Thanksgiving is still a few weeks away, but today, on the suggestion of a dear friend, I got a head start. I began a gratitude list.
As I do my daily Reiki self-healing, I recite the five precepts, often pausing at the third—“Just for today, I will give thanks for my many blessings”—and listing the people, things, and circumstances I am thankful for: good health, a roof over my head, my beautiful animal companions, my vibrant and loving faith community.
But creating a list, sitting in the barn with my horses and a note pad and just writing, writing, writing, was a new experience. As the list grew, the smile in my heart grew.
Last week was brutal. The loss of daylight coupled with the low, low, low barometric pressure that accompanied Sandy (yes, even here in the Midwest), the connection to the fear and grief so many were experiencing hundreds of miles away on the East Coast, plus the resurgence of a few personal demons I thought I had shown the door made for a week scarred by tears and even, at times, an empty sense of despair.
But here I was writing a list of things I am grateful for, and the list just kept growing, item after item after item: a safe barn; my horses, Tara and Fuersti; my beloved dog, Elika; my generous mother who has helped me through some troubled times; my sister, Dian; my Reiki teacher, Diane Stammer, who passed some years ago; high school and college friends I have reunited with on Facebook (Maria and Sammie and David and Teri); my writing classes; a barn full of hay; avocados in winter; the right to vote; healthy food; my computer; the Internet.
And I even dared to be grateful for the positive qualities that make me, me: my questioning mind; my creativity; my resourcefulness; my ability to forgive; my ability to hear.
Old friends, new friends, cell phones, the glorious diversity of nature, good music, good books, the spirit world, black beans and rice.
Just a fraction of what I wrote sitting on a bench in the barn, the night air chilled, the sweet breath of my horses, the promise of another day.
I hope you will be moved to share your thoughts.
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