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Every so often I have one of those numinous experiences that reminds me without doubt that I am connected, supported, and living in a beautiful world.

We all have them, and probably many more than we notice.

Here’s how this particular experience went down:

harmonica-2

It was around noonish a couple of weeks ago.

I was on my way out to the pasture to feed Miss P. as is my routine nearly every day. I’d been having an “off day,” the kind where you can’t seem to get anything done and I was giving myself the “get-your-act-together” lecture.

I’m guessing you know what I’m talking about since we humans are really good at giving ourselves that lecture. I’d been feeling blue; even wrote about it in my post entitled Grief 2.0.

So you get the picture. It was one of those days.

I’d scrambled to get the feed organized and headed out, not paying much attention to anything except my feelings.

That is until I was stopped at a light waiting to turn left.

Beside me in a non-descript, rather old and well-used car was a man playing the harmonica. I mean he was rocking out, bobbing his head up and down, really jamming. I stole a glance and then did a double take because at first I didn’t see the harmonica.

And I’m sorry to say that my first thought was weirdo.

Thankfully, I was able to get past my initial and unkind judgment. I looked again. Oh, he’s playing the harmonica, I said to myself.

Somehow that made the whole scene less weird.

I kept sneaking glances at him, afraid to actually just watch and enjoy this moment. (Have I mentioned this is a rather long light? )

Finally it happened.

In one of those stolen glances, he looked directly at me.

I felt caught.

Found out.

At first I wanted to quickly turn away, pretend I wasn’t actually looking at him. But I didn’t.

I allowed myself to meet his gaze.

He nodded, and stopped playing for a moment – long enough to give me a big smile.

I nodded and smiled back.

And that was that.

The light turned green and we were off, likely to never meet again.

As I continued to the pasture I realized that I felt lighter. I was laughing at myself for being so awkward about watching him.

And I felt grateful.

Grateful to be alive, to be heading out to hang out with Miss Pepper.

I felt grateful to this man, who reminded me that it is perfect to be exactly who I am – even when I don’t have my act totally together.

The world expects nothing less of us than showing up with our unique, wonderful selves in tow.

I’m calling it the Three Minute Miracle.

My challenge to myself is to pay it forward.

To give my own brand of “harmonica playing” to someone I may not know, someone I meet in a chance encounter.

How about you?

Do you have a Three Minute Miracle in you?

(trick question because of course you do!)

I’ve been reading about gratitude again. How focusing on the things for which you’re grateful, brings more things to put on your gratitude list.

In other words, gratitude begets gratitude.

Or put yet another way, what you focus on expands.

I like that.

It comforts me, though sometimes I forget.

We humans seem to be hardwired to focus on the negative especially in tough times.

But that’s when we need to do just the opposite.

Accentuate the positive, as the old song goes.

So here goes…

My daily trip to feed our two old sweeties makes me grateful today for these things:

  1. I’m outside and away from my computer and all things electronic.
  2. I get to interact with the elements and remember what it feels like to have wind in my hair or snow on my face, or grasshoppers in my shoes.
  3. I see awe-inspiring sights like the sunset the other evening that took my breath.
  4. I have horse friends that greet me every time I see them.
  5. Being outdoors with my horses connects me to the wildness I so often crave.

Now it’s your turn.

Tell me one thing that today, this very minute you feel grateful for.

Thank you!

Wednesdays with Mija

The art of napping.

For those of you who may be new to the blog, don’t be surprised when you see something every Wednesday from me – a cat.

Yes, I know it’s a blog mostly about horses. But I wanted in on the action because I think I know a thing or two about aging and life too.

Today I’m offering you my summer gratitude list.

I hope it will inspire you to create your own list, because cultivating a feeling of thankfulness is a lovely way to be in the world.

Every day I find at least ten things to be grateful for. Some days I even have more than ten. It is a very entertaining hobby.

 

 

  1. People who love me enough to allow me to be exactly who I am.
  2. My daily massage.
  3. Cat treats and the people who invented them.
  4. Sunlight.
  5. A garden filled with perfect napping spots.
  6. Chairs on the deck that fit me perfectly.
  7. My bowl on the deck because I adore drinking my water alfresco.
  8. A daily comb-out to keep me looking my best.
  9. Welcoming, cozy laps.
  10. Stimulating conversations with my people.
So what’s on your summer list? Notice the things that make you happy and write them down. If you’re so inclined, tell us one or two of your gratitudes in the comment section below.
Happy Wednesday!

I'm going to BlogPaws 2010 badge

I’m heading off to Denver tomorrow with my friends from World by the Tail to attend Blog Paws West – a conference devoted to blogging about animals. I have no idea what to expect really, but I know it will be fun and informative.

And even though the title of the conference specifically includes the word “paws,” I’m hoping to meet up with some folks who blog about horses. I’ll let you know next week how it goes.

That brings me in a round about way to gratitude, which is something that’s been on my mind lately. As a therapist, I know the healing effects of being grateful. There has been much written about the practice of keeping a gratitude journal, or making a daily list of things for which to feel grateful. In truth, it’s something I go in and out of. Remembering to feel grateful every single day hasn’t become ingrained in me yet.

Though I am working on it.

I know it’s powerful stuff.

So here goes.

My gratitude list for this Thursday, as they say on Dancing With the Stars, in no particular order:

  1. The spicy, cinnamon fragrance of freshly-picked basil
  2. The Black Eyed Susans that are in bloom all over town
  3. Crisp mornings and sunny days
  4. Blackberry-peach cobbler
  5. Mija snuggling into me in the early mornings
  6. Pepper figuring out that she must eat her grain before she can have treats
  7. You – my faithful readers of this blog.
  8. My adorable, magical grandson and his wonderful parents
  9. My friends and family – the people who love me and are my safety net
  10. The look on Bud’s face when he first sees us drive up to the gate to feed him
  11. A body that still does what it’s supposed to!

That’s my list.

For today.

I could go on, which is comforting to me. I guess I’m feeling very grateful today.

What about you?

Are you willing to share one thing that’s on your gratitude list in the comments?

I hope so.

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