Last summer I was challenged on Facebook to write every day for a week about three things I was grateful for. I thought it would be a piece of cake given my daily practice of giving gratitude for three things each morning before my head even leaves the pillow, especially since I try to be grateful for different things each day. Much to my surprise, putting my gratitude out there for public consumption was far more difficult than I imagined but it made me think and grow. I enjoyed the challenge and the results, so I am building on those posts this week and next in honor of Thanksgiving.
I went “off the grid” in 2014 and have been spending my time and energy focusing on writing, teaching and other exploring other creative outlets. I am thankful for the ability to take this time in my life to explore, study and expand my horizons. I know that not many people are able to take time to look into new avenues and adventures and I know I am blessed. Thank you.
I am thankful for the unpleasant person at my former job that made my job so miserable. If it weren’t for her, I would probably still be just passing time in a career that supported me financially but not spiritually. Sometimes things have to get really ugly to shake us out of our complacency. Thank you.
I am thankful for my entire community of friends and family who support me even when they don’t understand me: The ones who don’t always appreciate my lack of inhibitions and the ones who celebrate my lack of inhibitions. It’s easy to love someone who never challenges you and difficult to love someone who is constantly pushing limits. I know I can be very challenging sometimes. Thank you.
I am thankful that when I decided to take some time to explore options and dream about what really sang to me, the YMCA came through for me. I’ve been teaching there for 8 years, but allowing me to work there part-time while I soul-searched is a luxury few are given. I can’t even begin to tell you how supportive my co-workers and bosses have been. I don’t think anyone has ever had a softer landing pad when they threw themselves off the cliff. Thank you.
I am thankful for the members at the YMCA. They educate me daily in how differently everyone lives their life. I am fascinated by their stories, their resilience and their attitudes. What a boring life we would lead if everyone we met thought and looked just like us. Thank you.
I am thankful for a body that isn’t perfect but serves me well. Every morning I am made aware that I am no longer 17 but I am able to exercise and move my body every day. It’s not the same body it used to be, but I’m thankful for how well it’s holding up and all the things it allows me to do. Thank you.
I am thankful for the seasons. There’s a saying in Kansas City that if you don’t like the weather just wait a few minutes, it will change. We have bitter cold winters and blazing hot summers. However, this year we enjoyed a summer and autumn unprecedented in beauty and mildness. No matter what the weather is outdoors, each and every day is a blessing that I am doing my best not to waste or take for granted. Thank you.
I am thankful to the men in my life, past and present, who have behaved like jerks towards me and forced me to look at myself and my issues in ways I would probably never have been brave enough to do on my own. Relationships are hard at any age but even harder if you have to keep repeating the lessons. Thank you.
I am thankful for the men and women in my life, past, present and future, who have shown me loving kindness and made me feel special in every way. They’ve made me see the good things in myself that I was often too blind to see on my own. Thank you.
I am thankful for all the students who have taken my classes for the last 15 years. While I was theoretically the one teaching you, I’ve learned so many lessons from all of you. The conversations, laughter and suggestions have been integral to my energetic growth. Thank you.
Thank you to Unity Temple and the Temple Buddhist Center. What a joy to find myself surrounded by intelligent people who are curious about their world and willing to look outside the philosophies they were raised with. I never leave the building without feeling profound gratitude for the knowledge and love that is there for all who enter. Thank you.
My thanks to everyone who read and “liked” my gratitude posts on Facebook last summer. Without your support and words of encouragement, I would have never had the inspiration or the courage to launch JasminePetalsThoughts. It is a challenge and a pleasure to formulate my thoughts into, hopefully, intelligent sentences that help me to be even more thankful for all the people and energies in my life. Thank you.
And finally, thank you to myself. I know that society frowns on “bragging” about yourself, but self love is the most important love. I am so proud of the hard work I’ve put into learning, growing and changing patterns. I’ve got a long way to go, but I am profoundly grateful for the path I’ve taken and all the people who have helped me along the way. It hasn’t always been the conventional path and it hasn’t always been easy, but it’s been my path and I wouldn’t have changed a single step along the way.