It’s the last day of a long holiday weekend. I generally wrap up long weekends or vacations with chores, the sort of day-to-day housekeeping sorts of things that return life the a more practical experience consistent with ordinary days, and weeks, eventually putting a bit of distance between the experience of celebration, and the experience of ‘everyday life’. This morning I find myself engaged in many of those same practical endeavors, but somehow still celebrating, still wrapped in joy, still feeling grateful… I’m not bitching. I’m finding it quite wonderful, and making a point to invest generously in this morning of practical joy, and everyday gratitude.

This morning it feels very ‘natural’ to feel grateful while I sort laundry, to feel joy while I empty the dishwasher, to feel a sense of worthiness while I vacuum. I won’t dissect the feelings right now – it is worthwhile to embrace and enjoy them, to savor this moment and let it become more of who I am. Sure, there are verbs involved, and it’s taken a lot of practicing of a variety of practices – many of them incredible difficult to pursue at a time when I didn’t value or appreciate the woman in the mirror. Getting to this place where it feels natural to feel good, and feels natural to celebrate, and to enjoy my experience, has taken almost 3 years now (more, I could count way further back, but my path took a significant turn about 3 years ago) of practicing, of meditation, of study, of learning to treat myself well, of learning to love – and to allow myself to be loved in return – there have been (and are, and will be) verbs involved – and a personal commitment to action, to change, and to beginning again when things don’t work out well, and letting go of attachment to expectations, and outcomes.

The most delightful thing about being here, this morning, on this day, feeling the way I do right now is that there will be other days when I am having a different experience altogether – and I will know to treat myself well, I will know that challenging moments and experiences will pass, and I will know that however bad it is, I will be able to begin again. I’ll have this moment, right here, to remind me of the vast potential for joy and gratitude – and delight, and love – that is near at hand when I am ready and able to reach for it. It’s a pretty big deal to find an emotional anchor to a moment of profound contentment and delight within reach in other less pleasant moments, it’s an even bigger deal to build one with my own choices.

There is value in learning to allow joy to cast a bigger shadow than my sorrows do.

There is value in learning to allow joy to cast a bigger shadow than my sorrows do.

Today is a good day for practical celebrations and taking care of home and hearth with the eager commitment of preparing for an honored guest, to really welcome the woman in the mirror home. She is worthy of the best I have to offer the world.