Saturday, March 10, 2012

Simple gratitude

Years ago I was at a spiritual retreat with a shaman at a beautiful placed called "Feathered Pipe Ranch" in Montana. I was lucky enough to be there, not only for the featured speaker but also when a group of Tibetan monks were visiting, and when a Chippewa Cree medicine man was there. The workshop participants watched in silent reverence as the monks did their prayers. Later at dinner someone asked the medicine man how he enjoyed the monks visit. He snorted with contempt! "They did not stop to thank the water for being there!!" he complained. We all suppressed giggles. I guess you can always find more gratitude... or more loving allowance for others' traditions!

In later years I was lucky enough to go to Peru. After my experience there I think it should be part of our education in the more developed countries to visit a third world country at some point in our lives. We were blessed to be tourists and when a hotel said it had hot showers, it meant literally maybe one, or two. And if you were lucky enough to be in the room with hot water, you shared. In a country where the things we take for granted were lacking, the people were happier, more connected, and certainly more generous than a lot of individuals I've met in our own country. When you have less, it seems you appreciate more.

I am glad to be living in a home with running water and electricity. With that does come a whole new share of challenges - leaks, shorts, etc. Recently my a/c checkup company came out for a pre-season check on my system. Apparently a prior repair company had done some wiring in the attic, that was now sparking!! Instead of grumbling and complaining about the repair costs, I am feeling blessed. It was caught in time. I have electricity. And I will have air conditioning in the summer. Millions on earth live in mud huts with sweltering heat and little food. I find no cause to complain.

And so the angel message this week is a great reminder that when challenges arise in your life, stop and look around at the million blessings we take for granted every day. I have hands to type with, a computer to connect with you, and most importantly of all, all of you to connect with.

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