Friday, November 14, 2014

Day 15: Gratitude Journal, the song of my soul through poetry

"A poet's work is to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, and stop it going to sleep." Salman Rushdie.
Today, I am grateful for the written word. When I sit to write and no words come which is frequent, there is always Yoga. Movement. Breath. Music. Words. I covet inspiration that I get from the written word. Addicted to self study and spiritual understanding... poetry reaches a part of me that other methods simply cannot.  

Poetry brings to life what is hidden beneath the layers of my protective heart, expressing songs that my soul sings. Offering comfort and a familiarity that I cannot often convey articulately, I am instantly transported to a moment in my life where I stood just where the author did. I can feel his empathy. Together, we dance and move in and between the words strung together as if it was exclusively for me. To me.

Rumi is stirring but if you're getting all your inspiration from him, the Dali Lama, Mary Oliver, or Hafiz on Facebook, then you're missing out on some of the lesser known, most influential writings of our time. These poets explore love, lust, the meaning of life and even details that you'd swear gave them a voyeuristic view into your own life. 

Feast on the words of these inspirational poets. (#3 on this list is my personal favorite.)

1. Randall Mann, author of Complaint in the Garden (2004), winner of the Kenyon Review Prize in Poetry writes with brave vulnerability. In response to critics who say that his openly gay references in his writings are bold, Mann responds, “If tenderness between two men is radical—and I suppose it is—then the shameful world needs a new radicalism.”

Bernard Hill

Something has to give.
We stand above it all.
Below, the buildings' tall
but tiny narrative.

The water's always near,
you say. And so are you,
for now. It has to do.
There's little left to fear.

A wind so cold, one might
forget that winter's gone.
The city lights are on
for us, to us, tonight.

2. Richard Blanco, the youngest, and one of only 6 poets in history to share poetry at the president's inaugural address. 

3. David Whyte, writes with clarity, sensitivity and depth that pricks at my heart with every single poem. I am anxiously awaiting his new book. 


is a heartache and difficult to achieve because strangely, the act of forgiveness not only refuses to eliminate the original wound, but actually draws us closer to its source. To approach forgiveness is to close in on the nature of the hurt itself, the only remedy being, as we approach its raw center, to reimagine our relation to it.

It may be that the part of us that was struck and hurt can never forgive, and that forgiveness itself never arises from the part of us that was actually wounded. The wounded self may be the part of us incapable of forgetting, and perhaps, not meant to forget…stranger still, it is that wounded, branded, un-forgetting part of us that eventually makes forgiveness an act of compassion rather than one of simple forgetting.

Forgiveness is a skill, a way of preserving clarity, sanity and generosity in an individual life, a beautiful question and a way of shaping the mind to a future we want for ourselves; an admittance that if forgiveness comes through understanding, and if understanding is just a matter of time and application then we might as well begin forgiving right at the beginning of any drama, rather than put ourselves through the full cycle of festering, incapacitation, reluctant healing and eventual blessing.

…at the end of life, the wish to be forgiven is ultimately the chief desire of almost every human being. In refusing to wait; in extending forgiveness to others now, we begin the long journey of becoming the person who will be large enough, able enough and generous enough to receive, at our very end, that necessary absolution ourselves.

Excerpted from ‘FORGIVENESS’ From the upcoming book of essays CONSOLATIONS: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words. ©2014 David Whyte

Who would you add to this list? 

Join 30 days of Radical Gratitude and Love and write your own poem or stanza or simply one word that is the song of your heart today. 

Day 14: Gratitude Journal, whole and healing.

This week held 5 doctors visits and 2 dentist  (combined for me and both sons). How quickly things swivel-- all well one moment- then something that seems so minor takes you down. Everyone is mending nicely at the moment, thanks for wondering. 

Grateful for...

our heath, oh so darn grateful.
perspective and to not take my body's well being for granted. 
bonus time with the boys. oh, how each moment is a gift. 

May your life be filled with endless reminders of the fragile line we walk between well and unwell, whole and healing. Keep your head up, dear ones. Keep your heart strong

30 Days of Radical Gratitude and Love. Why wait? Join us for the next 15 days and see how it's magic works to raise your spirits, bring you joy and puts a smile on those around you. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Day 13: Gratitude Journal, serendipitous encounters with greatness, better known as just showing up.

Show up… we keep moving forward by purely showing up in all of life. Not getting it perfect.. but by getting it done. 

I once heard someone share the secret of success in 2 words: right decisions. How do you know you've made right decisions? 1 word: experience. How do you gain experience? 2 words: wrong decisions.

When it comes to getting the work done- just do it. Putting things off waiting for just the right inspiration or for the moment to be flawless wastes precious time because circumstances will never be perfect.

Next, let go. Open to whatever may come. That is allowing  for serendipity, "the effect by which on accidentally stumbles upon something fortunate especially while looking for something entirely unrelated." 

I am grateful to be a decisive person who still reserves the right after making some wrong decisions, to change my mind. It's in the trial and error of life that I have navigated not the straightest path to what I love but the most interesting of paths. This path has been paved with tears, sweat, juggling elves, miles and miles of ocean between 2 continents of families and friends that I love, precious time with kids and restorative time away from my kids, lost love and gained self love, enlarged perspective, enduring friendships that span the world and joy in the most un-looked, serendipitous for places. 

life + showing up - doing too much + thankful heart = serendipitous encounters with greatness 

Join us for 30 days of Radical Gratitude and Love. Seriously, it's not too late. I'm not kidding, join us now. Could be something serendipitous in it for you. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Gratitude Journal: Day 12, on following your heart, creating abundance, & laughter.

“Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.” ~Henry David Thoreau 

Grateful today that I am allowing myself to follow my feelings more than my head. Overthinking just causes stress. There are no games in life. Just do what your heart says. Hard to go wrong when things are done with love and reverence, integrity and grace. 

Grateful for abundance. Donated 100% of my Acroyoga class last night to a friend's charity to raise funds/awareness for cancer research and within the hour, booked a session for the same amount. Give and you shall receive. If you'd like to share or give: click here.

Grateful today for my health and for laughter. A little under the weather yesterday and yet still managed to feel good while teaching. Woke up with a bizarre rash all over my body today... and just had to laugh... always something. It was either laugh or cry, I guess... I think I'll take a Claritin then watch a clip of Ellen Degeneres and laugh some more. This woman sounds just like my Grandma Walker. Oh, so good. 

Want to feel good all month? Join us for 30 Days of Radical Gratitude and love.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Day 11: Gratitude Journal, honoring those who serve.

Grateful for those who serve our country, on Veterans Day. You are the brave among us. 

Veterans Day honors the men and women in our military who sacrifice their lives every day. What they give up to serve and protect our country is astounding. What they gain, I'm not sure I will ever fully comprehend. Other than I can imagine that it stems from wanting to make a difference in this crazy world. I can see the dignity and depth of honor they have in serving our country. Just typing those words gives me chills. Perhaps only those wiling to trade their life for service can understand this kind of pride.
With each Veteran encountered, I've observed an unspoken kinship among them. An inner-circle kind of knowing they have without uttering a word. And, if they choose to share their experiences, their courage in exposing their vulnerability, creates a profound empathy among them. There is an understanding of what was procured through their glories and what vanished because of their sacrifices, loneliness and atrocities. I am humbled in their presence. 

If you'd like to show gratitude in honor of a Veteran today, there is an organization, Expedition Balance that is using it's resources to teach yoga and meditation to Veterans. Your support lends healing to Vets with PTSD. You can also purchase a beautiful painting by Shelly McDowell. 100% of the proceeds to go ExBal. Hurry, there are only 2 left.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Day 10: Gratitude Journal, all that is good.

Grateful that I can step back and allow others to take care of me once in a while. My generous friend Dawn did just that this weekend. From navigating my way to providing coffee and a comfy bed. But mostly she has sweet, sweet listening ears. This woman is fiercely loyal and incredibly generous. Thank you, dear one.

Grateful for friends who reach out, asking how I am and remember the small stuff... because it's in the small stuff that makes us feel cared for and nurtured. Thank you Jenn and Suji.

Grateful for snail mail... received a lovely hand written letter today that made my day... getting "old fashioned" things like this help me to remember that truly the world is full of so much good-- things to hope for - love to receive and give--  and that I should focus on the anticipation of that. Just that... for the moment.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Day 9: Gratitude Journal, Happy Birthday sweet son #2

Today I am grateful for son #2, on the day that I gave birth to him. I heard someone say once, that we should all call our mothers on our birthday because it's as much their day as ours.Drew feels strongly about family, birthdays and milestones. To him, to be there for one another is showing to love each other.

To touch, punch, hug or kick a ball with you also means he loves you.

Because of him, I have learned what it means to have a child who needs and wants so little. His whole life, he's accepted hand-me-downs from his brother: shoes, shirts, even realized the other day he was wearing his brother's underwear! Now that is a kid that just does not care about material things; he never has.

I've learned about giving and quality time from him. Toys or stuff simply don't matter to him. Consequently, he'd rather ask for money to be raised for his Nana instead of birthday gifts, and he'd rather play football outside with friends than legos inside alone.

I have learned resilience. He has lived with a benign tumor in his arm since birth and has been to so many doctors' visits that I've lost count. Although he is often conscious of it, his childlike optimism doesn't see many limitations as an adult would. 

He has shown me how to be with other kids who are "special" like him- "just act like normal, Mom."

God gave me boys for a reason, and I'm certain this little boy is why I am here in this life. He has given me sweet perspective on what it means to live in the moment, to be present and let go. He reminds me to get off the computer and to play and to not watch the clock so rigidly.

Thank you, darling for your hilarious sense of humor, your obsession with Star Wars and for making me smile, laugh and beam with delight at every single new phase that comes our way.

I adore you -- even when you try to get me to say you're THE #1 son... or that you love me more... that's just not possible. Your momma will always love you more. Always.

Happy birthday to you, sweet one.

Day 8: Gratitude Journal, breathing.

"He who breathes deepest lives most."- Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Grateful today for finding time to breathe in deep, to serve and be around incredible teachers. Thankful to receive encouragement, nourishment, Thai massage and a spark of creativity that comes from being with peers who uplift you-- thank you Greg, Marc, Crystal and Sue for being amazing. 

Grateful for weekends away to realize how much I love Kuala Lumpur. Nothing like leaving home to help you miss home. 

Grateful for the anticipation of a trip to New York around Christmas time. Ready for some magic with those who make my heart happy.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Day 6: Gratitude Journal, no holding back.

When the opportunity arises to express gratitude today don't hold back. 

Tell everyone - Everyone how much you appreciate them. You may not get another opportunity quite like today. So when you feel that... that urge... that little tingle you get when you KNOW you should say... you look great or I've been thinking of you... or I love you. Say it. 

I appreciate you, son #1 because...

you make me smile.
you almost always have something kind to say.
you cook amazing eggs. (Can I teach you to make coffee next?!)
you forget wrongs and remember rights.
you love books and music and books and music.
you know exactly when I need a hug. 
you held it together when your tooth got knocked out, 
then, you thanked me for being there for you. 
you are taking this teen-coming-of-age thing in stride. 

I love you. You pretty much rock. 

Join us for 30 days of Radical Gratitude -- it's never too late to be thankful.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Day 7: Gratitude Journal, giving and recieving

"In life we experience great gifts and losses, but on a day to day basis, it's an ebb and flow between giving and receiving energy. When I find myself shifting towards an attitude of suffering or loss, I practice cultivating gratitude."- Lisa Machac

Today I am grateful for loss. Without it, I would not realize all that I actually do have. And that what remains are gifts, treasures of the heart.

Grateful for this month of gratitude. Without it, I would not witness the wonderful shifts in perspective from so many who are participating.

Thankful for the force of change. Without it, I would cling to the past and resist the future. Change helps me creatively navigate the way as I teether to a greater vision for the future. 

Day 5: Gratitude Journal, 8 hugs a day and 3 belly laughs

Today I am grateful because:

1. No matter how much I protest,

I am totally responsible for everything
that happens to me in my life. I 
can set my own course and fly.

2. Even though ice cream doesn't actually make me feel better, 

it sure temporarily soothes a tender heart and 
tastes mighty good.

3. Hugs are mandatory in this house. 

Going for "8 hugs a day and 3 belly laughs" ~ the Sarahs

Join the radical gratitude.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Day 4: Gratitude Journal, life is short, break the rules.

Always loved this quote. My gratitude today stems from my appreciation of the truth and fun of it.

“Life is short, Break the Rules."
At nearly 43, I am continuously surprised that the world is not spinning faster and faster with the passage of time. This quickening sometimes makes me anxious to get everything done now. Never much of a rule follower- I prefer the shortest distance to the finish line without cutting too many corners. Gratefully, I tend to finish what I set my heart to do. 

"Forgive quickly, Kiss SLOWLY."
Forgiveness comes easily for me; anger only hardens the heart. Kissing seems to cure just about anything. So, YES, please to kissing slowly. Kissing and handholding are among the sweetest most romantic gestures of tenderness I can think of. Thank you god, for kissing.

"Love truly."
Love-- is. Thank you to those who offer their love and support without condition.

"Laugh uncontrollably" 
Laughter works the deepest part of your abdominal muscles. I'd much rather watch a funny movie than work out, any day. Grateful that I can laugh- mainly with my boys and at myself.

"And never regret ANYTHING That makes you smile.” 
There are a few do-overs that I have contemplated and then dismissed-- and thankfully, nothing regrettable that accompanied a smile. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Day 3: Gratitude Journal: begin again

"The most sacred place dwells within our heart, where dreams are born and secrets sleep, a mystical refuge of darkness and light, fear and conquest, adventure and discovery, challenge and transformation. Our heart speaks for our soul every moment while we are alive. Listen... as the whispering beat repeats: be...gin, be...gin, be...gin. It's really that simple. Just begin... again."~ Royce Addington

Today I am grateful for the ability to start over. Now. And now. At any moment. Every moment!

Grateful that the person I was yesterday, last year or 10 years ago does not block or hinder me but is a reminder of how far I have traveled. I can come as I am, showing up for life. 

Grateful that I can find some humor in it all and embrace life with some sense of grace, knowing that even tomorrow I can be... gin. Just begin... again. 

Join us for 30 days of gratitude. Just be... gin. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Day 2: Gratitude Journal, everything is a miracle

Today, I am grateful to be alive. To be able to live with a sense of sacred awe for this life. 

I am also grateful for a lovely human and friend, Carl who throughout the time I've known him has strived to serve others and live what he believes. 

Gratitude overflows as I reflect on what I have learned from him: to take it easy on Sunday mornings; that the person in front of you is the most important; serving our country is a privilege, and it's our responsibility to honor those who do; that the main thing is not to hurry: Nothing good gets away; family is everything and to remember and respect your roots; to live as simply as possible; and love is always moving and it never forgets- Love – is life

I appreciate how we are all refections of the company we keep. When we sharpen one another, the best version of ourselves shine through. I still see miracles all around me. I hope you see miracles, too.

Join us for the 30 days of gratitude. Expect miracles.