Thursday, August 11, 2016

On My Mind, Day 4: Gratitude

Today turned out to be an interesting day. I started off by going to yoga class at my favorite studio here in Ohio. Being in Michigan the last few weeks taking care of my Mom, I sort of neglected my yoga practice. It felt so good to settle into the poses again.

At the beginning of class, the instructor offered us a moment to set our intention. I have been struggling with my intentions lately, especially as it relates to my job search and future career path. But this past week, I had some great news. I signed on a third client for my writing business, which means I can continue on this path for just a little longer.

So when I started to set my intention, for the first time in a long time, I didn't feel the need to set an intention related to my future. In fact, I really couldn't think of anything that I was seeking from my practice. I was just so happy to be sitting on my mat and to be present in that moment. So I set the intention for my practice as one of gratitude. And at the same time, there was little voice inside me that set another intention. It asked if I could somehow feel closer to my family.

After class, I made a stop at the grocery store and then I started working on some writing projects for my clients. As the afternoon went on, I started to hear thunder clashing. It seemed to be getting closer and closer to the apartment. I checked the weather on my phone and found out that a huge storm was about to roll through our area. Just then, it started pouring. The wind kicked up and the sky turned dark.

I went out on the balcony to watch the storm and I texted Mark Johnson to give him the heads up on what he would be driving into on his way home. When I came in from the balcony, the power was out in the apartment. By the time Mark Johnson got home, it was still out. And we had his daughter with us for the evening. We all decided to drive around and see what places in the neighborhood might have power so we could get some dinner.

As we drove, we discovered the outage was pretty widespread. It took us over half an hour just to get to a restaurant on other side of town, where they still had power.  I was already starting to feel nervous about where we would stay if the power didn't come back on, so I texted my sister who lives in Akron to see if we might be able to stay with them. Of course she said she would be more than happy to take us in. We decided to wait until after dinner to decide, just in case the power came back on.

All things considered, we had a really nice dinner. Our waiter was super nice and friendly, despite the fact that the place was completely packed on what should have been a quiet Thursday evening. When the manager stopped by, we complimented him on how well the entire staff handled the huge influx of people. He chatted with us for a minute, and I could tell he was really appreciative of our comments.

On the way home from dinner, I set another intention. This time, I set an intention for our power to be on when we go home. And I asked for my intention, not only to benefit us (which of course it would) but also to benefit the people who are truly in need of power. The older couple that lives on the floor below us and the young couples in the building with babies and children. They would have a much tougher time than we would going without power for one night.

When we got back to the apartment, the power was back on. Instead of texting my sister, I called her to tell her the news and we got to talk for a while. We made plans for me to come and visit the following week. I have been wanting to spend some time with my sister, and on some level I think we both wished I could have ended up spending the night with her family tonight. Either way, it is so nice to know that she is always there.

So I guess today my message is simple, just like yesterday's blog about kindness. Setting my intention to be grateful for all of the wonderful things that are happening in my life seemed to open up a window for me to have even more positive experiences. And I felt that energy in my interactions with everyone we encountered out in the world tonight, including the waiter and the manager who stopped by our table at the restaurant.

And that little voice that seemed to come out of nowhere in my practice was also right. I do want to be closer to my family. Not only did I get to connect with my sister and be reminded of her presence in my life, but I also feel like this experience brought me closer to Mark Johnson and his daughter. The three of us are starting to create our own little family, and it feels really comfortable.

I am so grateful for the direction my life is heading and the path I am on. And I am so lucky to have amazing people in my life to support me and travel on this path with me.

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