First Day of Gratitude – connectedness

The magic of the season isn’t found in whether or not I baked my own cinnamon buns from scratch (I didn’t this year 😮) or if my house has smelled of pine for the last 3 weeks (it hasn’t!). 

The magic is in connecting with others. Being with friends and family, buying coffee for the person behind you, sharing smiles with strangers, and coming together in community. 

We’re all trying to figure things out. It’s messy and confusing and even when we think we’ve got it, we find new corners to grow and discover. That’s amazing! 

Uncovering areas where we can stretch our compassion for ourselves and others, seeing that we can offer a hand to hold without losing ourselves (or losing ourselves and then finding more of ourselves), and feeling our way alone, and with others – even if it doesn’t feel like forward movement. 

I’m grateful for my community. There are people around me who don’t even know that I think of them, but they’re in my heart and thoughts. I’m sure that there are people who think of me that I’m not aware of too. There are connections to be had, fleeting sometimes – sure. But seek them out. Having people around us helps us grow, helps us find our own stability, and maybe provides something to a next group of people that we don’t even know about. 

Warmest wishes during this time, and always. 

xo Mto3 

(We’re connected now too- that’s amazing!)

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Second Day of Gratitude – Joy & laughter 

There is so much information about all the great things that happen inside us when we laugh. It’s amazing to realize that days will go by without me having a great laugh. I’ll laugh,  almost every day – but I’m talking about those crazy belly laughs. 

Reliably, the good, contagious, oh-great-now-everything-is-funny laughs are with my sisters. It’s a very neat mix of deep comfort, shared memories, understanding of each others’ funny bone, and the desire to make the others laugh that leads us to giggle and snicker so much when we’re together. It’s that magical combination that keeps happy tears ruining our make up. 

To try and retell the hilarity never works. There really is a bit of magic in the moment.

I hesitated to write laughter as what I’m grateful for today. But that’s what keeps coming up for me as I reflect on today. The night ended with my sister and I laughing for at least an hour, after having frequent bursts of giggles and funnies throughout the evening. 

I’m so grateful that there’s such joy in people. And that we can reveal it to each other when we connect. 

xo Mto3 

Third Day of Gratitude – mentors

There are people whose path dovetails and runs parallel to yours. We meet them all the time, and sometimes the paths split and reconnect several times, other times never to meet again. We carry these people in our spirit and they help ‘create the fabric of our character’ as we walk alongside each other in our respective paths. 

I can think of several people who have helped shaped me but our paths no longer seem to run together, and a few who still have their path close to mine. 

Today I am grateful to my mentor (my label choice) for her ability to articulate and offer a deeper way of looking at a situation. She speaks with authenticity, openness, curiosity, and is respectful and direct. We can discuss and explore big ideas and deep feelings, and shed light into the corners of ourselves that we may be reluctant to plumb. Haha – this is balanced by our ability to also chat about what belongs in recycling vs compost. 

I’m so grateful that our paths crossed and have continued to run close to each other. No matter how our paths might diverge, I forever carry her in my heart knowing that I have been shaped and am a more wholehearted person for having known her. 

xo Mto3 

Fourth Day of Gratitude – Solstice

It’s the first day of Winter, and yet all I can think of is that it’s the beginning of lengthening days and a return to summer and sunshine. Even though nature is still hibernating, quietly in the background nature is beginning to cycle back into growth and renewal. 

Some of that energy seeps into my spirit and refreshes me. There’s something bigger than me that has its own pulse, and it’s amazing to be aware of that and to feel it.

Tonight I’m grateful that I was part of a community that came together to acknowledge and celebrate that bigger thing we’re all in. 

Fifth Day of Gratitude – 

Writing these days of gratitude, I’m aware of things I’m grateful for *all day.*

My daughter’s spunky personality. The warm hug my oldest gave me. The forgiveness from my neighbour when I forgot to pick up her son from school. My book club for reminding me that it’s ok to make mistakes (uhm… who forgets a child at school??). The chatty connection  with at young staff member at the toy store. The waiter at the restaurant. Strangers who share an emotional moment. Making my sisters laugh.

I forgot how much we notice when we shift our awareness – when we seek positives, we see positives. There’s always time to raise our eyes and look at the good which surrounds us, especially when we aren’t feeling so ‘good’ inside. 

It’s only been two days, and yet my heart is lifting. I also realized that *this* is christmas spirit. It’s not baking cookies, or finding a great gift, or even spending time with people. It’s carrying lovingkindness and finding lovingkindness in everyday moments. 

There’s no one “thing” for which I’m grateful today. I’m grateful that there are SO many amazing things out there to be seen: to generate a shift into a more open and macro view, and to spread the amazing things around to others. 

xo Mto3

Sixth Day of Gratitude – sisters 👭 

Siblings are important. They are the only people who have known you almost as long as you’ve known yourself. You were raised together with shared values, experiences, and understandings. In my family, I hope to foster in trio the love and support I feel with my sisters. 

Today marked the first full day of no-contact with Mike and I struggled. After having a tea with an amazing friend, I felt lost and unsure about what to do with my time. I didn’t want to be alone. I needed to get out of my head but not have any expectations put on me from others. 

My older sister called completely unexpectedly and we met up with our younger sister and all came together. It was exactly where I wanted to be. We didn’t do anything per se, but ticked off a lot from our respective lists to get ready for Christmas. We have a ton of inside jokes, make obscure references, offer support and hugs, be present, and gently challenge each other. We spent the afternoon together, and they came over to mine after dinner until the wee hours.

I realized this afternoon that we have unconditional love for each other. We may disagree with a choice made, or not talk for a while, or get irritated with each other… but there is an underlying bedrock of love that nothing has shaken. It’s easy to be malleable or roll with what’s going on, or let go of irritation when there is that solid base under us. There is a free flowing and reciprocal love/support/giving that exists between us – even if one sister seems to be doing a lot of the giving, it all eventually flows back. There is a faith in each other and in our relationship that leaves tallying favours redundant.

For my sixth day of Gratitude I’m grateful for my sisters. For our laughs. For unconditional love. For a model of how I hope my trio will be as adults. 

xo Mto3

Seventh Day of Gratitude – Love ❤

Today I am grateful for friends. 

I cried through the first meditation this morning at my meditation group. Knowing that everyone in the room knew I was crying made me even more aware of my emotions because I didn’t want to make others uncomfortable. And the more I tried to stifle my sniffles, the more intense they seemed to get. 

I listened to our guide’s words, letting his warm, soothing voice wash over me and I struggled to just focus on my breath. When my mind started wandering into how much I might be affecting others and into whatever thoughts were bubbling to the surface, I tried to offer myself lovingkindness and refocus on the sensations of breathing. It took nearly the entire set, but by the end I felt more connected with my body. 

The second set was moderately easier, maybe only in as much as I didn’t have hot tears running down my face and dripping into my scarf. Again, his voice calmed my spirit and I just focused on how present I was in that moment with my body and my breath. That I’m still here. I’m still breathing. And I found some calm and peace. 

Afterwards, my friends in the room gave me warm hugs as they left, with understanding winks and whispering that they love me. And I felt the love. I felt it in the room when I extended my awareness out to them during meditation. I felt their support and non-judgment. No one tried to engage me in talking about why I was crying. They just gave me the space to Be and feel whatever I needed to. It was beautiful and profound. 

Everyone has felt loss. We’ve all cried when we didn’t want to. I felt the presence of my friends tucking in beside me just as much as trio last night when we all snuggled. 

So tonight I’m grateful that I have people in my life who are able to share their lovingkindness. Those who are at meditation with me, and those who are not. Its amazing that they will reach out to connect and let me know they are there, without any expectation. I don’t know if I realized how much their presence and warmth is there. I’m blessed to have such love in my life. I’m humbled that we are sharing this part of our journey together. 

xo Mto3