Gratitude. I’ve come to see that there’s only one problem with it: Once the feeling starts, it just takes over... everything. Have you noticed that? As soon as I spend one minute focusing on what’s going right in my world, a hundred more wonderful things come into view. Then it’s like a full-on forest fire of appreciation. I particularly notice this at the end of my kirtans when I thank the host and other musicians. First, I look around and see all of the beautiful people in the room and feel so grateful for them. Then, I notice the other musicians who have taken their time to play with me and I feel even more grateful. After that it’s all downhill... I start to see how everything in the entire universe has conspired to help me, and I just want to dance around or bow down and bawl my eyes out.
One of the things I’m beginning to recognize is how dramatically different my life feels when I regularly cultivate gratitude. No matter how much things suck, there’s always something to be grateful for. If you’re reading this blog, you probably have food, clothes, and a place to live. You probably have a body, too, and I bet your body is doing lots of things you think nothing about—like digesting food, firing neurons, and killing germs. What an amazing miracle.
Right now I’m going to tell you what I feel grateful for today:
The meadow where I took a walk this evening as the sky was getting dark and the almost-full moon was resting over October Mountain. It was so beautiful I cried.
Skype. I’m really grateful for Skype. Last night I got to chat with my beloved friend in Australia and this morning I got to talk with another dear friend in India.
Pancakes for dinner. I’m a pretty bad pancake flipper, though. Oh well. I’ll blame it on the frying pan!
My harmonium. I sang for a good while this evening after working on the computer for much of the day—it brought me right back to the here and now.
Disappointment. I know that may sound strange, but sometimes disappointment really forces me to look inside and see where I give my power away or behave in ways that feel untrue. Something that I wanted to happen today didn’t happen, and in the end it was a very positive thing. I got to sit in my discomfort, notice the grasping energy inside, feel all itchy and uneasy for a little while, and then move on.
My parents. I think they’re bodhisattvas.
Red, pink, and orange. I really gravitate towards those colors. I honestly never thought I would ever like pink, but it turns out that I do. It has to be a certain shade, though—more in the rose family. Mmm, beautiful.
Water, sunlight, paper, electricity, endless cups of tea, olive oil, the loving grocery clerk, clouds, and courage.
My beloved body—for doing all that it does without my attention.
Home Depot. I had to buy an extension cord for my PA system and that was the closest place to go. Walking down the aisles I realized that—if I really set my mind to it—I could probably install a ceiling fan or kitchen sink. I might swear a lot in the process, but it would feel very gratifying in the end.
You—for reading this. Thanks so much for taking the time.
I am blessed.