Affirmation: When I practice an attitude of gratitude, I
let go of regret and disappointment.
was really low. The house was in the
middle of a renovation. We were leaving
for a trip that morning and I had received three calls from family members the
day before, each regarding a different issue and each presenting a fairly
serious, if not life threatening problem.
I’d had a terrible night’s sleep.
It had taken a long time to fall asleep and by 4 AM I was wide
awake. I’d lain there and said the
Rosary and all the memorized prayers I knew and I think I dozed on and off but
by 6 AM I was wide awake. I silently
slipped out of bed because my husband was still resting peacefully, grabbed my
daily meditation book and my journal. I
put on my slippers and a cover-up and made a cup of tea and headed downstairs
to the sun room but it looked like a beautiful warm morning and so I chose
instead to sit on the patio.
Pink Ribbon Yoga Retreat the month before this particular day, we were led in a
guided mediation by TJ Martin, one of our dedicated founding yoga teachers. Our
intention for our yoga-off-the-mat was to help the participants find their
heart space, that place where they felt safe and calm. Once they were able to visualize it they were
then encouraged to draw it and finally to paint it. Irene Talton, our yoga-off-the-mat
facilitator and TJ Martin showed us how to use the water colors to achieve our
goals, or at least to come close to them for those of us who didn’t have a clue
how to paint. The guided meditation led
me to my back yard patio. It wasn’t the
first time I was stunned by the place mediation had taken me.
many years ago I had been invited by a doctor friend to come to his home and to
do some “imaging.” Once I was
in a relaxed state he too had me imagine a safe place. Whoosh!
There I was sitting on a bench in front of the Eseeola Lodge in
Linville, NC. We had visited there many
times with very dear friends but I had never considered it a safe or sacred
place. I was so surprised to
“be” there that I gave a small gasp.
I can still remember that session with Dr. Telfer. It was in 1999 but every time I recall it,
it’s as clear to me now as it was then.
“on” my patio. We had lived in
this particular house for a little over six years. It isn’t my dream house but it’s a good
house. It’s spacious and I’ve had it
painted lots of bright colors, yellow being the primary one. We’ve spent a lot of time and treasure spiffing
it up and making it the way we’d like it to be but I still missed the house I
had left, my former dream home. It was
not an attitude of gratitude and I knew it but I was still lacking in
thankfulness. Now here I was at the
retreat visualizing my sacred space; it could be anywhere in the world or
anywhere in my imagination and where was I, I was on my patio!
As I sat
down this morning with my tea and my journal I felt blessed to actually be in
my sacred space. It was coolish but I
had my hot tea and my cover-up so I was comfortable. I opened the journal and began to write. I noted I wasn’t well rested and then a stiff
breeze blew and the wind chime in the tree rang out. The sound went right into my chest, my heart
and reverberated up and out all of my limbs.
I was stunned by the feeling. I
stopped writing and listened. There’s a
small waterfall off to the side of the patio and it was rippling joyfully. The birds were waking up and their chirping
was lyrical. Then I heard the young
children who live behind me talking with their parents. They were giggling. Tears sprang to my eyes. Thank you I wrote. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
before this epiphany I had walked the local lake with a neighbor friend. I always wondered why she didn’t always
understand what I said to her. I had
decided it was my NY accent and her foreign ears but this morning she shared
with me that she had been very ill as a young woman and had lost half of her
hearing. It hadn’t slowed her down and
she went onto a very blessed life but as I sat there on my patio this morning,
I was even more aware of the gift of my hearing. I have continued the practice
of listing each morning three joys from the day before. On this morning I listed the joys I had
discovered at sunrise. The joy of waking
to a new day. The joy of having a sacred
space I could actually walk onto. The
joy of being married to a man who supports me and my dreams, no matter how
daunting they may seem. The joy of
taking time in the morning to pray and write.
The joy of being the person her family turns to when they need
support. I know that’s more than three
joys. Most mornings there are way more
than three. This morning I also listed
the joy of the gift of my hearing. My
attitude of gratitude had finally overtaken my thanklessness and that sound of
the wind chime had pierced not just my chest and my heart but it had pierced
and healed my soul.