Moving toward Grace by Janine Donoho

Bodilicious new pack member.

Bodilicious new pack member.

I suspect we all struggle toward thankfulness when stress and exhaustion overwhelm our intent. During a brief stay on the coast a few weeks ago, a wise friend redirected my tendency—okay, total embrace of the whine—toward appreciation. After restarting my meditation practice a few mornings ago, today I’m advancing toward gratitude.

Shakedown cruise

Shakedown cruise

Last week we combined the shakedown cruise of our new sixteen foot home-on-wheels with expanding our pack by one puppy. Intrepid Guy’s latest labs show great improvement and full remission’s within view. During last night’s microburst of gale force winds, then lightning strikes, we emerged unscathed. Now Department of Natural Resource (DNR) crews are attacking the three wildfires started by strikes.

Lightning flash

Lightning flash

Mind you, this is just the big thanks stuff. My gratefulness goes much deeper and has an infinite horizon. Now I close thinking of my geographically distant friend who embodies grace. She’s also a mentor, albeit a continent away—too far for a cuppa. Oddly enough, or perhaps not, her name’s ‘Grace.’ Here’s to you, my friend.

Viceroy butterfly meets geranium

Viceroy butterfly meets geranium

My Bliss Meter by Janine M. Donoho

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALet me admit that vortices of ‘why bother’ have been known to draw me into their gyrations. With a throbbing knee keeping me from decades-long walking meditations over the last month, my outlook has swung wildly into Danger-Will-Robinson-red before bumping into cautionary yellow.

Even so my thanks-o-meter has begun to migrate into the sweet green zone again as I enjoy moments of gratitude so richly textured that the sky actually opens and celestial beings pour through—although decidedly not of the religiosity variety. Instead my unnatural immobility focuses me on what registers with both normal and extrasensory perceptions—an indulgence and a categorically unscientific way of viewing the world. It does speak to an integrated brain, however.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Today I’m enthralled by the fire in our soapstone stove. Within the temperature registers a balmy 60+ degrees Fahrenheit rather than the double-digit minuses outside. Our basking hounds sigh and groan, adding a joyful dimension. Beside me are stacks of books to read. Bliss.

Travel stickersA handwritten letter from a best friend included these inspiring stickers of maps you might expect to see on old steamer trunks—along with beautifully rendered birds. Then there’s my Wacom tablet, which required a year of scrimping to buy. The tablet works brilliantly with Corel Painter 12—a promise of exhilarating skills to gain and visions to liberate.

Can I even joke about the uninhibited delight I find in MSOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA writing programs? Especially when compared to typewriters with carbon copies and the ancient Commodore 64 on which I wrote my first novel, losing chapters at a time when the system burped. I simply love my artful pens, too—gifts received with each published novel. Another two for CHOSEN BY MIST (Book 3 of MISTBORN CHRONICLESand SOUNDINGS (Water Elemental) will be joining the medley of five this month. What writer can resist a fabulous pen?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFinally this Tuesday I look forward to getting both cortisone and hyaluronic acid injections into my aching joint. By the end of next year, I may while away the winter months recovering from a more permanent fix. Exuberant dancing, extreme hiking, and other endorphin-crazed activities could fill my life again. On, on!

Another gift? Some communities translate well into electron clouds, especially when you connect with those wild ones who will howl at the moon with you. They can loft you into the stratosphere when other means fail. So thank you to those unconventional, big-brained creatives on Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. You expand my horizons from isolated to ecstatic herd member.

Let’s start a conversation. What gets you over the bumps and pegs out your gratitude meter?OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Soundings, Water Elemental

LaunchFebruary 27th, 2015
The big day is here.

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