Sunday, December 15, 2013

Days of Gratitude - Day 5

Gratitude is an art of painting an adversity into a lovely picture.
Kak Sri

I now know how barking sea lions and seals feel. After 5 days of coughing I decided a trip to an urgent center was in order. I found out why myself and seemingly half the residents in city I live in are sounding like a chorus at Pier 39 on the Embarcadero. There's a flu virus going around that seems to mutate into pneumonia. So here is how I'm facing gratitude today. Thank goodness for health insurance, thank goodness for supportive friends and I was able to turn a stay on the couch into a opportunity to catch up on videos and books.

Here's hoping that by Christmas Eve, everyone is having a silent night....

Cambridge Choir of King's College, "See Amid the Winter's Snow":

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Days of Gratitude - Day 4

Trials and suffering can actually refine and deepen gratefulness if we allow them to show us not to take things for granted.
Robert Emmons

When you talk about gratitude, people often think you are a Pollyanna with no sense of how difficult life can be. Actually it is the difficult times that have taught me the most about being grateful. Today I found out my 1 year old niece is in the hospital in Michigan in critical condition. It doesn't look good for her...I could rail against the forces of life or I can work to arrive at a sense of gratefulness that the rest of my nieces and nephews are healthy and that she has been in our lives...

You can see ugliness in the forest of thorns or you can see that they have their own beauty. Does it mean I don't feel the darker emotions i.e. a sense of sadness or frustration and so on....No, it's what you do with these feelings that will give life it's meaning: despair or hope....hatefulness or gratefulness. It's not an easy lesson, but only you can chose what you will do with the experiences you are given and what meaning if any you will assign to them.

And that is where my gratitude lies today:  that I'm getting better at the lesson,. I'm not perfect yet, but I'm working to arrive there.

Daddy Stove Pipe, "Maria Wanders Through the Thorns":

Monday, December 9, 2013

Days of Gratitude - Day 3

In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.
And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.
-Albert Camus

This butterfly was found in a desert botanical garden a week ago. An unexpected thing for someone who came from the Midwest originally to see at this time of year. It reminds me that no matter what the season, there is always the unexpected. That you don't have to accept the limitations of what you are indoctrinated to expect. That you can fly and soar and be what your heart tells you to be. Today I am grateful for this lesson.

Have a good start of the week.

Loreena McKennitt, "To Drive the Cold Winter Away":



Sunday, December 8, 2013

Days of Gratitude-Day 2

“And when you crush an apple with your teeth, say to it in your heart:
Your seeds shall live in my body,
And the buds of your tomorrow shall blossom in my heart,
And your fragrance shall be my breath,
And together we shall rejoice through all the seasons.” 
― Kahlil Gibran

Many fruits come into season here in California this time of year...persimmons, grapefruit, oranges, pomegranates...It's a time when I am grateful for the ripening of life. A year and a half ago I didn't know how many more seasons I would see after the cancer diagnosis...I still don't, but I have learned  to rejoice in the fullness of everyday I am given. 

May all beings learn this lesson.

Southwest Women's Chorus of Temecula CA, "Apple-Tree Wassail":


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Days of Gratitude Day 1

Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
Marcel Proust

I didn't return to my blog as planned, just because life was busy. But after returning from Arizona where I had spent a week with three of my four siblings (where much healing began to happen), I realized in this season of craziness and busyness, I do want to take time to reflect. So I am returning to a concept I've worked with before gratitude. 

Today is Day 1 and I am grateful for imperfection, for the layers of my life that have accumulated with age. Further that I am learning to to see how beautiful I have become because of the people who have made that journey with some or several of the years with me.

I am grateful for the blossoming of my soul that has and continues to occur.

As always I try to share of the music of this time of year. Since we are frozen here in California. I will share an carol from Spain from several centuries ago which translated to English means "Frozen December".

Musica Nostra, "El Desembre Congelat":


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