30 minutes of gratitude.

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I am grateful for the morning sun gracing my face with its tender hands. For the moon at night and its sparkling glance off the ocean. I am grateful for deep slumber and lazy mornings. For the adventure of adventure, but also just the adventure of being alive.

I am grateful for the web of intertwining, tangled people that hold me, cradle me, and keep me safe. But also for the trapeze artists who swing down, clasp my hand in theirs, and throw me to new heights, be it in life, in laughter, in love. I am grateful for all of the beautiful individuals who I hold so dear. For those who know me so well that even when I can hide from myself I cannot hide from them. I am grateful for those who make me roll on the floor with laughter, literally. Who dare me to dream, to be, to love. I am grateful for the boundless kindness and love that those close to me give me as gifts to treasure.

I am grateful for my sadness, the shocking dagger of it, the dull ache, the tireless ripple lapping against my hull. There are times when I could lose myself in the dark, hopelessness of it, but I am grateful for it because it grounds me and re-aligns me with my passions, my desires. The shadows paint a picture of the light.

I am grateful for my inner fire, the dragon of my soul, the burning passion, the Goddess Kalika within me. I am forever in gratitude of the moments in which she has been unleashed and allowed to soar. The words that role off her tongue.

I am grateful for the beauty that is inherent to every footstep we take on this planet. The sky, the ocean, the blue touching blue where horizon seals a kiss. I am grateful for the serenity of a sunset, the quiet of the full moon, the peace of floating in a sunbeat sea, the eerie call of the loon.

I am grateful for the presence around us, within us; spirit, in whatever realm or sense that may be. I am grateful for the quiet, meditative moments of connection with the wonder of the Universe, and for the calm patience that comes with that unity.I am grateful for my mind, my learning. For hope, for pursuit. For dreams and fears. For all that drives me on my path and keeps me from straying from my true heart’s beat.I am grateful, eternally, for my family. And the endless support which they have granted me.I am grateful that I have a cozy bed in which to sleep, a safe home in which I am protected from the cold. I am grateful that I can nourish my body with good, healthy, whole food. For the strength in my body to allow me to walk, and run, and swim, and dance. The stretch and strength and power that I feel from the mindful practice of yoga.

I am grateful that I have seen so much of the world, both so much beauty and so much tragedy. I am grateful for the sails, the shells, the sand, the phosphorescent trails left by frolicking dolphins on our bow. For the kindness of strangers and generosity of unknown hands. For the discovery, the growth, the becoming.

I am grateful for my love of writing, for my ability to paint with words. I am grateful for the joy I receive from simply putting metaphorical pen to paper and the magical feeling of trust in my voice.

I am grateful for my willingness to be vulnerable, in creativity and in love. I am grateful for my past relationships that have allowed me to grow beyond boundaries I did not even known existed and to learn to draw new lines in the sand. I am grateful that I am learning the true meaning of integrity and that I am doing all that I can to embrace it.

I am grateful for the people who inspire me every single day to never give up, simply by being who they are and sharing their commitment and passion with the world. I am grateful for the hope I feel because of them, and for the pounding force of community that allows me to retain my belief in human goodness.

I am grateful for you, for reading this. Sometimes I can feel you from here.

I am grateful that in thirty minutes of writing, I did not come near to running out of things to be grateful for.

I am grateful for the moment that lingers in the air after lips touch, for the smell of morning dewdrops that clear my lungs with fresh breath, for the magic of a sudden rainstorm and the ability to forgive the skies for their indecision. I am grateful for cinnamon sticks, mala beads, candle light, holiday tea, big furry dogs, books and books, arbutus trees, fine art, faith, trust, honest, and music that lights me up inside.

Finally, I am grateful for this moment. For every moment. And I am grateful for gratitude.


Living > Striving.

I have been hitting walls lately. All kinds of walls: inspiration walls, creativity walls, relationship walls, walls blocking me from peace, calm, serenity, light, fire, glow. I know that all of these walls exist only in my mind, but it doesn’t prevent them from being challenging.

I’m leaving my current job in three weeks. I’m moving out of my apartment. I’m officially finishing my degree. And I have nothing ahead of me; no home, no job, no money, no long term plan beyond a vague idea of what I’d like to be doing. I have the next two months planned out, but beyond that, it’s blank space. It should excite me, and in blue moon glimpses and eyes-across-the-dance-floor glances it does. But mostly, I’m terrified. And I’ve never experienced fear like this before. So I’m building walls. Where I once waltzed in my silky woven cocoon of metamorphic possibility and easy adaptation, I’ve built cold concrete walls, cutting me off from boundless joy, gratitude, and flow. Yet this building of walls, that I thought would create a sense of safety, has only shut me off from the pieces of life I love most.

For the past month I’ve been telling myself that I must strive. How can I possibly create a new future, find a job, and plan my life if I’m so busy frolicking in the now? “Oh hello Spirituality and Prayer, it was so nice visiting with you for a while, but you’re starting to get in my way, so I’m going to put you in a little box on my shelf and save you for later. Oh Gratitude, you look so darling, we were such friends, but why don’t you hide out with the never-worn dresses in my closet for a while. And yes, Joy, my favourite. I’m sorry but there’s no longer room for you at the inn.”

What a mistake. These are me. These are no longer choices that I make on a sunny day. These are the very essence of what fires me up every single moment of every single second of every single minute that is my life. These are the here and the now and the aliveness at my core.

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I know I’ve been riffing off Danielle LaPorte (bless her gorgeous, courageous soul) a lot lately, but I’ve got to throw in one more. I read this today in a piece she recently shared and it triggered an up-swelling of truth and realization within me. She says, “What vows have I taken that I am unconscious of? What unspoken promises have I made that are restraining me? And it dawned on me ‘Holy fuck. I’m trying to impress God.’ Holy fuck indeed.”

That’s it right there. That says it all for me. I’ve been striving lately and then kicking myself when I don’t hit my spirituality quotas or don’t maintain the commitments I’ve made to myself and to love/God/Spirit/the Universe/a higher power/that-which-we-war-over-naming. I curse myself when I blow it by speaking my truth, when I don’t perfectly present myself in a meeting, in a friendship, in a moment. I’m so busy trying to impress everyone around me, trying to scrape together a path beyond what I know, that I’ve completely neglected what it feels like to lay on my couch with a good book and the sun streaming in the window. I’ve totally forgotten what blasting music and dancing around my home singing feels like. I’ve stopped doing handstands simply because I want to. And I’ve stopped forgiving myself, because now that my entire future is on the line (which is a grossly exaggerated story I’ve decided to spout) I’ve convinced myself that I cannot possibly make a mistake or miss an opportunity.

But while I’ve been striving to impress myself and the entire world within my reach, I’ve been missing out on all the little things. I’ve been tired. I’ve been bitter. I’ve been sad. I’ve been pushing people away unintentionally. I’ve been forgetting how happy I can be every single day. I’ve stopped taking risks. I’ve started playing it safe. I’ve resisted all the little things that light me up inside, and then, outside. Everything I thought I was doing to write my future in vibrancy, has actually just made the now so much more stark. If I only have blacks, and whites, and browns, and greys now, how can I paint a colourful spectacle tomorrow?

Why strive to impress when I can just dance with the spirit that is already in me? 

So here’s to no longer striving. I don’t mean not reaching for the constellations, for the oceans rough tongue on your toes, for the clasping hands, and the dogged panting at the finish line. I mean doing that this moment. Not the moment after. But right now. Don’t strive for tomorrow; live it today. Ring every single moment dry until all the drops of goodness have been squeezed in a puddle on the floor, and then don your Wellies and splash in it. Actually, screw the Wellies. Just do it in bare feet.