"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them." - John F. Kennedy

Gratitude inspires me, it fills me with positive energy.  It sometimes brings me to tears.  Gratitude fills me with love and grace.  I try to focus on gratitude as a daily practice.  I am grateful that I can write and read.  I am grateful that I can move and think and feel.  I am grateful that I love and that I am loved.  I am grateful for the warmth of the sun, yes, even on a hot day.

The more I commit to the discipline of an attitude of gratitude, the more health and healing I feel.

Gratitude is the choice I make today.


“Enlightenment for a wave is the moment the wave realizes that it is water. 
At that moment, all fear of death disappears.” - Thich Nhat Hahn

“Enlightenment is the moment we realize that we are made of love.” - Mark Nepo

As I lay on the physical therapy table, just 3 feet from my fellow therapy patient I am aware that we are all more similar than we are different. We are both human, we are both in pain and we both seek healing. We put our bodies in the hands of other humans. We trust that our therapist is skilled and compassionate. Our bodies are very small boundaries from what lies inside. A moment of grace reminds me what I have come from, what I am made of and ultimately where I am going

Will you go there with me?

Feel the love of compassion

"The Tibetan Buddhist tradition has a meditation practice called tong-len that asks us to breathe in the suffering of the world, to hold it in that unbreakable place of compassion 
and to then breathe back light." - Mark Nepo

Compassion does not say I agree with you.  Compassion says I care about you.  
You are a fellow human.  We share the same life.  
We breathe the same air.  We both feel pain and we both rejoice.  
We must affirm the spirit in each of us.  Compassion has the ability to heal.  
Breathe in the pain of others.  With each breath, feel the unity of love.  
As you exhale, release the pain and feel the light.  
Feel the love of compassion.

Dignity and Destiny

The past 4 months I have been reflecting on President Lyndon Johnson's speech to Congress in 1965 as beautifully written in "Leadership in Turbulent Times" by Doris Kearns Goodwin. 

"I speak tonight for the dignity of man and the destiny of democracy.  At times history and fate meet at a single time in a single place to shape a turning point in man's unending search for freedom.  So it was at Lexington and Concord.  So it was a century ago at Appomattox.  So it was last week in Selma, Alabama."  He goes on to say "There is no negro problem.  There is no southern problem.  There is only an American problem."  So it is today with our current disrespect and hatred of anyone we perceive as different then us.  "There is only the issue of human rights.  The cause must be our is all of us who must overcome the crippling legacy of bigotry and injustice."  Johnson when on to reflect on his time as a young teacher gaining a deep sense of purpose in working and serving poor Mexican American children.  "Somehow you never forget what poverty and hatred can do when you see its scars on the hopeful face of a young child."

Close to the end of this life Johnson spoke at the LBJ Library.  "The essence of government" is in ensuring "the dignity and innate integrity of life for every individual...regardless of color, creed, ancestry, sex or age.  Until we address unequal history, we cannot overcome unequal opportunity."

Johnson speaking in the 1960's still rings true and needed now.  I am saddened that, as a nation,
we still do not learn from the past.  I counter my sadness with renewed responsibility to do my part.  I will continue to educate, care, be compassionate, and empathetic.  I will continue to be human.  I will continue to be American.