"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes a sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."Stepping back and accessing my life give opportunity to relive a few cringe moments. How harsh we judge ourselves. I'm the first to admit. My life in Sweden has definitely had it's share of ups and downs. When I first moved here it was a place that could do no wrong and in many ways this still holds true. Efficient, clean, safe, beautiful . . . and well, sometimes . . . gasp . . . dare I say, well, boring. I know, I can't believe I'm saying it! Hence, I think this is the natural course of events when settling down to a place. There's gotta be something to complain about. This past winter was more of a challenge to pick myself up. The newness of my environment had obviously worn off. I felt resistance rise up inside me and the battle with the status quo that is so evident in this part of the world. Yes, the battle. To soften the resistance I made an effort to consciously practice gratitude. Count my blessings no matter how small to keep the mind straight. So, now that I've stayed in one place, no running around, I actually have some semblance of a home, a steadiness of mind becomes even more essential without the stimuli of new. Bordem is a block. Isn't it interesting how the mind likes to focus on the lowest common denominator? Always. Turning the ordinary into extraordinary is possible. At the very least, I'd like to try.
- Melody Beattie
I'm in a country that is more pulled back and I keep getting a sense I want to step out. Dealing with the contrast can be a challenge. Well, I really have no choice at this point. I just hope the curious, enthusiastic part of myself never burns up in smoke. I like this American aspect and find it refreshing. I like that I wanna step outside the norm from time to time and not have to feel bad for it. So, I have accepted that some around me may not approve, may even be fearful and I no longer need to bear the responsibility of others reactions. I have always appreciated people's differences especially when it comes from a place of passionate focus for leading the life those are determined to live. It opens me up even if it is strikingly different from my own. I'll never get bored of that, and I am not necessarily saying that one needs to be different for the sake of it, but what I am saying is when striking a cord within, it feels too stifling not to share it or at least express it. I've learned no matter where you are these kindred spirits come out of the woodwork come what may, and I love that.
I see how the cultural mores of our times carry much less significance. It's a smaller more connected world. We can communicate and inspire each other in ways that were not possible even twenty years ago. It's amazing, and that's what I have to keep remembering. It's a small world, and yet so vast, filled with infinite possibilities, and somehow over the past few months I had forgotten that. It's really something, finding myself in a web of disillusionment, and I'll be the first to admit that I have, and that's okay. I've never been one to hide behind the fact that I go through stuff. Often. If we don't rub against the resistance, then how will we ever know? If we numb our pains how will we ever grow? No numbing, I can't, and it's been hard, I tell you, but there is still something inside me that whispers in my ear ... Go forth.