Showing posts from November, 2019

How Can I Be Thankful For This?: Take 10 minutes to find gratitude in the darkness

I've been exploring thankfulness for the last four weeks - intentionally contemplating what gratitude looks like - and I realized that sometimes we're in such dark places that it's difficult to be thankful. I know about darkness, and you do, too. Fear. Shame. Guilt. Poor health. Poverty. Violence. An uncertain future. The list could go on for days if we allow it. I have a rare disease called myofibrillar myopathy (MFM) . It's a form of muscular dystrophy that is slowly progressive yet highly variable in symptoms. There is no cure or effective treatment. It affects every muscle, including my heart and lung muscles, and limits my mobility. Dark indeed. However, I am able to find pockets of light through gratitude. I am thankful for my diagnosis. I've read stories of fellow MFM patients who experienced severe symptoms and many frustrating visits with doctors for years before receiving a diagnosis. Mine came early enough in the progression that I knew what w

4 Ways to Deepen Your Gratitude: For whom are you grateful?

This is week four of my  month-long quest  to explore what it means to be thankful. **** For whom are you grateful? Grab a pen and write down the first few names that come to mind. With Thanksgiving approaching, this question will undoubtedly be asked at dinner tables across the country, and answers will  likely include spouses, children, or other family. Maybe some close friends or mentors will be mentioned, and the list will end there. I think we can take our gratitude deeper. Lately, I've been paying attention to the people in my life. Each night when I record what I've been thankful for using my DTH method , I take time to recall who has crossed my path that day. Naturally, my husband, sister, and my parents come to mind easily, but after writing their names, I push myself to move beyond my family. Here are a few examples to get you thinking. 1. After an evening spent with my book club, I looked at the picture I'd taken of everyone gathered around the

Thankfulness 63 Million Miles Away: How technology and discovery can magnify gratitude

* This is week three of my  month-long quest  to explore what it means to be thankful. Earlier this week, I witnessed an event that won't occur again in the United States for another fifty years. On November 11, Mercury's orbit aligned perfectly between our perspective on Earth and the sun, so for a few hours that morning, the planet could be seen traveling across the disk of the sun. My husband and I are both fascinated by astronomy, and we had already purchased sun-viewing binoculars for the solar eclipse two years ago. We planned to use them to watch the Mercury transit. However, when it came time to look up to the sky, clouds blocked the sun. We were determined to see the event, so after checking the area weather, we decided to drive east in search of clear skies. Along the way I marveled at the science and math behind predicting this event. How did someone figure out the exact date and time of the transit? How do scientists know when the next one will be visib

Thankful for Serendipity: Following gratitude through a fortuitous chain of events

* This is week two of my month-long quest to explore what it means to be thankful. Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a serendipitous chain of events? Where one chance encounter led to a unique experience which led to another turn of events? I believe these happen more often than we realize, and they can reveal beautiful Doorways along the way. Over the last several years, I've returned to my love of reading. When I left my career of teaching, I was gifted with more time for the hobby, and when I discovered audio books from my local library, I was able to read twice as many books.  I use GoodReads t o track my reading progress and to write reviews which I share on Facebook. A couple of weeks ago, I posted my recommendation of a book called The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime .  This began a chain of events that opened several Doorways . As I reflected back on what happened, I recognized my gratitude at each step. 1) One of my Facebook friends

Be Thankful: Can a month of gratitude reveal beauty?

November is generally known as the month for giving thanks, but what does that look like?  For the next four weeks, I'll be exploring what it means to be thankful. I've written about my daily practice before, but this month I want to push out of my comfortable routine and stretch myself in gratitude.  Much like rolling out dough, I'll knead it close in my hands, spread it across the counter, add flour, and work it to the edge. Today I'm beginning in the near space with items that are within my physical reach.  So often, these are the things we overlook - literally - as our gaze settles on distant objects. I'm grateful for: My Chromebook. Not only does it help me communicate and learn via the Internet, it makes me think of my husband's love. When I told him I was ready to start writing my book, he purchased the computer as a surprise. Fresh, clean, cold water. I always have a water bottle with me, and when I need more, I can access an abund