"In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy." Brother David Steindl-Rast

Thursday, July 30, 2015

17 for 17

Today I am grateful for my husband Darcy and for our marriage.

Today is our 17th anniversary!

Seventeen reasons I am grateful for Darcy and our marriage:

1. The love we share and how it keeps growing and evolving.
2. Our shared "hobby" of running marathons together.
3. How we both have an affinity for treats from our local bakery.
4. Matching recliners in our living room and the times we use them.
5. How quickly Darcy forgives me. (I need it more than I care to admit.)
6. How he puts family first.
7. His sense of humor and how he can use it to defuse me.
8. The involved and caring father he is.
9. The loving grandfather he is to our grandson Leo.
10. Going to sleep and waking up next to him.
11. Sharing the work of keeping up a house, paying bills, etc.
12. There are still sparks.
13. He accepts me as I am.
14. He likes clean cars.
15. He supports me in my recovery.
16. We have shared dreams for our future.
17. Our communication brings understanding.

Marriages, like any relationship worth having, are a mixture of work
and fun, doing our own part and letting the other person do theirs.

Read a little about how we met here. See where we were married here.

My life changed forever when I met Darcy and the blessings keep coming.
Thanks dear!

I love you. Happy Anniversary!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Stillness or Mental Noise?

Today I am grateful for that cooler air we had hoped for and for the entertainment value and laughter provided by old movies like "Sixteen Candles."

This quote from Eckhart Tolle really resonated with me recently:

"To meet everything and everyone through stillness instead of mental noise is the greatest 
gift you can offer the universe."

The universe doesn't need more of my harsh judging or wheel-spinning. It doesn't need more of my complacent cynicism that can flare up.  The universe doesn't need my mental noise, and I certainly do not either.

Stillness, however, has much to offer. Stillness is welcoming and open. Stillness is accepting. Stillness allows me to gather energy.

With that energy I can offer the universe effective involvement and be of better service.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Lightning, Thunder, Rain . . . Cooler?

Today I am grateful for our home and protection from storms. I am also grateful for our front patio and witnessing an early morning thundershower while sitting on it.

My husband Darcy and I are sitting having our coffee, protected from the elements, but still outdoors taking it in.  I love our front patio, the view, the calm I can feel sitting here, even amidst lightning, thunder, and rain.

This is a moment I can savor in my day. I can appreciate that this is nothing severe, that our lawn is getting a nice watering, that Darcy is next to me, that the coffee is good, that my five senses are all helping me be present to this.

And I can hope that before long these storms will be ushering in some cooler and drier air after days of oppressive heat and humidity.

Have a good day. Savor the moments.

Monday, July 27, 2015

An Antique Power Show

Today I am grateful for time with my son Sam and for my husband Darcy and his hard work on many fronts.

Yesterday one closed door (not making it to bracket play in the baseball tournament) led to another open door. That was an outing for Sam and I to the Little Log House Antique Power Show.  It's an annual event that includes many opportunities for those who like history and especially the history of farming and agricultural equipment.

Sam is an avid fan of farm life and tractors. He can tell you a lot about a lot of different makes and models. We saw plenty of green and yellow at the show. The green and yellow of John Deere.

We caught part of a tractor parade, looked at some engines that were old but still in working order, walked through an area holding many restored tractors, and even did some shopping. Sam's shopping consisted of looking over some old tractor manuals and checking out some 1/64 scale model equipment to add to a display that he keeps in his room.

He didn't end up buying anything, but I got a refreshing black raspberry shake from a vendor. We both enjoyed the time to just look around and I appreciated my son and the unique person and thinker he is.  It was a part of my day I was grateful to share with him.

Today I will look for ways to share gratitude with others.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sharing Some Strides

Today I am grateful for a good training run yesterday and for Sam's baseball season.

That baseball season is now over, but I want to thank Sam's coaches, teammates, the other parents and grandparents who contributed to an enjoyable and successful season.

On that long run yesterday we encountered and greeted runners, walkers, bikers, and a few small critters. It is nice to see others out and about in our beautiful community on a typical warm and humid July morning.

We shared some strides and conversation with a fellow runner for a brief time in the middle of our run. He came up behind us and then went on ahead, but in between we talked about our upcoming marathons. He has two, we have one. I appreciate the camaraderie among runners, and especially appreciate talking to those who have traveled the marathon distance and keep going back for more, like Darcy and I do.

We shared some strides, then his longer and faster strides sent him off ahead. Darcy and I settled back into our usual stride and finished out a good run. It was a good way to start the day.

Sharing some strides. What else can I share today with others? The more present and mindful I can be, the more I will be able to both give and receive. 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Change the Trajectory

Today I am grateful for air-conditioning and for the safe arrival of my niece and her husband's second child.

Yesterday my day started on a downward trajectory. Mostly thanks to my attitude about it and waking up at 3:30 a.m. and not getting back to sleep.  A tired Lisa can be an "itchy, scratchy" Lisa. That's not to say that some of the circumstances that surround me would be frustrating to most people. I can cut myself some slack.

But I don't need to add momentum to the negative, and that is what I did yesterday morning. Thankfully, recovery work and regular gratitude practice allow me to change the trajectory of my day when needed.

I can pause. Just breathe. Regroup. Remind myself to not take life and myself too seriously. I can start an A-Z gratitude list in my head, and even if I don't finish it, the trajectory has already started trending upward.

There was a time in my life when many days had that downward trajectory from the get-go. Not liking who you see in the mirror will set you up for that.  I am grateful that time in my life is over.

Today I will focus on what keeps me heading in the right direction. That starts with mindful presence and an awareness of the gifts around me.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Little Jewels

Today I am grateful for my ten fingers and ten toes and the hands and feet they are attached to.

I like to understand the science and rationale behind what makes you and I tick, what can lead to greater peace and contentment. A couple recent posts of mine talk about this science. Read them here and here.

But what is most important day-to-day is that I take the actions that will support the science behind gratitude and happiness.  It doesn't need to take much time, but it does require conscious effort. If I don't give it conscious effort, my unconscious mind defaults to the negative and I head down a slippery slope.

Rick Hanson puts it simply--look for the little jewels each day. A few seconds here and there. Brief moments, savored and then stored and transferred between synapses in our amazing brains, one synapse at a time.

As evidenced by my recent posts, I am looking for these little jewels more regularly again. I had gotten caught up in my head and that slippery slope was getting slipperier.

Look for the little jewels today. Get back to firmer ground.