Embracing gratitude via barbecues and sunshine

If we cannot be happy in spite of our difficulties, what good is our spiritual practice?
- Maha Ghosonanda

I have been feeling especially cranky recently. At first I blamed the terminally gray skies, but then it was sunny and things still didn't change. I came up with a lot of other reasons on top of the weather: work, lack of vacation, getting up early to teach yoga, not practicing enough yoga, teaching too much yoga. Irrational much?

So I foisted the problem on my yoga classes. Well, I had better intentions than that. I set gratitude as my theme for classes the last couple of weeks, hoping to help both them and myself out. I love it as a theme, and I particularly love the meditation of gratitude, when we spend time noting what we are grateful for and let it sink in. It was a semi-effective mini-lecture to myself. But apparently my funk was deeper than this yoga teacher could fix, and as soon as I walked out of the studio, the rain washed away the positive and I was back where I started.

But then. But then, I had a housewarming. Right up until the party I was still a bit antagonistic, but then the day of the party itself was rather amazing. Gathering people from all walks of your life in one place is such a beautiful thing. I've never had a space large enough to entertain more than three or four before, but my new place, rather my new backyard, easily holds 20 and could probably handle 30 to 40 without too much strain. It's a lovely place, my backyard, particularly when the sun is shining.

Photo courtesy of KJ's Hipstamatic

Preparing for the bbq started the upswing. I was so happy to buy fixings for farro and fruit salad, for barbecue chicken and for grilled asparagus. I couldn't wait to share cupcakes for dessert. I was practically humming cleaning my floors. Once my friends arrived, everyone in their sandaled, summer best, bearing loads of food, drink and lawn furniture for my empty backyard, I knew gratitude again. Gratitude for their friendship, for their smarts, for their kicky senses of humor, for their love of Seattle and sun, for toes in warm grass, for their generosity, for their openness to others and for community. The thing is, life is so easy once we make it so. Thanks to you all.


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Header Image from Bangbouh @ Flickr