If you knew this current trial,
this set back,
this seemingly impossible situation
were actually a great gift,
handwrapped by Spirit,
tied up with a bow
and a lovely tag attached
with your name on it—
would you open it?
If you knew that this gift
when welcomed and fully accepted
would lead you to your next level
would you receive it?
If you knew that this gift,
painful and perhaps
were rendering you stronger,
more capable, more competent,
more confident, more courageous,
more resilient and more intelligent—
would you say
Let’s assume for one moment
that everything suggested here is true…
wouldn’t it be time for some gratitude?
The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.—Marcus Aurelius, 121-180 c.e.
I sit down to write and feel blocked
because my open and honest expression
might be twisted and used as evidence
by the one I formerly trusted with my heart
that there is something wrong with me.
(That something wrong being that I’m a human
going through a particularly tough time.)
And so I embrace a sort of forced positivity,
which cannot be all bad, right?
I mean, for God’s sake,
I have clean drinking water, on demand,
water to bathe with, a toilet inside my house…
This puts me in the top 20% of the world’s population.
I have voting rights.
I have my health.
I have my mind.
I have a college education.
I have work that I love
and two beautiful children
and an opportunity to start over fresh
every single blessed day.
In essence, I’m being blocked from complaining,
and this impediment to complaints
advances my ability to celebrate what is working.
This open and honest expression
might also be twisted and used as evidence
that there is someting wrong with me,
but if this is the case,
then it only reveals what is wrong
with the reasoning faculties
of the person doing the twisting and judging.
Therefore, thank you, dear soul,
for giving me cause to pause
and go on a negativity diet.
I shall grow fat with gratitude and grace.
Feeling grateful for
the men and women
who went before me
and paved the way
so that I could celebrate
and really know
the pleasure of my freedom.
I owe it to my ancestors
to become the best ME possible.
After their struggle,
after all they went through,
isn’t it wonderful to find myself here,
a roof over my head,
clothes on my body,
able to attend a party?
How fortunate am I
to have mentors, teachers,
elders, wise ones,
and our beautiful Mother
who has given us all life,
guiding me every day
to live into my destiny?
How fortunate just to be here
able to breathe.
There is nothing else but LOVE.
And then it hit me,
My needs have always been met.
This is the truth.
How would I stand here before you
if my needs had not been met?
I am alive,
so obviously some key needs were met.
Any thought attempting to prove the contrary
is a sad story…and do I want to keep this story?
Or is it time for a new interpretation,
some blessedly new content?
It’s time to practice contentedness,
just see what’s working.
You will have plenty of reasons
to shout Hallelujah
from dawn until dusk
each and every day.
Life is good, after all.
So when I discover
that I have no real reason to stress
I also discover
that I have many reasons to celebrate.
I woke up this morning.
I sat in meditation, ate breakfast,
felt another cycle beginning
in my body…a time of release.
I taught yoga in the morning.
I taught again in the afternoon.
And I taught yet again in the evening.
I celebrated with colleagues,
even when the old scared part
told me to run away.
And when I took the curve too quickly
and even when my car began to skid
I was calm; I knew how to steer,
I stayed on the road,
and without missing a beat,
kept listening to my friend.
I came home to my children.
My car wasn’t wrapped around some tree
in the cold winter wood, in the dark night.
I’m in bed, freshly showered, warm,
I have many reasons to celebrate.
It was a masterpiece day…
A friend encouraged me to go to yoga,
and the teacher was so compassionate
my heart melted in her presence.
Then I nourished my body with a good lunch
and my mind with good conversation…
My friend and I strolled through the woods
right on the cusp of autumn;
already leaves are changing colors
and dropping to the ground.
We waded in a cool stream
and for a moment
I was completely free of
any worry, fear or doubt.
And I remembered,
THIS. This is who I really am.
Yes, it was a masterpiece day,
and I am grateful!
Flip-flops on my feet in February
Sun shines and warms my heart
Learning a new skill
Wholeness within myself
Excited about what I can
make, think and do.
Anticipating fun times ahead
Happy to be here, to be alive
Life as a constant experience
Feeling fulfilled by the day to day stuff
Grateful for my health,
my family, my home,
Wonderful peace in breathing
Wondering what the future holds
Happy to have the option
of remaining present in body mind
Grateful for my teachers
A happy student of life.