Gracious Gratitude
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Gracious Gratitude

Day 228

I wrote about this once before, but as it appears I’m going through another, it bears mentioning again.

A.F.G.O.

Another Fucking Growth Opportunity

They call them growing pains for a reason, of course. There’s discomfort. No, scratch that. It hurts. A lot.

Over the last week I’ve been yanked merrily along the path of life, this week’s transit being propelled by a team of wild horses. At least that’s how it felt. The thing is the catalyzing events haven’t even been to or directly related to me. Rather they’ve been swirling about my orbit, yanking various and sundry people in my world off their respective axes. Funny thing about planetary movements, one planet has a substantial shift, and the celestial ripples can be substantial. Probably doesn’t help that we’re smack in the middle of an actual celestial kerfuffle.

But I digress.

The week was rough. I stayed focused and everything was going fine. This afternoon, after a series of innocuous events I found myself sitting in a rather uncomfortable emotional place. That’s when A.F.G.O. kicked in. The old me would have soldiered on, pretended nothing was wrong, and ultimately worn myself out. Probably making some not great decisions along the way. The new me took some new actions, shifted my thinking about a few things and within an hour or so, was right as rain.

My point? It’s much like a quote I recently heard from Deepak Chopra as part of a meditation series. To paraphrase: There are no good or bad days. The quality of the day or the event or the situation is entirely dependent on the spiritual condition of the individual who is viewing it.

In other words, the world doesn’t change, but my view of it does.

Not bad for a Saturday.

Oh … and as part of this whole releasing my expectations, shifting my thoughts and taking some deep breaths thing, the door opened for me to experience some truly stupendous gifts. I had several deeply connecting and expansive conversations with some remarkable women whose presence in my life is as vital as air and water … and … I got a last minute invitation from a complete stranger to go to the final home game of the regular season for my Vegas Golden Knights!

Actually now I have to call them the PACIFIC DIVISION CHAMPION Vegas Golden Knights! That’s right! Our Gladiators on Ice took home the Division title tonight with a 3–2 victory over the San Jose Sharks. Last time I saw the Sharks and the Golden Knights play … it was October 1.

The events of 1 October 2017 transpired before I began writing here. For those who might not connect that date — it was the last home game of the Golden Knights pre-season. It also was the night a deeply disturbed domestic terrorist, whose name I won’t dignify by writing it, opened fire on the Highway 91 Festival, killing 58 and wounding hundreds and hundreds of others.

The hockey game started early. Super early, at 5pm. So we finished around 7:30pm. Not feeling well after the game that night (a bad choice of chicken fingers for a snack), I opted out of grabbing dinner with my friend. I also opted out of driving home via the Strip with the top down. (It was a gorgeous night.) Instead, I went home and was fast asleep when the nightmare for others began. Waking at 5am on Monday, the enormity of the horror unfolded quickly as I scrolled through pages of messages on pretty much every communication platform I use.

That event and the weeks after changed me. Though not directly effected by the tragedy, the cascade, the ripples … washed over me. It did for most everyone I know here. Artists painted — with new murals and pieces of art appearing around the City. Philanthropists stepped forward — with millions of dollars in aid being raised for the victims and their families. Writers penned work — some of which will be published in an anthology in May 2018.

Ripples. They’re everywhere. The consequences of actions (or inactions) are not merely for those directly involved. Our lives are all so inextricably linked — whether by direct connection, by reasonable proximity or even cases where someone else’s experience changes how they interact with someone and that person interacts with someone, who interacts with someone … and finally the chain reaction results of that initial person lands on my doorstep.

Weighty stuff.

There is coursing through me deep gratitude today for the women in my life who stepped forward today when I reached out, their hands and kind words being the perfect balance of support, encouragement and reality check. I’m equally grateful for the clarity to see that the shockwaves sending my orbit off kilter are temporary … but the lessons I am taking, those are the stuff of stronger foundation.

Today’s Gracious Gratitude. I am grateful for:

  • Friends like Roxanne, Monique and Michelle whose voices called to me through some murky thoughts today
  • Being aware of growth and staying in it even though I am squirrelly and just want to run
  • The opportunity to see the final home game of the regular season for the Vegas Golden Knights
  • Making new friends
  • Great workouts
  • Puppy kisses
  • The deep happy noise Truman makes when I scratch behind his ears
  • Spring weather
  • Making plans for my garden

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Cathy Brooks

Cathy Brooks

Raconteur and Silicon Valley expat who’s gone to the dogs … literally. Read more here https://www.linkedin.com/public-profile/in/cathybrooks