Tag Archives: Gratitude Friday

Gratitude Friday

practice021. Practice. I struggle so much with my mind — its constant freaking out over every little thing, how it won’t let me rest, its speed and noise, its confusion, how it spends so much time obsessing over every potential risk and choice, the stories it tells that have almost nothing to do with what is really happening, how it won’t let go or relax — and practice is one of the only things that allows me some freedom, some ease, some peace.

2. Community. I was listening to an interview yesterday taped for the Feast program I’m in with Rachel Cole, and there was a discussion about the importance of community, how support from a community can help us resist some of the distraction, confusion, insanity, and dysfunction that occurs in our world. As an introvert, community is a complicated situation for me, and yet I find myself supported by so many. I’m so grateful for Feast, the Open Heart Project, the Daily Dharma Gathering, Om Ananda Yoga studio, my friends, my online tribe, my family, and my CSU people. My suffering and confusion are eased by those connections.

3. Sam and Ringo, my tiny family. I try so hard to do my best to take care of them, generate so much anxiety and suffering for myself trying to make the right decisions, so afraid I’ll make a mistake. Thankfully their experience is mostly free of any such worry, their lives full of ease and joy.

Sweet Sam on Spring Break

Sweet Sam on Spring Break

Ringo Blue on Spring Break, all smiles

Ringo Blue on Spring Break, all smiles

4. Eric, who is so patient with me, such a loving witness to my struggle.

5. Breakfast burritos, from La Luz with love.

breakfastburritoloveBonus joy: Skyping with Justine, teaching yoga, bird song in the early morning, getting shit done, being able to rest, sympathetic joy, talking to my mom on the phone, getting en eye exam and finding out my distance vision hadn’t gotten any worse in the past two years, cooking, listening to podcasts, new music, blue sky, a new piece of art, receiving and sending mail, good advice from Andrea, making plans to see friends I’m missing, the way Ringo rolls on his back and lets you pet his belly, the tiny little ball Sam can curl into when he’s sleeping, full minute hugs, a nurse good at drawing blood fast and painless, good test results, naps, the episode of Friends where Joey tries to learn French.

Gratitude Friday

juicyspring1. Spring. Bird song in the morning, crocuses blooming, 2 for $5 bundles of daffodils at the grocery store, driving with the windows rolled down, sitting on the back step in the sun while the dogs lounge on the patio.

2. Spring Break. Yes, I could have included this as an item in my list of all things Spring, but it deserves its own listing all by itself — it’s that good. And today is the best, the Friday before Spring Break. I feel giddy and so hopeful that the time mostly away from work will allow the space for some rest and ease.

3. My boys, sweet Sam and Ringo Blue. Have I told you lately how much I love my dogs? We haven’t started Sam’s elimination diet yet to try and figure out exactly what he’s allergic to, but even just switching him to a salmon based primary food has made a big difference. I’ve also been noticing how much more he trusts us now, how much more relaxed he is as a five year old. He’s always been a sensitive dog, so even though he’s been with us since he was around 10 weeks old, it took him some time to be totally comfortable — although he still thinks the washing machine is an evil monster and hides in the bathroom when it’s on. Ringo Blue’s foot is almost completely healed. He’s even been able to run around crazy in the backyard a few times even though it’s muddy right now with the snow melt. He went through a few weeks of hardcore puppy terrible twos recently, but he has been really good for the past few days so I’m hoping that bad boy Wolverine thing isn’t something that will stick.

canwegosam ringowaiting4. Yoga. I’m teaching three classes next week, but to three different groups, so I’m going to plan one new class and then get to practice it three times.

5. TV that makes me laugh. This week it was Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and New Girl and Friends, which Eric and I have been binge watching since Christmas — I had forgotten there were 10 seasons of it! The Mindy Project sadly has been doing that thing all sitcoms seem to do eventually where they hit a season in which the comedy turns mean and the characters get weird not in a good way.

Bonus Joy: an email I was worried to send that got a good response, lemon, sweet potato, finally starting to adjust a little to the time change, the Open Heart Project Sangha (this month’s topic is genuine transformation and it’s so good!), Feast, finally mailing some things that had been in my “mail this” pile for far too long, permission to trust myself, laughing with my interns, getting out some of the strawberry jam I made this summer and realizing it really isn’t that bad, french toast with strawberries and jam for dinner.

Gratitude Friday


I finally flipped my calendar to the new month.

1. It’s Friday. This has been a long week with a complicated and busy schedule and I am looking forward to letting go a little, cleaning up.

2. Practice. I flipped my calendar over to March (finally) and the quote was from Pema Chödrön, “The meditative space is like the big sky — spacious, vast enough to accommodate anything that arises.” Yoga, meditation, writing, and dog all simultaneously challenge and soothe me.

3. Blogging. I really do love it, and today I get to talk about it with a “Writing in the Arts and Humanities” class on campus. They’ve been posting questions for me on their class blog and I can’t wait to hear how I answer.

4. Sweet Sam and Ringo Blue. These two have been a handful this week, loud and rowdy and misbehaved. I confess I had a few moments of fantasizing about having no dogs, but I would never really go through with it. I love these dumb jerks way too much.

Ringo sassing Sam.

Ringo sassing Sam.

5. Eric. He walked the dogs for me yesterday morning because it was so cold (2 degrees). He leaves me love notes on the kitchen counter. At night, he stands in the kitchen wearing a blanket around his shoulders like a superhero cape. He drinks too much coffee when he’s busy and hates getting behind on his work. He cooks for me, (sometimes it’s pie). He laughs at the same dumb things I do.

Bonus joy: Tuesday lunches with one of my favorite people, tomato and split pea soup, toast, clean cold water, snow, long walks with the dogs, people who are really good at herding cats facilitating meetings, being able to offer some wisdom, going slow, being able to trust myself.

Gratitude Friday

1. Quiet. Time and space, stillness.

2. Ringo’s toe healing. It’s been tough to keep his activity so restricted, especially when there’s a yard full of snow to run in, but he’s been such a good patient. It’s also given me the opportunity to really work with the anxiety I have around the dogs being hurt or sick, the ways that I make myself suffer and struggle, worrying about doing the right thing, not making a mistake, trying to control things. It’s been so uncomfortable, but also so helpful.

restriction3. Snow. It’s restricted my movement and I am feeling ready for winter to be over, but I also know it will soon be over, so I’m also appreciating it while it is here. I walked the dogs for two hours yesterday morning in 17 degrees while it was snowing, and it was more beautiful than miserable.

4. Pay day. I am so lucky to have a job, to be able to pay my bills and tuck some money aside, to have the luxury of spending a little on things that aren’t really necessary.

5. My brother. It’s his birthday today. I came from a big extended family, but only have one true sibling. I’m so grateful for him.

meandchris02Bonus joy: Gortex, wool, down, snow tires, heat, feeling like I know what I’m doing, making someone laugh, laughing with Eric, kale salad, chocolate mini muffins, having things work out, losing my keys and then finding them, a good hat, birds, foxes, dog sighs, cancelled plans, taking it slow, reading, eating when I’m hungry, water, how our bodies can heal without needing us to take charge of the process, sleep, tears, the beach, long walks, warm slippers, grapefruit juice, practice.

Gratitude Friday

iloveyoubecause1. Eric. He made me this. On every slip of paper inside he wrote something he loves about me. He’s also been calming me down all week about Ringo’s foot — he was running around the backyard like a wild man and stubbed his toe so hard he cut it. I have so much anxiety about anything that happens to the dogs after losing Obi and Dexter to cancer, the smallest thing seems like an emergency, and Eric does such a good job of keeping me from losing my mind — in this and everything else.

2. Ringo and Sam. I’m so grateful that even though Ringo cut his toe, he can still walk on it and isn’t messing with it and it doesn’t seem to hurt — in fact, he doesn’t act like there’s anything wrong at all, doesn’t understand what the fuss is all about. I’m so grateful that he and Sam play so happily together. I’m so grateful that Sam’s health is good and he’s so sweet.

"Can we haz a treat?"

“Can we haz a treat?”

Ringo fell asleep waiting for Sam to give him a turn with the toy.

Ringo fell asleep waiting for Sam to give him a turn with the toy.

3. Feast and the Open Heart Project and the Daily Dharma Gathering, the way that they all work together for me.

4. The Self-Compassion Saturday project, and the ways it keeps on going. Psychology Today posted a link to Barb Markway’s article about it from last year on their Facebook page (which has 5.4 million followers!), so even more people are getting to see it.


5. The Colorado sky, the Poudre River, getting to see the sunrise while I’m out walking the dogs.

Bonus Joy: lunch with friends, reading, having methods to work with my anxiety, laughing with Eric, fun stuff to work on, emails from my mom, pictures of people’s cute dogs and cats and kids on Instagram, the foot of snow that’s on its way here, the promise of rest.

Gratitude Friday

snowmoon1. A beautiful snowy morning walk, with the most amazing moon and sunrise. The day before it snowed it was so warm I wore sandals, but I was happy to see the snow.

2. Ringo in training class. He did so good. I was really tired, had been working straight through the day starting with teaching a yoga class at 7 am, and was tempted to skip training. But I already missed the week before, for the same reason, and if we skipped one more it would be essentially quitting the whole class since there are only four sessions total. We are already retaking it because Ringo got sick the last time and we had to miss the last two classes. I hadn’t been working with Ringo and I was afraid we’d do terrible, but he was amazing! At one point, I had him in a settle, the first step to a real down/stay, and he was just hanging out, watching the other dogs work while I walked further and further away from him, returning every once in a while to give him and treat, and he just stayed there! I couldn’t believe it. He loves working, loves the people there, gets so happy when I start packing his training stuff and he knows where we are going. On the way in, at the second set of doors, he sat and then threw back his head and howled a little he was so excited.

chocolatemuffins3. Tiny chocolate muffins, crunchy Gala apples and crunchy peanut butter, kale salad, clementines, the good chocolate, Marionberry jam, french toast with butter and maple syrup.

4. Cuddling with Sam. He gets into our bed a few hours before the alarm clock goes off and cuddles with me. I don’t hate it.

Om Ananda Yoga

Om Ananda Yoga

5. Teaching yoga. I’ve been subbing for my Wednesday and Friday morning class while our teacher is on vacation. Someone new to the class today came up afterwards and told me she was coming back to my class, that she appreciated how my teaching was “undriven by ego.” It was such a nice compliment.

Bonus Joy: The first week of Feast, Neil Gaiman’s new book (I’m supposed to go wait in line later today to have him sign it, but rumors are there will be 500 other people doing the same, so this hsp introvert hasn’t yet decided for sure if she’s going through with it), rereading this post he wrote when he lost his dog and crying again (the real reason I want to have him sign my book is so I can tell him that this blog post was my favorite thing he’s ever written), a whole entire weekend without a single plan, Ninja poetry, writing dates where the conversation is so wonderful we never even get to the writing, a new harness for Ringo that he hates just as much as all the others but which fits him so much better and seems like it will be more comfortable, seeing my neighbors out early in the morning walking their dogs, blue sky, people who are excited about their work, people who shovel their sidewalks when it snows, neighbors you like so much you are sad when they move, new music on its way from The Weepies and even better than that Deb Talan is officially in remission and cancer-free.

Gratitude Friday

1. Friday. It was the first week of classes at CSU, the first week of a training class I’m taking with Ringo. I took on a seven day blog challenge, started a new Daily Dharma program, am gearing up to teach a bunch of yoga classes, and am taking part in an online writing class. I worked my ass off. I have a lot of work to finish today, but after teaching a yoga class Saturday morning, I’m not doing anything the rest of the weekend and I can’t wait. Sweet Sam is warming up the couch for me right now.

yum2. Peach jam, which I’ve been hoarding like my very own jar of sticky sweet sunshine and finally opened and oh my everything that is holy it is so delicious, the dear friend who gave it to me, and Lucille’s biscuit mix, (I make awesome biscuits, but sometimes you just want to eat them, not do all the prep work).

Doggie eye chart

Doggie eye chart

3. Sam’s Pannus isn’t as bad as it could be. It can eventually make some dogs go blind, but the eye specialist who saw Sam earlier this week said his case probably only runs a 1% risk of that happening as long as we keep treating it. Now we just have to figure out his food allergy.


This still happens rarely enough it’s worth taking a picture when it does

4. Ringo keeps growing up. He still has a case of the puppy crazies, and can be so frustrating sometimes, but he’s getting so much easier. He’s so smart — if he had an owner who wasn’t so busy/lazy, he’d be a superstar.

hikinglory5. Hiking season.  I rarely go with them, but this is the time of the year when Eric does a lot of hiking with the dogs. Ringo is old enough to go with now, and I am either at work or get a few glorious hours at home alone.

Bonus joy: How much Eric and I laugh watching old episodes of Friends, new music to listen to while I work, my friend Amy’s sweet dog Burg probably doesn’t have cancer after all, finding where I bought those Hello Kitty socks for my niece so I can get her the right size, meeting with my new interns and them being just as awesome as the rest, all the TV that’s going to keep me company while I rest on the couch this weekend — new episodes of Downton Abbey, New Girl, The Mindy Project, Parks & Rec, Parenthood.