Day 26: Grateful to Wait in Line

An entry by Candice Davenport, The Gratitude Graffiti Project:

Gratitude Graffiti from the Hair Chalet.

Our nation and region showed great courage and determination yesterday to mobilize ourselves and each other, to get to the polls and take advantage of our civil right to cast a vote for our governmental leaders. We walked. We stood in line. Not for gas. But for something that meant something to us.

Some of us without power, some of us transported far from our homes, we overcame such things and made our presence known and our voices heard.
Maybe reflecting on this election day, in the wake of response and recovery from Hurricane Sandy and hunkering down for another pounding by a Nor-Easter, we can be grateful that we are made of a stronger will than we thought we were. Grateful that we are a resilient family. Grateful that we are a community that does care for its own. Grateful that we have the means to lend a hand. Grateful that we can cry and then pick ourselves up and move forward. Grateful to wait in line so our voices are heard, and know in a sea of people, we are not alone. We are here. We matter and that today could be our greatest day yet.

Sometimes our greatest day can start with a personal practice of thankfulness.

Day 23: A 6 year old with a message

A simple message by Tiago, 6 years old: “I am grateful for peace.” at The Maplewood Public Library

I agree with Tiago.  I am grateful for how peaceful our town has dealt with this disaster.  Peace is visible in all the stores in our village who miraculously did not lose power and continue to offer a cup of coffee and a place to charge our phones.  Peace is visible at our neighbors’ homes, helping each other with food, warmth and a place to sleep.  Peace is visible at the library where thousands of people have gathered throughout the last week to stay warm, re-charge and connect with each other.

What are you grateful for in your own neighborhood?

Day 21: When everything seems out of control.

Expression of gratitude at KnitKnack

“As long as we structure our lives in a way where our happiness is dependent upon something we can not control, then we experience pain.” Tony Robbins

By Lucila McElroy and Sonia Tamaroff

We have been one of the lucky ones.  We have power in a town where 90% of our homes are still without it.  We have extra rooms for our friends to stay with us and we have plenty of power outlets to help our neighbors charge their electronics.

Who knows  if I will continue to have power today or if a tree will fall on my house.  Nothing is permanent and we can can’t control anything out there, yet we want to, don’t we?

I know I  have been lucky to have a moment to pause and ponder a bigger picture.  We live our lives “making rules” that determine what NEEDS to happen for us to feel good.  Think about it.  Do you have to have someone “respect” you to feel good?  Do you have to make ‘X’ amount of money to feel happy?  Do your plans have to go exactly as “planned” to not feel stressed?  Do you have to achieve all your goals?  Do you have to be spiritually evolved or wait until you achieve total enlightenment to feel good?

Today, I invite you to see that absolutely nothing has to happen “out there” in order for you to feel good right now.  A challenge in these difficult times, I know.

What does this mean?  It means that today, when you experience a “tough” moment, you “see” things through a different lens.  Not one that determines your peace of mind  by what happens to you from “out there” but one that is within you to CHOOSE how to act or react moment by moment.

I am grateful to have power and running water.  Our house is open for anyone who needs it!

Preparing for the hurricane…

An expression of gratitude Shakti Yoga and Living Arts

As we prepare for hurricane Sandy here in NJ, I am reminded on all the little (and big) things I take for granted each day:

  • running water
  • clean water
  • toilets
  • heat
  • being able to cook and eat warm food
  • electricity
  • home phone
  • cell phone
  • internet
  • newspaper delivery
  • postal service
  • light when it’s dark out
  • good schools
  • ambulance, fire and police professionals
  • the leaves getting picked up

What little (or big) things are you grateful for today?