My gratitude list
1. My husband. There is no one else like him, but he is always spreading the awareness that all are one. I’m thankful to spend my life with someone I love, and I’m thankful that the one I love loves me in return.
2. Our daughter Kyra Lena. The care with which she treats her baby dolls and makes me imaginary tea and snarls as though she’s a little monster who likes to sing with abandon, give kisses and terrorize her brothers (who are at once her adversaries and her dearest friends) embodies the idea of balance in the most beautiful way imaginable and gives me faith in myself and everything. I’m thankful that I was able to have her naturally and that, after nearly 40 hours of uncertainty, she emerged healthy and strong into my arms.
3. Our son, Valor. At 4 months, he radiates the purest love I have seen. His smiles, his laughter, his determination and joy remind everyone he meets why it’s good to be human. I’m thankful that I embraced my unexpected pregnancy with him and delivered him naturally as well, in less time and with less fear, than I did his big sis’.
4. My stepson, Aldan. Aldan has a dream in which he consciously chooses to live and a flying pig tells him that he’s going to “rock on.” I’m thankful that, upon meeting the child on his first birthday, I watched him kick one baby-fat leg toward me and knew immediately that I accepted him as my child forever even though he did not enter this world through my body.
5. My house. In a time when foreclosure is high and society is in flux, the flexibility of my freelancing lifestyle allows us to find a way to stay in the warm and protective walls of the beautiful home my husband built 2 years ago. I’m also thankful that I live in a place where I can easily walk all the way across town, to a park and the store all the while watching the oddly captivating beauty of passing trains.
6. Warm running water. Somehow, we always find a way to afford this luxury. With warm running water, everything will become clean eventually, and the knowledge of this brings me peace. Throughout my life, nothing has been quite as conducive to peaceful, healing meditations as a deep soak in our claw foot tub or a powerful shower that stays hot. I have warm running water to thank for that.
7. Food. Somehow, we always have enough, and most of it is very tasty and increasingly healthy, largely due to my husband’s desire to help our family evolve our consumption practices .
8. Internet. Sounds weird, but I’m thankful for this web of connections that allows people to share information, increase awareness, practice free speech and instantly chat with friends new and old. It also allows me to work as a teacher, writer and entrepreneur and is available at my home and, lately, in hotspots all around the world. Were it not for this technology, I would not know about Alex Obed’s Ignite Challenge, and I would not be able to share my progress with you.
9. Payment plans. Like National Parks, just knowing they exist brings me peace. Not everything must be done at once. When we’re proactive, we can take things one step at a time and look forward to the release that will come when all debt is resolved.
10. Art—as it exists in all its form, natural and man-made. Art—a word that, by defying definition, reminds me that not all good things must be so easily defined. Art—the ultimate form of creative expression which brings us back to ourselves and reminds us we are more powerful than we believe.
One. Two. Three. Breathe.
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