The Thing About Gratitude

An intentional attitude really does matter

It is a puzzling thing. The truth knocks on the door and you say, “Go away, I’m looking for the truth,” and so it goes away. Puzzling.

These words were written by Robert M. Pirsig in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. He shared a beautiful mind and soul and I am thankful for that.

Today, I didn’t have far to look to see so much to be thankful for. So much so, that my ‘Daily Moments-Matter needs, well,3+ minutes:)

First, I want to thank my special ‘Other’ who shares her guidance, and encouraging words so that I am learning to recognize that, what I say, do and write, does hold value, in this world.

Next, a walk through the forest let me commune with nature in a way that has been sadly missing from my journey for the last while. With my current reading of Soulcraft by Bill Plotkin, I am reminded of the significance that the natural environment has on our spiritual paths.

In Wild Mind: A Field Guide to the Human Psyche, Plotkin offers insights into the experiential exploration of our human psyches. These thoughts build the unique expressions of the universal forces and patterns of nature. He refers to the Gary Snyder, who notes,

“To speak of wilderness is to speak of wholeness.”

This brings me to the next experience I had today. A beautiful soul came into my life through some special people I worked with at a workshop.

The human matrix of mind, body, heart, soul and spirit can be broken in ways that seem, at times unsurmountable. Honouring those who have dealt with trauma-recovery, we are encouraged to accept what is, be with it and embrace it. Imagination and an open-mind are powerful tools to build a new ‘you’ — one that is unique and special because of the scars and the broken pieces.

The place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and head and hands, and then work outward from there.

— R. Pirsig

One woman was wearing beautiful earrings which captured my attention and I commented on them. She explained that they are made from the abalone shell. This is also a shell used to make wampum belts and smudge bowls and is commonly found on the West coast — my birthplace.

This led to a wonderful talk of her Ojibwe background as one of the Indigenous or Aboriginal peoples of Canada. This refers to First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples. We spoke of sweat lodges and the sacred herbs used to make the ‘smudge’ for spiritual cleansing. The smudge traditionally includes sweet grasses, sage and cedar.

When we have an open-mind people come into our lives for reasons we otherwise would not have seen. This was one of those times.

The only Zen you can find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there.

The whole day fit nicely together into a package of reasons to be thankful. And, I am thankful that you took the time to read:)

Namasté, Leah J🕊

© 2019 Leah J. Spence, M.Ed, Psychology Writer, Artist, Teacher
The ART of Living the Matrix