by Wendy Strgar July 02, 2011
“Gratitude is an art of painting an adversity into a lovely picture.” ~Kak Sri
I grew up in a broken family long before divorce was socially acceptable. I spent most of my early adult life trying to replace my missing family connections with friendships that would fill up the empty spaces left by the void of family. One of the aspects of family that I missed most as I grew up was how a family holds your memories and milestones as a collective. Over the years, I have shared these collective memories with very few people who have stayed in my life through the big shifts and life cycles. The few that I still have are as precious as gold.
Tonight one of those old friends who I lost touch with over the years came for dinner. As we sat around the fire pit, recollecting and asking questions to fill in the gaps, I was filled with gratitude. What a special and fortunate moment to sit under a starry sky with someone who has loved me for decades. Memories of projects and births, weddings and old roommates momentarily bring the past forward and the present has this almost ethereal quality of all time existing at once.
Over the many years of our friendship, we have often challenged ourselves to a practice of “calling it all good.” Giving up the judgment of right or wrong and any idea that things should be other than they are were the ground rules to seeing the goodness of everything that happens. It is not unlike this summer of gratitude challenge that I am taking up now except that back then, I didn’t have the practice or the structure of the positivity quest behind me.
Anyone, anywhere, any time can call it all good –in theory at least. But the practice of gratitude and seeing the goodness of what is in front of you requires the ability to be quiet and stop constantly chasing the thoughts in your head. It demands a heart that is capable of some self love or at least compassion. I am so grateful that the positivity quest has brought me the ability to cultivate these traits, so that I now have a real opportunity to learn this lesson that I have been contemplating on and off for my entire adult life.
Gratitude is one step past calling it all good I think. It is the gift of seeing everything, even the most painful aspects of relating to life, as a gift. It is the proverbial gentle lesson that lives inside all adversity but often never gets articulated; so caught on the adversity we can’t see what the experience is holding for us. What a happy reminder to sit by the firelight with an old friend and still share the intention to “call it all good.”
by Wendy Strgar May 22, 2018
There is no time like long summer nights to cultivate our uniquely, profoundly human capacity for pleasure, especially sexual pleasure. Our pleasure response transforms our relationship to each other and even to life itself. Focusing on pleasure not only changes how we see our opportunities for intimate connection, but also invites us into a deeper relationship with our erotic soul.
by Wendy Strgar May 17, 2018
It becomes hard to trust your own thinking when nothing seems to be working. The space between how I thought it would go and how it is going seems to widen in front of my eyes. Maybe most difficult of all is how often the undesirable outcomes around us spill over into our relationships, both at home and at work. An errant comment too easily turns into an argument. I become blind to my impact on people around me, caught up in the unresolved problems surrounding me. During times like these, we often underestimate the power of the choices we make and how it can create a path back towards what’s working or down the slippery slope of self-destruction, which my husband affectionately calls “flirting with the gutter.”
Here is my short list to making it better when it isn’t working at all. Each one helps you do the next one, so start at the beginning and work your way down.
by Wendy Strgar May 03, 2018