Saturday, August 22, 2015

Ojai Moments and Gratitude ... Even When Things (kind of) Suck

Let gratitude be the pillow upon which
you kneel to say your nightly prayer.
~Maya Angelou 

Photos from this post were taken over the last several months, over various weekends in Ojai.

When I loaded photos for this post, it was back in mid July, and I had decided to do a post on gratitude. (I was trying to stay on the Deepak Chopra 21 day Meditation!) Things were stressful at that time, and those are the times that, for me, it's most important to find gratitude in little blessings and people in your life. You know, whatever you can find in your life that doesn't go in the "this totally sucks" column. ;)

I was having tests done, and words like biopsy, cells, and pathology were a part of my everyday vocabulary much more that I'd like. 

Most of the time on this blog, I've written about things and places that inspire me, and that I hope will inspire you too. That can lead to a bit of Grass is always greener Facebook Syndrome. You know, where other peoples lives look utterly fabulous because we never see them when they wake up in the morning, or any of the things that keep them up at night! 

We often show what is the best in our lives, but alas, in the spirit of honesty and balance ... the Reader's Digest version is that in my absence I've had abdominal surgery for female stuff (mostly preventative, we can say now) and a subsequent trip to the E.R. Having said that, despite a few bumps in the road, things are getting better little by little and I'm off the Percocet, and most importantly I've had good lab results, from my surgery! All clear! Hurray! 

The more you are grateful for hat you have, 
the more you can live fully in the present.
~Dana Arcuri

I've been recovering in Ojai at my parents' place. Something to be very grateful for. 

In fact, during all the stress, before lab results came back, I had a very long list of blessings to be thankful for in my little gratitude app (yes, there is actually an app for that) on my iPhone ... the people in my life, antibiotics that can save you when you really need them, drugs (ditto- when you really need them,) my faith, lip balm, a good pillow, broth, a new robe, flowers, gifts of the heart, and being able to sit under a beautiful tree. All really good stuff!

And now? Good report from the pathologists. No more "A-typical" or otherwise scary cells. Phew! Gratitude.

below, the lovely shop Fig

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings,
turn routine jobs into joy
and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.
~William Arthur Ward
below, Bart's Books

Fairy Godmother breakfast at my friend Lynn's

A walk with my sister in the Ojai Arbolada with Lucy her labradoodle ...

There is no prescription 
for finding moments of gratitude in every day;
there is simply the choice.
~Gillian Deacon

Rancho Matilija

There is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude,
a quiet joy.
~Ralph H. Blum

Meg's Ojai House

Mom and Dad's house

And their cactus garden ...

Real life isn't always going to be perfect or go our way,
but the recurring acknowledgment of what is working in our lives
can help us not only to survive 
but surmount our difficulties.
~Sarah Ban Breathnach

My sister's Chickens

Loveliness at the Ranch House

Can you see the holiness in those things you take for granted-
a paved road or a washing machine?
If you concentrate on finding what is good in every situation,
you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude,
a feeling that nurtures the soul.
~Rabbi Harold Kushner

Shrine in Upper Ojai

Upper Ojai ... Gratitude

Here's a lovely acoustic rendition of Bob Marley's Thank You Lord by Reggae a Semente

The moment one gives close attention to anything,
even a blade of grass,
it becomes a mysterious, awesome, 
indescribably magnificent world in itself.
~Henry Miller

Hope this finds you all enjoying a beautiful summer.
(And hopefully not a lot that sucks!)
Blessings and light