About Me

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Born in the US, raised on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, lived in Italy, the US, and Canada. Lover of language, travel, colour, and the natural world.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Gratitude Mondays

I have been meaning to write this post since Friday, but was in need of some time away from the computer screen, so I practiced self compassion, and took a digital sabbatical over the weekend,  indulging instead in a number of other delicious things including yoga in the park, and reading my novel, The Invisible Bridge (Vintage Contemporaries), at the kitchen table, while lounging on the living room couch, curled up with a duvet on the back porch in the late afternoon sunlight, and even out in the garden under the walnut tree. I sipped golden tipped Assam tea and munched on sun dried apricots while I read, and when I got tired of reading at home I grabbed my journal and my novel and headed over to a local coffee house called Old Soul for a hot chai with my friend Dionne and her son Lucas. It was a sublimely relaxing and rejuvenating weekend.

I was reading a blog entry by Karen Walrond about gratitude the other day. She has a blog that I read called Chookoloonks, but she has a number of other gigs, including a page she is writing now for Babble Voices called Bliss Your Heart. Karen is an incredible photographer, so her blog focuses on her gorgeous photos, however her Friday Bliss your heart features focus on gratitude, and what she is grateful for in her life. Scrolling through her entries left me feeling incredibly lighthearted, and I thought to myself--"why don't I have a gratitude day on my blog?" And so here it is. My gratitude day is going to be Monday (officially), but I am hoping that by practicing on Monday I will get better at being more conscious of what I am grateful for every day. I may or may not always include photos, as what I am most interested in is writing, but I am hoping this will create a bit of a domino effect, you know? Make you think to yourself "maybe I should make a gratitude list..." Maybe you should!

Here's my list this week:

1. I am grateful for my dear friend Dionne and her gorgeous son Lucas. I only met Dionne this year, but I already feel like I have known her for years. She is great company; is incredibly inspiring as a mother of a 6-month old baby boy (read: patience and perseverance beyond ANYTHING I have even begun to experience in my life) and an athlete (she runs nine miles every other day....did I mention that she has a 6-month old son? Well she runs those nine miles pushing the little fellow, and she is training for a half marathon)....In addition to inspiring me, Dionne makes me laugh at life; we both love to read novels; we are doing a spiritual study of the Baha'i Ruhi materials together; we pray together; we hit yard sales together, and she is one of the most devoted (and encouraging) readers on my blog (Louise, you are the other one!)

Watching Dionne with Lucas has been teaching me a lot about continuing to do your best, even when you aren't sure how you are going to keep trying. Lucas himself has taught me about joy. He is a non-stop source of it. When he smiles at you, his eyes smile. My entire day shifts on its axis when this little man smiles.

2. Prayers. The ones in my Baha'i prayer book most especially. The ones I whisper in the morning before I start my day, and at the end before I sleep. They bring me back to my true self -- my spiritual reality. It is really good to be reminded at least twice a day.

3. My community. The folks that I go out to breakfast and dinner with. The people who join me for movies. The people I teach children and youth classes alongside. The people I go to the beach to collect pebbles with. The ones I eat ice cream with. The ones I write with. The ones I dance with. The ones I farm with. I cannot imagine this life without them.

4. My writing. I write daily now, and it is such a blessing to be able to put pen to paper. There are few things I love as much as writing. Taking the time to stop and be present with what is around me, and to record its tiniest details.

5. The free yoga in the park classes that I go to on Saturday mornings. Starting my weekend outside under a blue sky with birds singing in the trees around me and the smell of roses in the air is truly incredible. I leave feeling full of joy and energized for my weekend.

6. My volunteer work on a local organic farm. There is really almost nothing that makes me happier than spending the day with my hands in the soil growing and harvesting colourful, healthy food.

7. The women that I do a women's devotional gathering every other week with. I love the level of unity that exists in our group despite the fact that we all come from completely different cultural, ethnic and faith backgrounds.

8. The crunch of the leaves beneath my sandals as I walked to the movie theatre last night in the golden summer light, and the same sound as I headed home again later at night, the trees all lit up from beneath by the yellow streetlights, the starry sky laid out crisp and clear above, and the gushing sound of sprinklers shooting water back and forth in arcs across the lawns on my street. 

9. The sound of semi-eaten walnuts, discarded by careless squirrels, falling from the giant walnut tree in the back garden, hitting our roof with loud thuds like it is hailing golf-balls, and then rolling down the slope of the roof and falling down to the ground. I do not know why, but despite startling me (every. single. time), the sound also makes me smile. August is the month of raining walnuts.

10. The breeze that blows into my bedroom at night while I sleep. Having grown up in Cyprus, where no such breeze blows during the summer, it is incredibly refreshing to sleep with a cool breeze blowing and blowing, and to wake up snuggled up warm with the cool air all around me.

What are you feeling grateful for?

1 comment:

  1. I am grateful for you my friend! I am grateful for being able to do what I love to do..which is running, reading, sewing, cooking and taking care of the people I love the most :)

    Love this blog!