still be searching for in even the best non-fiction. This morning I’m thinking of Anne Bishop and Jacqueline Carey, especially.

 I’m grateful to have readers. It’s the most amazing thing, to write a blog post and have someone comment on it, or to get an email from someone who’s read my memoir, telling me about their experience of reading it. It moves me every time.

days 3 & 4 – the weekend

 I’m grateful for missing yesterday because it was a whole day “unplugged”, spending quality time with good friends, all sprawled around a canvas on a floor with paintbrushes in our hands and our hearts in our conversations.

I’m grateful for long, esoteric conversations that leave my whole body trembling with the possibility of understanding.

 I’m grateful for anticipation, for the feeling of being “on the cusp” – of an idea, of something exciting coming to pass, of fall bursting into full color.

 I’m grateful for soup, and all its subtle nuances.

I’m grateful for Japanese Knotweed, and all its invasive abundance.

I’m grateful for curiosity, and how it brings me into a deeper engagement with aliveness.

 day 5 – parents:

 I am grateful for my two mothers – my bio mom and my soul mama. For the poetry and love of God I got from the first, and for the wisdom and sense of God I got from the second, and for all the ways I am still being shaped by loving both of them.

I am grateful for my two fathers – my bio dad and my soul dad. For the full spectrum of duality I got from the first, and the weaving together into nonduality I got from the second, and all the ways that loving both of them continues to grow my dance of transcending and including.

 I am grateful for the mysterious Trinity of Father, Mother, Daughter that brings me, again and again, into my own curiosity and aliveness…for the questions that take weeks to wrap words around and the answers that defy language altogether.

day 6 – freedom

I’m grateful that I have the freedom of choice. No one governs or dictates my decisions. I can begin a relationship, end a friendship, move, stay put, start a business, leave a job, or make it my life’s ambition to dance the tango, and I don’t have to ask anyone’s permission, first. The culture I live in says I get to make up my own mind, and that is a gift.

I’m grateful for the freedom to structure my days (or not!) – I’m so aware, daily, of what a gift it is to be able to work on my own schedule, in my own home (or at the coffee shop, or a diner, or a friend’s house, or halfway around the world); to shift my work to later in the day because I was up late and want to sleep in, or to knock it out of the way early because a friend is having a rough time and I want to show up for her. My job gives me a lot of the autonomy I crave, and that is a gift.

I’m grateful for the freedom to risk without fear. To push the edges of who I am, and try things that might blow up in my face, knowing that no matter what, I will be loved afterward. My support structure – my family and close friends – give me that security and the freedom to be daring that comes along with it, and their love is the greatest gift.

day 7 – yesterday, today & tomorrow:

I am grateful for yesterday’s family dinner. The simplicity of being together, the laughter, the ease & the hugs are all parts of what makes my family my favorite place to be.

I am grateful for my sister Leslie, who was not part of family dinner, but who will be arriving for a visit later today. Since she lives on the west coast, this will be our first time together in a year, and I can’t wait.

I am grateful to be headed up the hill to Shalom tomorrow to dive deeply into community, into intentional love, and into the next layer of my own growth.

moving forward:

It’s a simple thing, to give thanks each and every day…but it changes everything. May all beings dance their way into gratitude; may it bring us delight; may it bring us peace.

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