A – Z Challenge – Day 24
“Energy grows where energy goes.” ~ Lisa Nichols
A Love Letter to Life
It’s Sunday morning and the whole house is silent, save the sounds that any house makes, shifting and creaking on its foundation, settling in for another day. My dog’s doing the backstroke on my bed, and my cats have retreated to their various hiding spots, tummies full, curled up like little mushrooms, ready to nap. I am sitting alone with my requisite cup of coffee, watching light fill the yard, as I think about the day ahead. What will it bring?
Waves of intense energy seem to be the order of the day lately, so I wonder what I will learn, what I will do, and with whom I will interact as I move through the coming hours. The agenda includes some time to read and meditate, time for meals and writing, a little laundry (or a lot), and later tonight my weekly check-in call with my mother and a close friend in Los Angeles.
This Quiet Room
I have found that if you love life, life will love you back. ~ Arthur Rubinstein
Yesterday I took a down day. I watched movies and ate popcorn, letting my inner child (and her sense of play) take over. Together ‘we’ watched Last Love starring Michael Caine and Clemence Poesy, and then later, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty starring Ben Stiller. Both films were love letters to life. Last Love took place during the final weeks of the protagonist’s life (Caine), unraveling the bitter-sweetness of his days as a widower. It’s a quiet, little film that takes place in Paris. Done mostly in muted browns and grays, the film also celebrates a quality of light that softens as the film progresses. To me, it felt like an old, much loved and worn, cashmere coat. There was a comfort in its message: don’t let what you love most, slip away.
Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world. ~ Lucille Ball
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, on the other hand, blazed with color. It celebrated the visual beauty of life. Although it starts slow, once Mitty’s real adventures begin (as opposed to his ridiculous fantasies) you get the sense that you are watching the hero’s journey, as well as being asked to reflect on your own relationship with a sense of mysterious, life-altering adventure. It travels from New York City to Greenland, Iceland, Northern Afghanistan and the Himalayas. The landscapes are broad and the color of the sky and the sea and the land, intense. Mitty is initially a sort of nondescript nobody. His life is beige. He spends his days in a darkroom (true!) processing the creative photographic work of others. The film allows us to watch him awaken and start to love life, love himself, and eventually love another person.
Thankful for this Day, Everyday
I’ve been doing daily (well, almost daily) gratitude journaling for the past two weeks. I started it as a mere exercise to see if I could do it. I was also curious to see what might happen if I focused my energy only on what I was grateful for, not what was wrong, less than optimal, or just plain disappointing.
A profound shift happened within hours of starting. The more I celebrated what was good, the more good things happened to me.
I caught my buses. My best friend treated me to lunch and bought me a ruby red purse, just because she wanted to. I received notice that my faculty teaching portfolio had been chosen as ‘exemplary’ and as a result, I’d won $200 (the exact amount for which I’d just written a check to pay my one hospital bill from when I broke my nose). The list went on. Good news from my doctor regarding some medical issues. Good news that my mom was feeling better. Good news that I had some extra money for something I’ve wanted for a while.
Being grateful for all of life — even the less than savory parts — resulted in even more to be grateful for.
A Big Hug and a Bigger Kiss
So, get out a notebook and start to catalog the largess in your life. Give all of it a big hug and a bigger kiss. Be thankful for a full belly and a forest of friends. Be thankful that you woke up and you still have a chance to become whatever it is you want to become. Don’t wait – don’t think that you only need to express your gratitude once everything’s perfect and aligned and spotless.
Nope. Be thankful for your losses and your bullshit and your struggles, too.
However, focus on what you want more of and bless what you want to let go.
This is not a dress rehearsal. This. Is. It.
X O X O,
© 2014 Shavawn M. Berry All rights reserved
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