Tag Archives: Gratitude Friday

Gratitude Friday

owlsunrise1. Getting to see the sun rise. This is good in the smaller sense of being up early enough to see it, how beautiful it is, but also in the larger sense of how lucky I am to be alive for another day, to be here with eyes that can see.

2. Sweet Sam. He turned five this week. We don’t really know when he was born, only when he was found roaming a tiny town in Wyoming with his brother. No one claimed him so he was sent to Fort Collins. We saw an ad his foster mom posted on Craigslist and picked him, adopted and brought him home. When he lost his first baby tooth, we counted back 16 weeks and gave him his birthday. He is so patient and sweet, but also so strong.

birthdaysam3. The end of Fall semester. Today is the last day of classes and next week is finals week. Even though I’m not teaching, there’s still a particular energy on campus this time of year — a mix of relief, exhaustion, and joy. People are giddy with the almost being done, the promise of a break.

4. All the cool stuff we see on our walks. Just the normal stuff — the trees and the river and the sky — is amazing, but then we get the added bonus of things like deer, wild turkeys, beaver, and the occasional fox or owl.

sunriseowl5. Christmas music. Not all of it. For example I had a doctor’s appointment last week and some of the stuff they were playing was awful. But there’s other Christmas music that’s so good I could listen to it all year, like Daniela Andrade‘s Christmas EP.

Bonus joy: the way you can call anyone at anytime if you have a cellphone with you, mashed potatoes the way Eric makes them, long hugs in the kitchen, cuddling with Sam, how cute Ringo is when he’s asleep or couching, good news when you’ve been worried and waiting.

Gratitude Friday

birthdayorchids1. My birthday. All the love sent my way, the pie Eric made me, the permission I gave myself to be exactly who I am, to do what I wanted and feel how I wanted all day long. The realization that I’m having more of an impact than I knew.

2. My refuge vow ceremony. I’m going to write more about it this weekend, share what it was like and what it means, but for now I’ll just say I’m so grateful, for the clarity and connection.

3. Kale and Brussels Sprouts salad. I’ve been obsessed with this lately, buying it from the Whole Foods deli, and finally got time to try making my own. It turned out really good, cost way less than was I was spending to buy it premade, and this way I can play with the recipe, making it exactly what I want.
kalesalad4. My boys. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you already know about Ringo’s “couching” antics. He has his own ideas about how you are supposed to lounge. He just turned one year old and is a total clown, as well as a real terror sometimes. Sweet Sam is so patient with him, so easy to be around and take care of.
couchingboys5. Gemma Hayes’s new album, Bones and Longing. It’s so beautiful and I can’t stop listening to it. It was released the day before my birthday and was the best present.

Bonus Joy: Laughing with Eric, snow, walking with the dogs, messages from the Universe, the Open Heart Project Sangha, Susan Piver, a lunch and movie date with a friend, watching A Letter to my Dog Exploring the Human Condition and crying and laughing with a friend who’d never seen it and then sharing it with a few other people who’d never heard it, a new ibex wool jacket to replace the one I lost two years ago, a new rain jacket that’s so nice I almost wish it would rain so I could try it out … almost, new neighbors who are quiet, really good chocolate, Beavers Market, down and wool, wild turkeys and rabbits, the chance to start over again and again.

Gratitude Friday

image by Eric

Naked Aspens, image by Eric

1. Winter. It is officially here. There is snow on the ground and it is cold, cold, cold. It makes me want to hibernate, and I love how quiet it gets.

2. Migrating geese. When they fly overhead in large groups, they sound like giant honking bumblebees.

3. Warmth. After teaching yoga, cultivating my inner fire, a warm gooey bagel and writing date with the warmest friend. Later tonight, an interview with a warm-hearted teacher who will give my Buddhist name after I make my formal request to take vows.
4. Teaching yoga. I said to Eric as I was leaving this morning to go teach at Om Ananda, “You know what’s weird? I AM a yoga teacher. Isn’t that weird?” He said, “No. It’s kind of cool.”

5. These two, Sweet Sam and Ringo Blue.
fourleggedBonus joy: snow tires, training with Ringo, snuggling with Sam, laughing with Eric, taking a nap, eating good food that I cooked myself, reading, wool socks and warm slippers, the weekend.

Gratitude Friday

1. Sunrise. The color of the sky, the fact of light, the promise of the coming day, the dark lines of the trees.

2. Mary Lambert. I went to see her last night at CSU in the company of a dear friend, and she’s magic. I feel an Open Love Letter coming on.

3. Books. I’m reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s new novel right now (I was ten minutes late to the concert last night because I wanted to read “just one more chapter”), and next up is either Orange is the New Black, or Amy Tan’s latest novel The Valley of Amazement.

4. The Daily Bon, “look for something in your day that makes you smile, post your pic to Instagram with the tag #thedailybon.” It’s like getting to do Gratitude Friday once a day, every day for the whole month of November.

5. Practice, specifically the routine and calming nature of it. Each morning, I get up early, meditate for ten minutes, write for at least 30, and then either go on a long walk with my dogs or to a yoga class. It keeps me sane, gives me a peacefulness I wouldn’t have if I woke up and rushed around immediately, got on my computer or started to work first thing.

pbandjBonus joy: the last of the fall color, the Poudre River, warm french toast with real maple syrup, sweetening my half a cup of morning coffee with a bit of hot cocoa powder, the joy that is possible even when you know the whole truth, music, dog sighs, laughing, good friends who make you soup, browsing a bookstore, being crabby and tender but knowing it will pass, how a hot shower or a nap or a simple meal can shift everything.

Gratitude Friday

1. The colors of fall. I am amazed by them, sad because I know they are temporary, gone so soon, and the sign of a darker, colder time to come.

2. Writing practice. I’ve been looking back through some of my old journals as I start to put together the two books I’m working on. I am so lucky to have that record. I also am realizing that I have been writing these books for years, and if I simply type up what I’ve already written, 75% of the work is done. I am also surprised by my own wisdom, by how much I understood so long ago, in what was just the beginning.

3. Teaching yoga. I showed up to my Wednesday morning class and ended up with a surprise substitute teaching gig. I had absolutely nothing prepared, didn’t know until two minutes before class was scheduled to start that I was the teacher, but it all worked out. I wasn’t nervous and it was a good class.

ringobluefeelingbetter4. Ringo Blue feeling better. Just a week ago, he was so sick. I am so happy to have my healthy puppy back, even feeling grateful for the moments he’s getting himself into trouble.

5. Susan Piver’s Awake in the World talk on the four noble truths of relationships. It was so helpful, she’s so wise and funny. Eric wasn’t able to watch it with me, but I can’t wait to talk to him about it.

Bonus joy: laughing with Eric, the last tomatoes from our garden, Sam getting into bed in the early morning and cuddling with me, PicMonkey, good ideas.

 

Gratitude Friday

The Wild Unknown Tarot Deck: Strength

All the courage you need can be found in the muscle known as the heart. ~The Wild Unknown Tarot Deck, Strength

1. Teaching yoga. I taught my second “real” class this morning. I don’t get nearly as nervous as I used to get when I first started teaching writing at CSU. The difference tells me a lot about how I’ve changed. I’m more comfortable in my body and with who I am and what I know, more confident in the way Susan Piver defines it, “the willingness to be as ridiculous, luminous, intelligent, and kind as you really are, without embarrassment.”

2. Good friends, who make me feel safe and comfortable, who encourage and inspire me, but challenge me too. And who, most importantly, make me laugh.

3. Puppies, sweet tiny cute little bundles of fur and teeth that aren’t my responsibility.

4. Practicing yoga on my back patio, under the blue sky, surrounded by trees and the sound of recess at the elementary school just around the corner, with Ringo and Sam “helping.”

5. Fall in Colorado, crisp and clear and oh so pretty.

ericaspens

image by Eric

Bonus Joy: A new season of TV that makes me laugh, (The Mindy Project, Modern Family, and New Girl).

Gratitude Friday

coloradofall141. Fall in Colorado. So pretty, cool and sunny, quiet and calm.

2. New slippers. I waited two years to get new ones, and now I understand why — they are perfect.

foxslippers3. Really good friends. Seriously, I was just as happy to see them last night as I was to see Cheryl Strayed. These women are smart and interesting and funny. They make me feel safe, make me laugh, encourage and inspire me.

4. Cheryl Strayed! I met her last night, and she’s every bit as genuine and funny in person.

cheryltouch

5.  Ringo Blue is ten months old today. I am way stupid in love with this dog.

10monthsoldBonus joy: my tender little heart, laughing, opportunities to teach more yoga, a soft place to land, apple season, heart shaped rocks from heart shaped friends, the most beautiful and delicate silver necklace that reminds me of my path, books and writers and readers, the way sweet Sam licks my face when he finds me crying, breakfast burritos from La Luz, the last of the watermelon, the good kind of chocolate, new music, how quiet my new office is, new sheets that are the same as the ones on the house at the beach, the weekend.