Beatitude (Supreme Blessedness)

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Today was the fourth day of summer school (I’m teaching a 2nd and 3rd grade combo class).  We hadn’t even gotten to the fun stuff yet (math Bingo with M&Ms and vocabulary skits) when one second grader beamed and said, “I love summer school!”

What part?” I asked.

“All of it!”

Her gratitude was intense and contagious. Other students murmured in agreement. Summer school is the bomb. 

She could have complained about waking up, getting dressed and going to school.

She could have dreaded doing math (again).

She could have complained and compared herself to other kids who are going on vacations to California and beyond.

But she was completely present. She was 100% here with 16 other kids and me and we had a great time.

 

Thanks to the Good and Bad*

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Sushi Watercolor – Creativebug.com class with August Wren
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In process. Sushi face!

 

First of all, sushi. Definitely a good thing!

 

*From Ryan Holiday’s blog, Thought Catalog:

[*] Say Thanks—To The Good and Bad — The Stoics saw gratitude as a kind of medicine, that saying “Thank you” for every experience was the key to mental health. “Convince yourself that everything is the gift of the gods,” was how Marcus Aurelius put it, “that things are good and always will be.” Say thanks to a rude person. Say thanks to a bungled project. Say thanks to a delayed package. Why? Because for starters it may have just saved you from something far worse, but mostly because you have no choice in the matter.

Epictetus has said that every situation has two handles: Which are you going to decide to hold onto? The anger or the appreciation? The one of resentment or of thanks?

 

 

A Force to be Reckoned With

John Force is an NHRA drag driver. He has over 144 victories and is a major player in his field.

As a child, he overcame childhood polio. As a young adult, he raced for twenty years and failed so miserably that he became the butt of jokes.

But he never gave up.

Most of us attempt something a few times and throw in the towel after a few failures.

What are you passionate about? Can you endure hundreds of fails? Public mockery? If you enjoy the process, (the learning and growth) instead of focusing on the end game, it takes care of itself.

Beholden

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orchid doodle

 

I am grateful for the early morning intention

To feed my daughters earth’s fruits

At lunch when I am absent

my love is omnipresent

I am grateful for the pesky wind

That musses “perfect” hair

And shouts sweet nothings in my ears

All are signs that I’m alive

I am grateful for the cuts on my fingers

They scream silently as I work

scabs, wrinkles, dry cuticles – 

My hands are marked with ravages of time and labor

 

Lion

#1: When your computer breaks down and you have to type and publish your blog on your cell phone, ROAR like a lion.

#2: When the bonus they promised to deliver in December gets postponed to February, ROAR like a lion.

#3: When Pinterest tells you that someone in Russia has hacked your account and you can’t reset your password (see #1), ROAR like a lion.

#4: When you start to feel overwhelmed, anxious, angry or depressed, ROAR like a lion.

Or…close your eyes, breathe deeply and know everything is fine.

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Unbound

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On an atypically warm Antelope Valley morning,

the llamas blink a declaration of hunger at me

 

I walk down the dusty, winding trail

surrounded by mountains that remind me of my great inconsequence

 

It’s Thanksgiving and my dog’s eyes brim with unflinching love

as she accompanies me, untethered, down the path

 

I’m beholden – we all are – every single one of us,

to those who have embraced us and to those who have pushed us away