A few weeks back in our home city, I was wrestling with the mundane challenges of my return to regular life. The beautiful vistas of Moorea and Bora Bora had been replaced with traffic jams on the 401, the grime and routine of daily urban living, and the still palpable grief of losing my beloved Father-in-Law. And I was struggling to maintain the healthy habits I had started on our year away, and felt overwhelmed with doubt about my capacity to successfully return to work. Then, something surprising happened as I was struggling with the fog of "re-entry": the teachers and teachings I needed to help me navigate this return to the familiar appeared in front of me, just as I needed them.
Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra launched a glorious new 21 day meditation challenge focused on gratitude, and I cried thankful tears at the many extraordinary blessings in my life. Kris Carr focused her wonderful blog on editing our massive personal "to do" lists, just as I needed to hear that message. And I suddenly realized that the blue sky, seen through the magnificent maple trees in our very own Christie Pits Park, is just as blue as in other glorious ports we visited over the past year, and there is other beauty, such as the community garden, to discover there as well. In short, I discovered that grace, and beauty, can be located readily with an open heart in the stillness anywhere.
Eckhart Tolle said: "Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance." And the wonderful Mary Oliver, who has made an art of seeing and being grateful, said: "Hello, sun in my face/Hello you, who made the morning/Watch, now, how I start the day/in happiness, in kindness."
Here's to starting and ending the day in gratitude, which is, it seems, the perfect place both to begin, and begin again.