I still remember that evening some years ago (I forget the exact year). It was new year's eve, I was sitting in front of a roaring fire going through both my day planner and my diary as a way to remember the year past before I let it go to step into the newness that was beckoning.
As I was reading, my heart sank as I realized how much weight I was giving on a daily basis to things that were challenging and felt contractive in some way, and how little I celebrated and gave thanks for all the beauty in my life.
That moment was a turning point. From that day onwards, for years, every night before I went to sleep, I would write down something beautiful that had happened, something that uplifted my heart and allowed me to feel grateful.
What you focus on grows. It really does. Did my life change? Not necessarily, but my experience of my life changed. I changed. Gratitude started to become the norm, a default state more often than not. As I was constantly looking for things to be grateful for, I started living in that state of Grace. Because that is really what is is: Grace.
Fast forwards a few years. Beauty started calling my name. I can't remember exactly why or when but one day (this is after I got an I-phone, smiles), I decided that I would have a 'beauty moment' in every day, no matter what. I would take a moment in every day to pick up my phone and go and look for something beautiful to photograph. When I found it, I would give myself over to it completely. Sit with it, celebrate it, love it, expand it, deepen it. I would immerse myself in it until I felt saturated by the beauty of that moment. And then I would go back to my day.
This 'beauty moment' had the same impact as writing down what I was grateful for in a day. It expanded and grew until so much of my life became about the exploration, the experience, the devotion and surrender to beauty.
Beauty and gratitude have become my constant companions. They are always there, offering me their grace. It is the cultivation of these practices that sustained me in the months that I was so very sick. That held out a lifeline to joy and light, even when I couldn't get out of bed.
I recently wrote to a client, 'it's (the road to happiness) not all about the energy work. It's about an alignment between one's inner landscape and what one cultivates in one's external reality.'
Thanksgiving is around the corner and I am so grateful that I can surrender myself into the larger collective field of gratitude. To give thanks. To remember Grace. And yes, I have booked a cottage near the beach and curated beauty to amplify the field of exquisiteness, smiles.
No matter what is unfolding in our lives, we all have choice. Of what we focus on, what we surrender to, what we live in the name of.
Thank-you so very much for allowing me into your world. For allowing me to write to you. For allowing me to feel that connection that binds us together.