Archives for posts with tag: gratitude

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Happy Thanksgiving, Smagicians!

It is in the low 90’s in Los Angeles right now, not exactly cozy baking or cooking weather. This fact would have depressed my younger self who was obsessed with everything being as it “should” be. Thanksgiving was supposed to be cozy, with the final leaves blowing off of trees, a big, happy family who all got along, and a faint hint of snow in the air. But, here I am, away from my family, cooking with a friend, and it is a beautiful, beachy day outside.  As I prepped my stuffing this morning, stirring onions and celery with butter before adding it to green chile cornbread, I made a mental list of all that I am grateful for. Towards the top of the list, along with friends and family, I put a level of flexibility that must come with age. I no longer cling to the idea that everything needs to be some certain and correct order to be great. That idea and pressure ruled parts of my life as a youngster and I didn’t realize it. Around the holidays, this desire for perfection and ideals seems to take over the plans of so many who, at any other time of the year, are logical and rational people who know perfection is a myth. So, don’t go there! Appreciate it all, let it be what it is, and laugh when it doesn’t go as planned! It’s all good!

Wishing you and yours a beautiful day!

Leaving my Storytelling and Spirituality Class (the best way to spend Saturdays), I head to Grand Central Market for my favorite fancy coffee at G&B Coffee. As I wait at a red light, a car pulls out of its spot just ahead of me. I will the spot to stay empty until the light turns green. It does. There is over an hour left on the meter. This is going well! I cross the street and head into Grand Central Market. Though it's been a fixture in DTLA since 1917, I only recently discovered it. Full of stalls serving everything from bagels, to burritos, falafels, and pizza, it has not only great food but better people watching. I take a seat on a stool at G&B and order my favorite drink, the "Business and Pleasure," (it comes in three parts, because why wouldn't it?!) and a cornmeal and cheddar waffle. I sit, drinking, eating, watching people and think about what a perfect Saturday I am taking part in.
How is yours? Go do something fun, something that makes you smile! If you already are or did, bravo! Life is short, eat the waffle.

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Yesterday I had nothing to do. No errands, appointments, work, nothing. So, I packed a bag with water, a few weird protein and granola bars I had taken from craft service, Anne Lamott’s “Bird by Bird,” and, after putting the mix CD the director of my last show made for the whole crew in my car’s CD player, headed north on the 101.

Knowing the bars wouldn’t get me through the day, I stopped at my new favorite place, The Topanga Table in Topanga Canyon. I love this restaurant! Nestled just off the road, it smells like camping when you sit on the patio. I had the breakfast burrito but could have ordered anything on the menu and will be back for their biscuits and jam. Like, maybe today.

After lunch I continued south on Topanga until I dead ended at the Pacific Ocean/Pacific Coast Highway, where I turned right and headed north.

The CD was a mix of dark Americana and eventually I switched to my own combo of Cat Stevens, Bob Marley, and The Head and the Heart.

I drove until I hit a fog bank somewhere towards Ventura County and turned around to go to my second favorite place, Neptune’s Net.

Though not yet hungry for fish and chips, I parked and watched the surfers below, before driving back towards Zuma to walk its length as the sun set. The tide was out, making for an extra wide path.

I arrived home with sandy feet, sunburnt legs, and so much gratitude for my life, my day, the ocean, our planet, great food, birds, music, and that little voice inside of us that, if we listen, will remind us how to nourish and care for ourselves.
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What are you Thankful for? 

I am so thankful to be alive at this point in time and space. 

For pumpkin pie. 

For my dear family and friends. 

For the awakening and transformation I have felt and witnessed in myself and the world in recent weeks, months, and years. 

For the beautiful house I am currently housesitting in LA. 

For music, my saving grace lately. 

For my health. 

For clean water, air, and soil. 

For all of the goodness I see in the world every day. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

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It was drizzling when I woke in Chama, NM, this morning and as I stepped through my screen door and onto the shared front porch of the Vista del Rio Lodge, it smelled like the mountains as rain covered newly fallen leaves and still blooming flowers.  After chatting with the women at the front desk and getting my free cup of coffee, I turned right and headed south, towards Santa Fe, to begin our last few days of filming.

The first day of fall, rain, Bob Dylan on the radio, another show coming to an end, many changes on the horizon… It was some combination of these factors that filled me with a mixture of gratitude and nostalgia.  Gratitude for all that has led me to this point and nostalgia for all that has been.  Never happier than when I am behind the wheel with my camera, good music, and no plan for the day, I felt full to the point of tears.

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I imagine blogging to be a bit like being a radio DJ. A DJ at a cool, independent radio station with the midnight to 6am shift. You speak and write, wondering if anyone is out there listening until, in the end, you realize it doesn’t matter. You do it for yourself and if someone gets something from it, that’s a bonus!

I started this blog one year ago today, having never really even looked at a blog before. It was begun as a way to entertain myself between jobs and possibly to document my life while on a job, when I tend to drop off the radar.

Setting up the blog, I chose the tag line “finding beauty in the everyday ” without any thought beyond “oh, shoot, they want me to have a line that describes what it’s about under the title.” I figured I could change it later when I decided what it was about. Looking back now, I am so grateful that that’s the line that popped into my head.

During what has been a somewhat topsy turvy year, that line has served as my assignment. On days when I was having a hard time finding the beauty, I simply made myself look harder and there it was.

Beauty is clarity after confusion, the color of Campari, the greys between black and white, the journey, imperfections, checking things off the bucket list, the roses on my counter, visiting with those I love, gratitude, presence, postcards from afar, grace found within the lessons, laughing on the phone with friends, a home cooked meal, and trust. I could go on and on. It’s everywhere.

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Waking at my mom’s house, I find myself filled with gratitude. Gratitude for the downs that help the ups be up, for friends to laugh about it all with, for great food, and for all of the little clues that continue to lead me, daily reminders that it is truly all about the journey, not the destination.

What better way to remain present than to roll out a pie crust, chop potatoes, and notice the great combination of smells coming from the kitchen?

Wishing you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving, filled with gratitude and joy!

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