POST FROM THE COAST—( POSTED OCTOBER 19 BUT LOST FOR TECHNICAL REASONS)
I have to confess…..
I feel guilty that I get to live in such a beautiful part of the world.
And I couldn’t resist posting these pictures that I took on the way to the retreat.
The healing started before I even arrived at the retreat.
I do feel guilty about living here…but really grateful.
I have to confess…that even after all I’ve learned, I still don’t stop and smell the roses. Even though I should. Despite occasional illusions of depth in this blog, basically I think I’m pretty shallow. Although I have discovered how important it is to be grateful.
This was NOT easy for me to learn. I used to feel really sorry for myself and all the things that were wrong with my life. During my recovery from cancer, some wise person suggested that I keep a gratitude journal. So I bought one, and I forced myself to write in it every single day for an entire year.
There was a page for each day, and a space for me to write down 3 things a day that I felt grateful for. No one would see this but me. I approached this assignment like some kind of cosmic SAT test. As if someone was going to check that I didn’t keep repeating the same answers–gratitude for my two healthy kids, a good husband, having enough to eat, that kind of basic stuff. I felt compelled to come up with new things, and I really struggled with it on lots of days. I didn’t grasp the concept of gratitude at that point, and reading my journal today would sound kind of pathetic: I got a great parking space. The cleaners managed to remove the coffee stain on my blouse. Ben and Jerry came out with a new flavor ice cream. After the year, this commitment felt like a big deal, and I stopped.
10 years later, it would still be a big deal to keep a gratitude journal. The hardest part now would be picking 3 things a day from the multitide of choices. I’m back from the healing retreat and I couldn’t begin to list all the things I’m grateful for. But I think at the top of my list today would be:
1. Sharing this experience with two friends–Carol and Shoosh
2. Getting home safely and getting calls today from both of my children
3. Colin Powell endorsing Barack Obama
So about the roses. I don’t grow them because I have a black thumb. Many times I will rush by the most gorgeous roses without even noticing them. Once in awhile I’ll pause to look at them. I’m grateful we have things as beautiful as roses in this world. But I still don’t stop and smell them. Because actually I have a really poor sense of smell.