“Gratitude is a spiritual practice that is bound to a belief in human interconnectedness and a power greater than us.”
Brene Brown first gained notoriety with her TED talk on vulnerability that garnered over 10 million hits. Oprah got hold of her and created an online class based on her book The Gifts of Imperfection. This is where my six degrees of separation begins with Oprah.
I take the class.
At week 5 our intention was to practice gratitude as a way to access joy; to stop and take notice of those small things that make our life better, the things that are easy to overlook until they are gone. Our assignment was to take pictures of the ordinary moments or everyday rituals that bring us joy.
Taking pause to stop and capture the little things that often go unnoticed has re-energized my relationship to gratitude. Any practice can lose its luster from time to time. Taking these snapshots helped open my eyes to a deeper appreciation of those moments I often walk right on by.
Here are a few snapshots of my ordinary moments of gratitude.
Where is the gratitude in that one?
Last year I worked with a man suffering from debilitating hip pain due to degenerative joint disease. Over the course of treatment his pain diminished allowing him to travel from New Mexico back to his native home of Minnesota.
It was not just a return to say hello to his family or celebrate a holiday but a return to an eternal home. He was preparing for his mortality and wanted to put things in order.
Before he left he had a yard sale to raise money for his travels. I stopped by wanting to support his journey. He lived in a small trailer and the few possessions he was selling I could find no use for other than this little heater. He asked for $5.00. I added a zero. He was incredulous with emotion.
I am grateful for the warmth this little heater offers on a cold morning but also for the reminder of the big impact something so small can have on someone’s life.
I am deeply grateful for the sanctuary of my daily practice. This pyramid is my space for morning practice, meditation and restoration of any kind. My yoga practice has delved deeper into body and soul by practicing under the pyramid. My practice of gratitude begins each morning as I bow my head to surrender to the humble servant of my heart.
A year ago I met a stranger. A man who has been steadfast through times of doubt. A man fearless enough to hold my heart when it felt broken. A man able to see a divine and sexy Goddess when I felt little worth as a woman. A man sent straight from the heavens to help mend a heart back to wholeness.
This card he sent sits on my nightstand in gratitude for the mysterious journey of how strangers become beloveds.
My snapshots are far from complete but any expression of gratitude would feel empty without my daughters. I trust as I look back on my life becoming a mother will be the most important thing that ever happened to me. My oldest daughter was adopted from Korea twenty years ago. My heart opened to love in ways I never knew were possible.
Three months after her arrival I was pregnant with my youngest daughter Danielle who can make me laugh harder than anyone I know. They are the greatest gifts life could ever bestow upon me. I light a candle every morning with a prayer in my heart for each of them.
Many moments missing.
Many moments yet to come.
May I remember
to hold all in gratitude.