Tuesday, April 07, 2009

45 Gratitudes

Yesterday I spent almost all day walking along the Pacific Ocean, reflecting on the many blessings in my life, as well as the twists and turns that it has taken. I was gifted with an absolutely stunning day - sunny and warm! This is not typical of this time of year on the Washington coast.

I spent a lot of time thinking about how lucky I am. Even with the various challenges I've experienced in my life, I have led a truly amazing life. I decided to share a list of some of the things I'm grateful for - one for each year that I've been allowed to live on this beautiful planet.

I am deeply grateful...

1. That I was born in a place where I am free to live my life as I choose.

2. For parents who taught me the value of hard work, self sufficiency and how great if feels to earn one's own way in life.

3. For the people in my life who love me and care about me.

4. That I was graced with the presence of McKenzie (my kitty soul mate) for 17 years.

5. To have been raised in a place (the Pacific Northwest) of such immense natural beauty. The mountains, rivers, the sound, the ocean and of course the TREES. I am truly home here!

6. To have overcome my eating disorder, lived to tell the tale, and that I've been able to help other people as a result of overcoming such a serious addiction and all that I learned in that process.

7. For my aptitude with computers, technology and information which has served me so well.

8. That I got to spend 13 days rafting in the grand canyon!

9. That my first international trip to Bali rocked my world and changed my perspective about life deeply and completely.

10. The strength to get up each and every time I've been knocked down.

11. For my trips I've taken with my friends and family - and all the precious memories. Bali, Holy Land, NYC, Florida, Hawaii, Grand Canyon, Sedona, Palm Springs, San Diego, Reno, Vegas, Michigan, Boundary Waters Wilderness Area, Road trip to Memphis, Texas family heritage trip, etc. etc. etc.

12. For inspirational music that brings so much energy and motivation to my life.

13. That my body is healthy and that I have the energy to walk, hike and enjoy physical activities.

14. For Dr. Charles Bruni and the help he gave me on my path of recovery. I owe him my life.

15. For Rev. Jack Boland and the wisdom and truth I learned from listening to him speak and teach. I owe him my life as well.

16. For Lucy, my neighbor when I was growing up, who had a huge impact on the woman I've become.

17. For my fierce determination to see an end to racism, oppression and injustice in this world.

18. That I have a garden where I can get my hands dirty and tend to living things like my Russian farming grandparents.

19. That I've learned to relax and rest once in a while. I'm getting better all the time!

20. For cute shoes that make me feel good when I wear them!

21. For the feeling I get when I'm hiking up a mountain, realizing that it feels good to move!

22. That I have overcome my food addiction enough to really enjoy eating! Frosted vanilla two bite cupcakes! WOW!

23. That I've come through the difficult experiences in my life as a wiser, more compassionate person.

24. For sports cars and driving FAST!

25. That I finally am at peace with the way I look!

26. For beautiful flowers - especially the garden at Hollyhock retreat center on Cortez Island in BC.

27. For all my friends in the middle east, especially in Palestine and Israel. My Palestinian friends, in particular, for their courage and ability to persevere in the most difficult of circumstances.

29. That I'm comfortable with all types of people, from all types of cultures, religious traditions and ethnic groups.

30. That I have been able to witness great acts of courage and conviction in people I admire and respect.

31. That I was able to see a mass migration of birds flying over the sea of Galilee.

32. That I've been able to take 30+ trips to the middle east in my life to date!

33. That I've been able to travel to Indonesia, India, Ireland, England, Russia, Israel/Palestine, Egypt, Jordon, Greece and intend to keep on traveling.

34. That I've been able to travel to all but 3 of the states in the US.

35. That my back/hip issue is resolving with lots of physical therapy and core strengthening!

36. For all the sunrises and sunsets I've been lucky enough to witness... over the Ganges River, the Nile, the Dead Sea, the Sea of Galilee, the Mediterranean Ocean, Lake Washington, Elliott Bay, The Pacific Ocean, The Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea... and on and on and on. Wow. What a blessing!

37. For the fact that I've been close to violent events but have always been safe.

38. For the gift of good, deep, restful sleep.

39. That I was able to give up diet coke so many years ago. My health has improved immensely as a result.

40. For the good friends who've been there in tough times... and it great times.

41. That I have had the teachers and inspiration along my path to FACE my self, my demons, my challenges, and move through each and every experience in a way that helps me grow, change and become the person I was born to be.

42. For the gifts of determination, persistence, courage and strength that keep me going even when I'd like to just sit down and quit.

43. For the ability to help others feel better when they feel discouraged and hopeless.

44. For the belief that all things happen for a reason, even the really hard and horrible things.

45. For inspirational quotes that give me the wisdom and motivation I need to keep on keeping on.

And now... it's time for another walk on the beach!

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