A DEEPER LOOK at GRATITUDE

Those who know me, know that I often refer to Gratitude.

You may ask How did you know or get introduced to GRATITUDE? While listening to Krista Tippett’s podcast On Being, early one Sunday morning, she was interviewing Brother David Steindl-Rast, Founder of Gratefulness.org . This podcast was such a pivotal moment in my life as he described so many things, people, experiences, sounds, sights, smells, he was grateful for. I am a contributor to Gratefulness.org through monetary donations and my Photography. The practice of Gratitude I continue today. When I feel stuck in a ‘funk’, and I can’t think of anything to be grateful for, I begin with the letter ‘A’ and list whatever I am grateful for that begins with that letter and proceed through the alphabet. It’s amazing what comes out. Here’s a list of late:

A = Alicia (my daughter), Art, Air, AFG, Apple Trees

B = Brothers, color Blue, Blue Berries, Books, Birds

C = Chocolate (Dark Chocolate), Church, Couch, Catholicism, Creating Collages, Crows, Camera

D = Dawn, Doves, Daffodils, Drawing

E = Elephants, Ears that hear, Eyes that See, Europe

F = Faith, Father, Friends, Family

G = God, color Green, Grayson, Greeting one another

H = Home, Hot water, Hiking, Hawks

I = Imagination, Irises

J = Jesus, Juicy Pears and Apples, Job, Joy

K = Katharina (a faithful friend), Kites, Kibbeh, Kayaaks, Kayak, Kelly

L = Love, the sound Laughter, Lincoln

M = Mom, Memory, Mountains

N = Nandina, Notecards

O = Ocean waves and sound, Oxygen, Oranges, Orchids

P = Patience, Prayer, Pink Tulips, Peruvian Lilies, Photography, Pencils, Pens, Paper, Pope Francis

Q = Quiet moments, Quilts

R = Rest, Richard (son), Red Poppies, Robins

S = Steve (husband and friend), Sailing, Swimming, Seeing Smiles again

T = Trees (all kinds- Oaks, Redbuds, Weeping Willows, Dogwoods, Beech Trees), Today, Travels

U= Umbrellas (bright red, poke-a-dotted)

V = Sound of Violins, African Violets, Vacation

W = Water, Willow Trees, Writing

X = eXtraordinary moments

Y = Yellow Sunflowers and Finches

Z = Zealous moments

What does your list look like?

~ Anita Adams 3/2022

S = Sunflower

Year End Reflections and….

a look back on 2021

A year of loss

A year where a Leap of Faith was taken into the unknown

A year of Trusting the God of my understanding, the Divine, Jesus, the Mystery, the Whisperer

Creating Art

Letting Love in

Trusting that ALL is well and ALWAYS will be in God’s time and in God’s way

Choosing Gratitude for the gifts given and the ones shared

God thank you for the Serenity to accept those things/people/situations I can not change

God thank you for the Courage to change those things/situations that I can

God thank you for the Wisdom to know the difference

Wishing you all a year of focusing on what you have, sharing what you can, good health, good food, good choices, peace of mind, body and soul.

Forestbathing in Western North Carolina

There’s always time to . . .

Choose to give from a place of love

Pause and be silent

Breathe in fresh air and give thanks

Pray and listen for God’s guidance

Walk in the woods and notice nature in all its forms, colours, sounds, smells

Write a letter to a friend, to yourself, to God

Give thanks for the many ordianary and extraordinary blessings in my life

Be kind to myself and others

Retreat into silence when saying something unkind just feels icky

Learn to love one’s self

Where am I headed?

A typed note rests on my desk with this question Where am I headed?, and I read it every day.

I don’t know where I am headed

I do know that I am being prepared for something else; And I will recognize that calling or destination when the door or window opens


My prayer each day is your will for me God, and others

I listen and wait

Look and notice

Close my eyes and grow silent

Working and growing in compassion to meet the challenges of the day before me, as best I can


Nature and prayer are the balms that soothe my soul

Bathing under the canopy of the forest

Listening to the wind as it sways the trees’ trunks and limbs, they join in song, singing to one another is the music of my heart

Early morning, the birds’ song and banter brings a feeling of comfort like a flannel blanket on a cold day

Creating art from photos or gathered pieces of paper and moss, paint on canvas, herbs wrapped in string and presented as bouquets


Where am I headed?

Perhaps the answer is to grow deeper in gratitude for all the gifts I’ve been given – a compassionate heart, a listening ear, eyes that see, arms and legs that move and carry me from place to place, a knowingness that all is well …. and, more will be revealed – Hope.

~ Anita Adams 5/30/2021

Longing

to feel the wind on my face

to hear his voice

to hug my grandsons without masks

to retire and enjoy my days writing and creating art

to go to Mass and receive Communion

to sit on the shore at the beach, and listen to the ocean’s song, to feel its waves wash upon my feet

to bathe in the forest and breathe in the fragrance of pines and flaming azaleas

to finish a book or two

to be guided to where and what my true calling is

to love and know myself so well that naturally, love overflows to all those around me

to be more grateful

to be present in this moment, in this breath

~ Anita Adams 5/11/2021

Good Friday Reflections and more

Tell me what I missed….

Today – I missed the basking in the warmth of the sun

Yesterday – I missed a walk in the evening

A Year ago – I missed celebrating Good Friday with my Mom

Missing the smiles behind the masks, the hugs from those I know and love, and those I like, but know not – yet

All the moments and hugs from my grandsons from September 2020 until now

Life and its fluidity

Making the most of those moments and grateful for the comforts I have – a partner, a home, eyes that see, ability to feel with my heart and mirror the love back that’s been gifted to me.

Prayers that go something like this….

I am Tree

Tiny seed placed in the ground

Watered and nurtured with sunlight

God’s spirit poured out on me

Help me grow a little at a time

Roots clinging to the earth

Filled with the Spirit

Nourished with nutrients to grow

Branches stretched up toward the Heavens

Swaying in the wind

Dancing, singing with birds and bees

Giving thanks to our Creator

Singing songs like I Believe

Thank you – Love, Me

©Anita Adams 2021

Definition of Epiphany: a sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something

Epiphany

This week I’ve had two –both with men, both familial.

The first with my son during a telephone conversation from him, which I listened as he spoke to me about his life, responsibilities, wants and needs. As I listened, what I heard was a type of discontent. And, it dawned on me that this may be what I have often echoed to my own parents, and how sad it must have been for them to have heard this same discontent from me for years. I decided right then to consciously change this language to content, possible and hopeful with all persons one conversation, one day at a time.

The second epiphany came last night when I shared with my father the first epiphany and he listened and looked at me and then said, you must have forgotten how you were as a young girl – I did NOT expect to hear these words or the examples of heart ache he described thereafter. Yet, I listened. I apologized for the heartache I bestowed unknowingly on him and my mother.

And then, I shared my perceptions of what happened in my life at that time. As he listened, and he did, I knew he was hearing my recollection and realization much differently. It was a lot to absorb for both of us. And even as I share this now, I know that we will both never be the same. For me, I will be more compassionate, listen more, talk less, need less, and continue to strive for that balance, that art of contentment.

As Easter approaches, and Lent comes to a close, I will share something I offered up during my Lenten journey with Christ. My Lenten Fast was this – to choose NOT to engage in any negative communication with others or toward myself, and if I slipped up, I would deposit $1 in a jar to be given to an organization for those who are less fortunate than myself such as MANNA FoodBank recipients or Catholic Charities. I may have $10 in the jar to distribute – not bad for 40 days of commitment and what I’ve learned is that this will be an ongoing way of life for me – listen more, talk less, if I must talk, be aware of my choice of words. An acronym for the word ‘THINK’ is this:  Is what you are about to say: Thoughtful, Honest, Intelligent, Necessary and Kind? If so, it’s okay to proceed, if not, it’s best to just listen or move on.

Happy Easter – Spring !

When I was three

I lived by the sea

collecting sand and water in a sieve to see what I could see

When I was three

there were five more of us all under the age of eight, four brothers and a sister, making six

two parents, a house, a few blocks away – we’d walk to play in the biggest playground I’d ever seen

When I was three

life was simple

play and nap

eat and snack

until the sun set and the moon rose

When I was three

life was an adventure

swimming in the ocean

playing in the sand

oh… life was grand!