Thursday, August 14, 2014

Brunch Club - The Story So Far

I have always had a heart for the homeless. I'm just not the type of person who can walk by someone clearly living on the street and not feel something. After growing up in a suburb of San Diego I lived in New York City for 6 years and I saw homeless people every day. When I first moved there I never ate lunch because as soon as I walked out of the cafe on my way back to work I saw someone who needed the meal more than I did. There were a few particularly sweet homeless men I met that I would continually get hot chocolate and a donut for in the winter time, when it was wet and snowy and freezing. One guy camped out on the corner a couple avenues from my place in Murray Hill and I would sometimes heat up a can of soup and bring it out and sit with him on the curb while he ate. He wasn't a drug addict or a crazy person; he was a father, who spoke with pride and love about his children, with no animosity or blame that they weren't helping him. He had drowned in legal fees while trying to get custody of his children form his ex wife, and that's how he became homeless. 

I continued to help out in the little ways that I could. I always found that the kindness more than the food was what really touched their hearts and added some warmth. The simple act of looking into their eyes and not looking away made all the difference. When I moved back to San Diego I came to Little Italy, on the bay edge of the downtown Gaslamp District. Again I saw homeless people every day. Again I did little things like give them leftovers or make sack lunches from things I had at home. And again I felt the immense gratitude from every one of them. On my birthday, January 30th, 2014, I was walking downtown to my yoga class and noticed all the homeless people lining Broadway. After my class I went into a coffee shop and ordered a bagel for myself to go. I then thought of all the people I would pass by on my walk home and ordered 5 more bagels in separate bags. As I walked home I handed them out and was full of love in my heart with each interaction. But I ran out of bagels way before I ran out of hungry people. 

A couple months later I was feeling particularly sorry for myself after a difficult time with my boyfriend and forced myself to do the only thing I know to pull me out of self pity: a gratitude list. I started my list with a roof over my head and food to eat. This sparked the thought of all the people I passed every day who didn't have either of those. I wanted to pull myself out of my funk by being of service to the people who had less than I did. I knew I could make a couple sack lunches and have a few conversations, but I wanted to do more. I posted an event on Facebook called Brunch Club - Sunday of Service and invited all my local friends I thought might have an interest in giving back. All I said was that I was going to make some lunches to hand out to the homeless and then afterward we could go to brunch. I asked that the friends who came bring a cash donation to help pay for the supplies. I had no idea if anyone would show up or if they would all think I was crazy, but I resolved to do it alone if no one showed up. 

A couple days later I went to the local discount market and got 50 bottles of water, fixin's for pb&js, granola bars, and toothbrushes. 6 people showed up at my door and we put together the bags. The night before I sat up late writing 50 notes. On one side I chose a quote of inspiration or a message from my heart and on the other I wrote the address for a shelter where they could go for a meal. My friends and I packed up the bags and went to hand them out. They went quickly. There were more people than bags. But the folks were grateful. They said thank you. They joked with us, smiled at us. As I was getting back into my car there was a man sitting on the floor in front of a building lit up with bright mosaic tiles shining in the sun. He pulled out the sandwich and as he read the note I had written a smile overtook his face. My heart grew 2 sizes that day. My friends and I then shared a brunch table and broke bread together as a little family, happy with the small difference we had just made. 

A month later I made a similar invite along with new Facebook and Instagram accounts for Brunch Club. Word had spread and 39 people showed up this time; my condo had never been so full. Some of the people I had never even met before. That day we were able to make 150 bags. In addition to the notes, water, food and toothbrushes this time we added socks and wet wipes to each bag, items often requested by those living on the streets. Again the most amazing part of the day was the interactions we had with the people we served. The stories they told us, the gratitude they displayed. A 17 year old kid broke down in tears telling us that he was so scared to die. He told us that every member of his family and every friend he had ever had had died on the street. He told us that he just wanted to make it to his 18th birthday. Our group is not based in religion, rather in kindness, love, human decency and service, but this kid asked us to pray for him and so we got in a circle around him and my friend Branko said a prayer. It was a moment I will never forget. Writing about it now my eyes are welling up with tears. I haven't seen that kid since but I think about him all the time. A veteran who told us he felt forgotten and thrown away by the country he served also came to tears while thanking us for our kindness. Whether he wanted it or not I gave him a big sweaty hug. 

The third month we were 60 strong, fed 201 and again were able to add more useful items. Dentists donated whole dental kits with toothpaste, toothbrushes, and floss. My dad donated 100 socks and t shirts. Nature Valley donated 100 granola bars. We met at Mission Brewery, who just gave us the use of their space. As Brunch Club expands with more volunteers and we are able to serve more people, I'm mindful to remember that at the heart of our mission is to be of service to those members of our society that need it the most. I want to do more work to help people transition out of homelessness and get their lives back on track to where they want to be, working with some great organizations who are already doing this kind of work. I want to do as much as I can for San Diego, which has the third largest homeless population in the country and the first largest population of homeless veterans. But at the end of the day, I want to feed people who are hungry and I want to look them in the eyes and tell them they are worthy when they have forgotten it. And that's what Brunch Club does.

If you want to volunteer click the link above to be a part of our facebook community. If you want to make a donation to help further our mission, please do so at our fundraising page here. To vote for us to win a 10k grant click here. Thank you! 

Monday, June 30, 2014

100 Days of Gratitude - DAY 100

It is day 100. I think when I started this project, 100 days ago, I was sitting right here on the far left corner of my bed typing on this laptop. What has changed? Well, the color of my room, for one. It used to be pink and now it's purple. Most notably my body has healed. I went from barely being able to move without pain to an acrobatic yoga class last week. I still don't have a "job", but I am doing things each day that I feel good about. Brunch Club was born and with the help of my amazing community I have been able to positively impact lives. I have made some really great new friends and my circle has expanded. I have started to facilitate a women's circle in my home and it's been wonderful. I have gone through this journey with my great aunt Edie, who has also done 100 days of gratitude. I have met one of my heroes, Gabrielle Bernstein. I have grown closer to my niece. I have forgiven and let go of some people. I have cried of a broken heart. I have been euphoric in joy over love. I have been sick, healthy, happy, sad, and everything in between. I have lived 100 days of life and in each one found at least 10 things to be grateful for. And I'm grateful to you all for taking this journey with me. Thank you.

I am grateful...

  1. That I kept the commitment to myself to complete this 100 days of recording my gratitude.
  2. To each person that has come into my life during this time, like Adam, who came over tonight with medicine because he knew I was feeling sick, and took me to Whole Foods to get groceries because he knew I had nothing in the house. Like Viviana and Lisa who I didn't know until a couple months ago and now bring so much love into my life.
  3. For Derby Blue, who probably got the most shout outs on all these lists. Who has been a loyal and loving furry friend to me for 7.5 years. 
  4. To my inner guide, my higher power, the spirit guiding me constantly. 
  5. For friends who have continued to be a source of joy, love, and support in my life. For Aliah, who I am so grateful to be able to grow with along our respective paths even though we are so far apart. For Kellie, who has been an awesome companion to live with and learn with. 
  6. For the vast knowledge held by the universe and the access to it. For all the books and articles I've read and the information I have learned, day after day. That because of this and constant new experiences I am able to learn and expand my mind every day.
  7. For the love and support of my family, and connections I've been able to create again, like with my cousin who I hadn't seen in years. For his sobriety and his doing so well. For each moment I get to spend with my niece and nephew. For hugs from my mom and smiles from my dad. 
  8. For Brunch Club, everyone involved in it and their generosity with time, money, and hearts. For everything it has done for each person involved in any way and for everyone willing to help. 
  9. For Jamie. In loving him I have learned about forgiveness, and letting go, and what I really want in a partner. For the way I feel when he looks at me. 
  10. For love. Whether I feel it from Earl, the homeless guy who sleeps by the bank near my house, or in long loving hugs from Kellie or Jamie or in Adam coming over to bring me medicine, I feel love in all the ways it is offered and there is nothing more warming, more beautiful, or that gives me more life than love. For that and everyone who brings it I am eternally grateful.   

Sunday, June 29, 2014

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 99

I am grateful...
  1. To sleep in. Really in.
  2. That the first thing I saw this morning was a message from a loved one.
  3. That soon I will be getting a paycheck.
  4. To spend time with Kellie.
  5. For fair food and rides and photo booth fun.
  6. For Derby Blue.
  7. That Lisa is home and I get to see her soon.
  8. That all my siblings who went sky diving today are safe and unharmed.
  9. That I won the coin toss and didn't have to drive to the fair.
  10. For a nice phone call with Adam

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 98

I am grateful...
  1. For such an amazing morning full of love and happiness.
  2. For a mid morning nap.
  3. To see a beautiful friend at the Farmer's Market and give her hugs and kisses.
  4. For an hour catching up with Kellie while laying out in the sun.
  5. That Kellie is happy for my happiness.
  6. That Derby is such a good, sweet girl.
  7. For texts all day that let me know I was loved and thought about.
  8. For the great people that I worked a wedding with who made it run smoothly.
  9. For great clients that are so in love. Couples like them make my job a pleasure. 
  10. For Pablo Fernandez, who is awesome, and who I am very excited to do good work with.  

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 97

I am grateful...
  1. That I got to celebrate my cousin's birthday at a fun breakfast with him and my brother. 
  2. That on his birthday he is 86 days sober and doing great. I am so proud of him.
  3. That my brother gave me a box of shoes for Soles4Souls.
  4. For time to do a little yoga after breakfast and before my afternoon meeting.
  5. For a fairly quick and easy meeting with good clients.
  6. For something to look forward to all day. 
  7. For the consideration of someone telling me in advance that they were running late.
  8. For a great surprise date with someone very special to me.
  9. For a first time acro yoga class, how fun!
  10. For a truly beautiful night and the person who orchestrated it. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 96

I am grateful...
  1. To know who I am and want I want from this life. It took me a long time to get here.
  2. For music, and communicating with people by sending songs back and forth. 
  3. For Derby Blue and her constant companionship. 
  4. For an invitation to have a delicious breakfast with friends new and old.
  5. For a really great and meaningful compliment.
  6. To know that the words I choose carefully and thoughtfully make an impact on people.
  7. To cross a few things off my to do list.
  8. For Kellie, always, and specifically now for lending me epsom salt and vitamins because I'm feeling under the weather.
  9. For my family, who will look for shoes they no longer wear to donate for a project I've been asked to help with. 
  10. To be asked out by the only person I've wanted to go on a date with this year.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 95

I am grateful...
  1. For a chance to sleep in.
  2. To get some emails done before play time.
  3. That the sun came out and the day was beautiful.
  4. To spend a few hours at the beach.
  5. To spend those hours at the beach with my sister and her kids, my little sand crabs.
  6. For SiennaJane and everything she does and says. That she gives me so very much love and affection. For our close relationship. 
  7. For a moment that I can only explain as happysad, that I don't even fully understand myself, that brought me to tears in (I think) a good way. 
  8. For a long walk with Derby Blue and pandora. We both needed it and the night air was perfect.
  9. For a call from a friend who I am so excited to collaborate with!
  10. That so many people are doing different things to help out with Brunch Club out of the kindness of their hearts!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Brunch Club

I am so grateful that there's been interest in Brunch Club. The more people get involved the more good work we can do. For anyone wondering how this came about, it went a little like this...

In May I created my own non profit here in San Diego. Brunch Club is a group I started to positively impact the homeless community. I live downtown and see homeless people every day. Most people walk by them and pretend they don't exist because it's just easier. It seems so daunting to try to help. That, and we're scared. But I believe alienating them is the worst thing we can do. They are people, who started out as babies just like us. A series of unfortunate events occurred in their lives and now they have nothing. Some have fought for our country, many have been abused, and all have been thrown away by society. On my birthday this year I bought some bagels from a cafe and handed them out to some homeless people on Broadway. Just 5 bagels. The gratitude they showed and the look in their eye was so powerful. How simple to just look at them instead of past them, and it makes such a positive impact.

A few months ago I was feeling down in the dumps about a breakup I was going through. I felt myself sinking into self pity and I really didn’t want to go down that road. So I decided to be of service to someone else, which is the best way I know how to get over myself. I knew I wanted to feed the homeless, to give them what I could, but as I’m unemployed, what I can give isn’t much. It was Thursday, and I posted a Facebook invite for a day of service on Sunday. I didn’t know if anyone would show up, and I planned to do it alone if they didn’t, but I knew that if more people came and chipped in a few dollars we could feed more than 5 people. I didn’t want to just drop off stuff to them though, I wanted them to know they are thought about, and cared for, and most of all worthy of a good life. So I made 50 handwritten notes with words of inspiration. On the other side I wrote the name and address of a local shelter.

On Sunday morning 7 people showed up at my house to help me. We made 50 packs with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, a bottle of water, a toothbrush, a granola bar, and a note and went to hand them out in a forgotten part of town where the homeless congregate. In a matter of minutes the packs were gone. As I got back into my car I turned and looked at a man sitting on the floor as he took his sandwich out of the bag. Taped on the bag was a note I had written, and as he read it his face lit up and was enveloped by a warm smile. We made eye contact as he held back tears.

Through Facebook, my wonderful local community, and word of mouth, Brunch Club grew. For the second event in June 37 people came to my house. We were able to get some food and hygiene kits donated from some local places. With my own money I bought enough supplies for 150 packs of requested items. I wrote twice as many notes, and other members of the group wrote some too. We fed 200 people and handed out 150 packs. I put out a jar for donations and recouped the costs plus $100 extra that will go towards July's event. We saw more tears of gratitude and joy, handed out hugs, shared prayers, and heard stories. 

In the near future I hope to hand out tote bags or ideally backpacks with the items and notes inside so we can eliminate using plastic bags and offer them another item that is often requested. I hope to get a sponsor or sponsors who will donate bags, food, and items so that I don't have to borrow from my limited resources. 

A meal and hygiene items can really help, but truly it’s the connections that make the most impact. It’s the tears from a 17 year old boy who told us that he’s all alone because everyone he has ever known has been killed on the street. He asked us to pray for him, and we stood around him in a circle and did exactly that. We hugged him, we shook his hand, and we told him we wanted to see him make it to his 18th birthday next month. He just kept repeating “thank you”. This is what the Brunch Club is about. This is what we do. We look people in the eye and tell them they are worthy. We give them what we can. We give them food and stuff they need, and we give them love.

Please 'like' our facebook page to get updates about our events and join in. Follow us on Instagram @brunch_club. If you would like to donate money or items, please get in touch with me at Thank you!

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 94

I am grateful...
  1. For an introduction to someone who wants to help further the Brunch Club.
  2. For lunch with 4 generations of women!
  3. That Sienna picked me to sit next to.
  4. That she put her arm around me. I melted.
  5. For a game of hide and seek in a beautiful setting with little SiennaJane.
  6. To spend time with my aunt Edie, who lives in Florida.
  7. That Pablo and Branko picked me up.
  8. That Kellie invited me to her lovely event.
  9. To catch up with Angela, who I hadn't seen in a while.
  10. For a ride home from Angela, and for all the wonderful things happening in her life.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 93

I am grateful...
  1. To wake up in my beautiful lilac room.
  2. For morning snuggles with Derby Blue.
  3. For good clients. 
  4. For over 100 likes on the Brunch Club page.
  5. For a closet full of nice things to wear. 
  6. For the time to do laundry, clean up the house, and paint my nails.
  7. For leftover food to eat for lunch.
  8. For delicious pistachio gelato, and for the willpower to stop eating it when I was full.
  9. For a new opportunity to write. 
  10. For Derby, who makes me get out of the house to take her on walks, when sometimes I want to stay in. I'm always grateful once I'm out there in the fresh air. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 91 & 92

The past couple days have been a crazy (but wonderful) whirlwind as I prepared for and executed the second Brunch Club - Sunday of Service. So I have combined them :) I am GRATEFUL...
  1. For NamaSteve's beach yoga class, I really needed it after my plane ride back from NYC.
  2. For the breeze on my face, the sun in the sky and the sound of the ocean while I moved through my yoga flow. 
  3. For Adam, who invited me to do everything he did on Saturday because I told him I was in a funk and he didn't want me to be alone.
  4. For Vivianna and Barbs from Sabor Fresh, who took time out of their Saturday to go to Costco with me to get supplies for the Sunday of Service. For their love!
  5. For Kellie, for picking up last minute items, for staying up late to handwrite inspirational notes, for going with me to pick up the food in the morning, and for reading us all a prayer as we worked. 
  6. To El Indio for donating food.
  7. To Pablo and Branko for donating food! The Secret Table gents are amazing. 
  8. To 30+ people who, instead of sleeping in or spending their Sunday doing anything else, came to my house even though some of them had never met me before, to lend a hand in making packs of food and useful items for the homeless. 
  9. For all who donated so that we can keep doing this.
  10. For Natalie, who drove down all the way from Costa Mesa to spend the day helping out.
  11. For those who brought over hygiene packs and toothbrushes and chaptsticks and any items they had to donate into the bags.
  12. For Jessica, who spent her last paycheck on socks for the homeless! Who spent time writing notes of inspiration for people she'd never met. 
  13. For Keith Donahue from Kevala, who has done more charity work in the past year than most people do in their lives and still continues to give time and effort to things like this!
  14. For new friends like Tricia, Natalie, Micha and some other awesome people I got to meet today.
  15. To the homeless people, who were kind and respectful and most of all grateful to us. They lined up, they said thank you, they shared smiles and tears and they were wonderful.
  16. To Jorge, the 17 year old kid who came back after we fed him to talk to us. He asked us to pray for him. He told us that he was alone, that everyone he knew had been killed on the streets. After we prayed he cried to us and we hugged him and shook his hand. Most of all, we looked him in the eyes and told him to take care of himself. That we wanted to see him next time. We wanted to see him make it to his 18th birthday. He allowed us to show him love. He opened up his heart to us. He probably gave more to us than we gave to him. For this I am grateful.
  17. For Juan Carlos from Ceviche House who generously lent us his tent and tables so that we could feed people more efficiently. Who wants to help even more next time.
  18. To Mike Sherbakov for all his help and willingness. He knows the people, and they come out!
  19. To the other group that was out on the streets with us handing out backpacks. 
  20. That this event went to well. That we were able to feed around 200 people and hand out about 150 packs. To every. single. person. involved in any way in this project. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 90

I am grateful...
  1. That once again when I asked people to help out to do something simple but kind for another they said yes! 
  2. That the people in my life are so kind, generous, and compassionate. 
  3. That I saw a book I wanted to read on sale so I got it!
  4. That Escondido Dentistry is going to make packs for Brunch Club for our next Sunday of Service. 
  5. That my dear friend is recovering well after surgery. 
  6. That when I walked in to my parents house today I heard Sienna from all the way across the house saying "Jen?!??!?!?" and when I got to her she jumped into my arms and told me she "missed me when I was on bay-cation".
  7. To see my mom, my great aunt Edie, my sisters, my dad, and my niece and nephew.
  8. For a swim day with my little water baby, Sienna.
  9. To be reunited with Derby! She was so very happy to see me and I missed her! She's now lounging at the end of my bed, right where she belongs.
  10. That Kellie brought home a movie and made popcorn. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 89

I am grateful...
  1. For a long hug and goodbye from Aliah, and that she told me how proud of me she is.
  2. For an on top of it cab driver to take me to the airport.
  3. For one last delicious New York bagel at the airport.
  4. That so many friends with busy New York City lives made time to see me while I was visiting. It was so good to see them.
  5. That my flight to the east coast and back to San Diego were anxiety medication free, for the first time in as long as I can remember. I'm grateful I was able to calm my mind and shift my perceptions instead of relying on pills.
  6. To all the generous people donating time and items to this weekend's Sunday of Service.
  7. That when I arrived home from my trip my home was clean and full of flowers. I have the best roommate! 
  8. For a long hot shower.
  9. To stay up late chatting with Kellie about our weeks and catching up.
  10. To be back in my beautiful home. And that I will see SJ and my family in mere hours! 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 88

I am grateful...
  1. That my last day in New York was wonderful.
  2. That I got up early to ride the train into the city with Aliah, my love and generous hostess.
  3. That Elysha made time to have breakfast with me. It was so good to see her and my heart is warmed by what an amazing woman she is becoming. She used to be my intern!
  4. That I got an opportunity to practice self control and did not buy a hundred clothing items that I wanted but instead bought only 1 thing (a super cute romper, if you're wondering).
  5. For a delicious and healthy lunch at Dojo with Aliah.
  6. For all natural gelato and eating it on a park bench with my best friend.
  7. For a stroll through Washington Square Park and all the luscious green therein. 
  8. For one of my favorite things, Drag Bingo! With the amazing Linda Simpson and Glace Chase. And that Linda, my drag queen guru, told me I looked amazing and I was really good at eye make up(!).
  9. For help from my San Diego friends writing notes for our Sunday of Service while I am out of town. Watching them put their time and effort into this loving project fills me up, and I know it fills the world up too.
  10. For signs from the universe. When my eyes are open I see them everywhere.  

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 87

I am grateful...
  1. For Diana Romero, who put me in touch with Martha from El Indio restaurant.
  2. For Martha, and everyone at El Indio, who are very generously donating food so that we can serve the homeless this weekend!
  3. For a kale smoothie and a rose flavored macaron for breakfast. A very me combo and a perfect meal.
  4. For Aliah, who actively and supportively listened to me talk about my stuff today. She is a wonderful friend and I am so grateful that this week I get to be with her in person!
  5. That when someone let me down I was able to say to her "I love you" instead of something mean and hurtful. 
  6. For a new summer dress on sale. 
  7. To be in Gramercy, one of my favorite parts of the city, eating outside with my favorite Jersey boy (that's you, Andrew). 
  8. To have the amazing orecchiette with roasted garlic and broccoli rabe from Frank's in the east village that I dream of. 
  9. For dinner with an old friend, Adam, and the chance to tell him in person how proud I am of all that he's been doing.
  10. That my sister told me Sienna asked her when I was coming back from New York because she missed me. And then sent me a video of little angel baby SJ saying "I missss you Jennnn!". My heart melted.  

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 85

I am grateful...
  1. That I woke up in a comfy bed in a beautiful room in Brooklyn at my best friend's place.
  2. For the serendipitous meeting of a new friend; I think we really needed to find each other.
  3. For a yummy breakfast made by Aliah.
  4. For free wine and food at a Bloomsday celebration.
  5. To be in the city! I love the energy of New York and I'm grateful to be here after such a long absence. 
  6. To see Herad, an old friend. 
  7. For really good polenta fries.
  8. To see Leyna, Aliah's sister, who is lovely in all ways. 
  9. That I have so many loved ones on both coasts. How lucky I am!
  10. To feel comfortable in my skin. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 84

I am grateful...
  1. That somehow I got out of bed even though I was frozen when I woke up. I forced myself to get up and walk through the frigid forest into the bathroom to take a shower. 
  2. That I ran through the forest in a towel on the way back to my cabin even though it was cold; I kept a smile on my face and said good morning to each person I came across who was looking at me like a crazy person.
  3. For a really yummy breakfast of organic oatmeal and tea that warmed me right up. 
  4. For a half day with my guru, Gabby. What a pleasure.
  5. For bikini Kundalini. It was hard as hell and my body wanted to shut down, but I survived. 
  6. That my guru was so touched by the energy and love we all brought that she cried while saying goodbye to us.
  7. For a healing circle that gave me an opportunity to send light to my loved ones.
  8. For the best falafels I've ever had.
  9. That something I saw in a meditation yesterday actually made sense today when Aliah read my tarot cards.
  10. That I am able to spend the day and night with my beautiful and amazing best friend!
  11. For my dad, who has given me anything and everything I have ever thought to need from a father. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 83

I am grateful...
  1. For a view of nothing but woods first thing this morning in my little tent cabin.
  2. For a yoga class with a view of more lush trees.
  3. For a delicious breakfast.
  4. For more yoga led by Gabby Bernstein and the strength to do over 3 hours of it.
  5. For one of the best savasanas I've ever had while Ram Daas played a gong that vibrated the whole room. 
  6. For the courage to share in a room full of close to 200 people.
  7. That Gabby gave me advice.
  8. That after I shared multiple people stopped me around the grounds to talk to me and thank me for speaking.
  9. For self control and not buying jewelry I wanted but can't afford.
  10. That I met Gabby Bernstein. And she signed 2 books for me and hugged me and thanked me for sharing. And mostly, that she is a miraculous being who is exactly as authentic as I had hoped she would be.

Friday, June 13, 2014

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 82

I am grateful...
  1. For a real New York bagel, toasted and scooped out.
  2. That the sun came out and the rain stopped leaving time for me to go outside and walk around the park.
  3. That Ryan got me an umbrella when he knew it was going to rain, because when I got to omega it was pouring!
  4. That when I asked for guidance to figure out my bus situation I was immediately shown the way.
  5. For a delicious, healthy, organic, local vegetarian dinner.
  6. For subtle shifts. For miracles in my life every day.
  7. That I got to hear my guru speak tonight! And she was amazing! And I get to spend the weekend with her!
  8. That tomorrow my schedule includes yoga with Gabrielle Bernstein while Ram Daas plays the gong.
  9. That I had time to post the Sunday of Service event invite to Facebook today while it rained and that some people are going to come and make it awesome!
  10. That I am about to go to sleep in a little cabin in the woods, listening to rain drops trickle and crickets sing. That I am exactly where I need to be.

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 81

I am grateful...
  1. That Kellie drove me to the airport and saw me off with love!
  2. To the awesome woman who sold me a breakfast sandwich, had great eye makeup, and told me a trick about water at the airport. 
  3. That when I was having a moment of feeling low I looked to a really loving note from a friend and felt warmth.
  4. That I was able to sleep for an hour on the airplane, which is rare.
  5. For window seats and good plane neighbors. 
  6. That Ryan opened his home to me and is being "nicer than I am to most people" to me.
  7. For Gabrielle Bernstein's book Spirit Junkie, which kept me company and kept me centered.
  8. To be back in New York City.
  9. To eat dinner at 9:30 outside and watch the city go by in all its dramatic flair. 
  10. For an amazing playlist and a makeshift solo flow on Ryan's floor. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 80

I am grateful...
  1. For my family, who is watching Derby for me while I'm in New York.
  2. That I don't have to worry about Derb and I know she is having a blast at my parent's house. 
  3. To Kellie, for offering to give me a ride to the airport tomorrow morning.
  4. For my mom, who is so very generous, and gave me my half birthday presents early because she knew I needed them.
  5. That I got to see my sisters and mom and SiennaJane and Everett today.
  6. Always for Sienna's excitement when I walk into her house. 
  7. That Sienna asked me to tell her a story, and to see her eyes light up when I did. 
  8. That when I had to leave, Sienna said "But I don't want you to go.", which fills my heart with love. 
  9. That because I procrastinated taking a shower all day I got to have a beautiful view of the giant glowing moon out my window when I finally did. 
  10. That I feel wanted and loved by so many people that I love and want near.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 79

I am grateful...
  1. For stretchy pants, because I have been a bottomless pit for the past few days and I feel like a whale.
  2. For the luxury of an afternoon nap.
  3. For my new rug.
  4. For each woman who showed up to tonight's circle and brought their lovely authentic selves.
  5. For a pre-circle meditation that brought me out of my ego funk and put me into a loving state that allowed me to lead the circle. 
  6. For Kellie, who didn't have time to learn a moon salutation to lead tonight but did it anyway, and did it well.
  7. For Lisa, who had a 14 hour day and still showed up and was present and mindful in circle.
  8. To be able to have a home big enough to facilitate a circle comfortably. 
  9. For the way the room glowed in soft candlelight. 
  10. For Gabby Bernstein, and the inspiration she has brought to my life. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 78

I am grateful...
  1. That I woke up to a message that made me happy.
  2. That what I am putting out is coming back to me. 
  3. That a few different people today paid me great compliments that were really meaningful.
  4. That I got a new rug and I was able to carry it out of my car and into my place all by myself.
  5. That some sisters who are coming to the circle tomorrow are happy to bring some snacks so I don't have to do it all.
  6. To the women at World Market who helped me and that she was sweet.
  7. That though I spent this day alone I was sent loving messages all day.
  8. That Kevala made their minimum for their Indie Go Go campaign! What a great company.
  9. That I am stronger every day.
  10. To finally feel that I'm on the right path. 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 77

I am grateful...
  1. That I woke up this morning clear headed.
  2. For a good parking spot.
  3. For NamaSteve and a really beautiful yoga practice on the beach this morning.
  4. That I got up instead of going back to sleep when everyone else bailed this morning.
  5. For the energy to wake up and do all the shit I needed to do today.
  6. For some inversions today that I couldn't do a few months ago.
  7. That my girls only care about my happiness.
  8. For really great friends who are there to support me and make sure I'm okay. 
  9. That Lisa put time and energy into fixing my dress. 
  10. For love. In all the ways it manifests into my life. 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 76

I am grateful...
  1. That my wedding today went well and the bride and groom were happy.
  2. To witness two souls unite in love and devote themselves to each other. 
  3. That I got an hour of sun before work.
  4. That I had work to go to at all.
  5. That my dad is going to help me sort out my medical bills.
  6. For a new season of OITNB.
  7. That I made time to put my heart over my head. 
  8. That tomorrow is free yoga on the beach day.
  9. That tonight I get to spend alone.
  10. That tomorrow I'll be with friends all day.

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 75

I am grateful...
  1. I'm really grateful that at this point in my life I have such a high value for deep connection and I really have no place in my life for sex without intimacy.
  2. That I was able to squeeze in 40 minutes of pure sunshine today.
  3. That my mom is doing much better than she was yesterday.
  4. That I live close enough to my parents that I was able to have dinner with them tonight.
  5. For a beautiful view of the San Diego skyline from Coronado on the water tonight as the sun went down behind the ocean.
  6. To be treated like a VIP and get comped dinner. 
  7. To be able to share that experience with my parents.
  8. That my dad is going to watch Derby while I'm in New York.
  9. For enough leftovers to last me until I leave for New York.
  10. For friends and family. I couldn't get by without them. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 74

I am grateful...
  1. That my morning meeting went well.
  2. That when I got home I got a bunch of stuff on my to do list done.
  3. For a beautiful day.
  4. For a nice dusk walk with Derby. 
  5. That Vivianna is on the mend even though she has carbon monoxide poisoning.
  6. That in a week I'll be in New York.
  7. That my mom is okay and will hopefully be better tomorrow.
  8. That I had time to make my dad a Father's Day card since I'll be out of town on the day.
  9. That I'm better now than I used to be.
  10. For actually laughing out loud. 

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 73

I am grateful...
  1. For a beautiful dream of riding a bicycle through corn fields in the dusklight with summer skin, feeling as free as a bird, happy and calm. I'm grateful that I remember this dream and was able to enjoy the feelings even upon waking.
  2. For a long hot shower.
  3. For time with friends both new and old.
  4. To be told that I am missed.
  5. For a workout on the beach as the sun went down.
  6. That tomorrow I have the time/will make the time to do all the things I need to do. 
  7. To Mike and Vivianna for helping me with my headstand.
  8. To my body for being strong and doing an awesome headstand!
  9. For a healthy community meal.
  10. For Betsy, who asked about my life and really wanted to know, and not only that but listened actively while I told her. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 72

I am grateful...
  1. For the luxury of sleeping in.
  2. For Lisa, who rolls with the punches of me changing my mind all the time, always offers a smile, and is willing to do whatever it takes for the greater good.
  3. For Kellie, who is thoughtful, fun, quite hilarious at times, and always inspirational. She can also tell by my texts if I'm not okay, which is pretty amazing.
  4. For long walks.
  5. For fresh bread and the way it smells.
  6. For the moments that I am guided. 
  7. For women and the connection we all inherently share.
  8. For wine on the balcony as the day turns into night.
  9. That I chose a night in of connection instead of going to 3 different events tonight.
  10. That I'm making something and I like the way it looks. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 71

I am grateful...
  1. For a good sleep. 
  2. For a snuggly morning Derby. 
  3. That I was outside so much today. Nothing soothes like nature.
  4. For a happy and loving site visit. That I brought my authentic self to a part of my life where it's hard for me to do so and it went so very well. 
  5. For a moment I stood in front of a beautiful white horse with grey spots. The horse and I looked into each other's eyes as the cool breeze danced across the afternoon sky. I felt at one with this amazing creature and with the universe as a whole. 
  6. That I got to unexpectedly see my family today. 
  7. That my headstand lasted longer today than it ever has before!
  8. For a free yoga sculpt class on the water. 
  9. For the feeling that I earned my calories today (at least some of them).
  10. For Viviana, who is a loving and generous friend.  

Sunday, June 1, 2014

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 70

I am grateful...
  1. That I chose self care today and cancelled all my obligations. I'm working on listening to my body, and today it refused to rally.
  2. That Kellie understood that I was too exhausted to go to her yoga class. 
  3. That my mom got me a half birthday present. It doesn't matter what the present is (though it's probably good), she knows that I always wished to have a summer birthday instead of winter and indulges me in this way. What a good mom.
  4. That tomorrow is a new day. A brand new beginning in which anything is possible.
  5. I'm grateful for a shift in perception that makes me excited to begin again tomorrow instead of feeling negatively about today.
  6. That in 1.5 weeks I'll be in New York.
  7. That I received multiple texts from friends and fam today asking how I was. How wonderful it is to feel loved.
  8. That Derby is sleeping snuggled up to me as I type this list. What a lucky dog mama I am.
  9. For advice to always assume people are doing their best. This can be difficult for me but I'm willing to try.
  10. For friends being honest with me about the tough things. I know they are harsh because they love me and they want me to have what I deserve.  

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 69

I am grateful...
  1. To get invitations from friends. It makes me feel loved and wanted. 
  2. That my room is painted!
  3. That I will (hopefully) never have to paint a room myself again.
  4. That my mom hung the watercolor I made her at the lake house and it looks great. She seems so happy with it, which is all I can hope when I give someone a gift. 
  5. Similarly, that Sandy loved the watercolor I made her.
  6. That I got to spend some time with Sandy before she moves. What a beautiful and loving woman.
  7. That I can sleep in a little tomorrow, and will (hopefully) wake up feeling healthy.
  8. For Derby Blue, my little angel baby.
  9. For SiennaJane, an actual angel baby.
  10. That I get to crawl into my warm bed and go to sleep right now. 

Friday, May 30, 2014

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 68

I am grateful...
  1. That the friends who came over last night helped clean up so I didn't wake up to a mess.
  2. That I am almost done painting my room.
  3. For Kellie hugs.
  4. That someone I love is doing so well in a hard situation.
  5. That somehow I still weight 104.9 pounds even though I've been eating cookies and cupcakes like it's my job.
  6. That I did not fall off the ladder when I was painting. 
  7. For Derby Blue.
  8. For my small but strong hands.
  9. That today I felt okay to let go of any worries and focus on the moment.
  10. For really good fresh juice this morning that totally hit the spot. 

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 67

I am grateful...
  1. That I am so much better than I was a year ago.
  2. To be faced with someone today who made me realize this.
  3. For morning yoga in the park.
  4. That the breeze always seems to perfectly kiss my skin when I come to savasana.
  5. For Diana, who invited me to this great event this morning in which I got to have fresh juices, organic foods and yoga.
  6. That I won a free photo shoot with True Photography! 
  7. That I was able to host a mini dinner of friends coming together in a good meal and good fun tonight.
  8. For Gabby Bernstein's lecture on authentic power.
  9. For Tom Kelly's inspirational updates.
  10. That I could borrow a ladder from my building in order to paint my room.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 66

I am grateful...
  1. To Kirk Hensler for the 30 Days of Writing Challenge. 
  2. That today my writing turned into an incredibly honest email that needed to be written and sent.
  3. That I am able to be completely detached from the outcome of sending it. 
  4. That Nature Valley will provide free granola bars for the next Brunch Club Sunday of Service adventure. 
  5. That a friend is interested in buying one of my paintings. Are you?
  6. For a private yoga class from Kellie. It was practice for her final class this weekend and she did wonderfully! 
  7. That after a year of practicing yoga, I feel like I finally know what I'm doing (at least most of the time).
  8. That my aunt Edie is back home safely from her trip to Italy and she had a great time. 
  9. To be fed today, 3 times!
  10. That Kellie brought home the delicious soft pillowy grocery store cookies that I love. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 65

I am grateful...
  1. That today's writing was more fruitful than yesterday's in the 30 days of writing challenge. I feel as though I got somewhere. 
  2. That I got some errands done after my morning routine even though I woke up late. 
  3. That I did a headstand, even if I could only stay up for a few seconds. Progress!
  4. To see my parents after they'd been gone for almost a month. They also very sweetly brought home some presents that were chosen with care.
  5. To see SiennaJane and Everett, my lovely niece and nephew. They fill me up with so much love and joy my heart feels as though it may burst!
  6. To play a game of tag, and freeze, and ice skating, and hide and seek, and swing with SiennaJane. What fun to run and laugh and see her smile.
  7. For a home cooked meal by my mom and the chance to sit around the table with my family.
  8. To sit and watch the pink clouds float over the blue sky with Sienna ("blue like my tongue after I eat a lollipop and pink like cotton candy", she told me), listening to hear describe what she saw in the clouds (a reindeer, the number 7).
  9. That my family got up and came outside to watch the sunset when Sienna and I asked them to even though they wanted to sit inside. To watch the day turn into night while the kids danced around expending the remains of their energy before bedtime and the silence turned into the calm summer song of crickets and frogs. 
  10. To hear Sienna say "I lub you, Jen. I missed you."

Monday, May 26, 2014

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 64

I am grateful...
  1. That I woke up and did a 20 minute meditation followed by an hour of writing even though I wanted to go back to sleep.
  2. For all the men and women who have given their lives as well as the ones who continue to serve for their country. 
  3. To be spun around like a bird on the beach.
  4. To be invited to do stuff. It feels good to be included!
  5. For a day of sun on the beach.
  6. For quinoa and strawberries and delicious and healthy food. 
  7. For a compliment, "Your eyes are magical."
  8. That Derby was a good girl while I was gone all day.
  9. That Kellie is home safely from her trip.
  10. For a really kind, long, loving message from a girl friend. 

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 63

I am grateful...
  1. To be part of a like-minded community here in San Diego. SD has always been my home because my family is here; now I feel I'm creating a family of my own as well and it feels wonderful. 
  2. That some awesome people got up early to help me feed the homeless today. Chris, Mike, Adam, Viviana, Barb, Lisa and Jessica, you guys are good people and I'm glad to know you. If you're interested in coming with me next time, join the facebook group!
  3. That everyone donated to the cause generously and we are +$40 for the next time!
  4. To see a smile take over a homeless man's face when he read the note I wrote him.
  5. That the people we gave to were grateful, kind and appreciative.
  6. That I have a home. A roof and a bed and a beautiful home.
  7. That no matter what, my family will always make sure I am ok.
  8. For Derby Blue and the cute little way she snuggles about.
  9. For a kind and genuine message from a friend who is far away.
  10. For Kale and Cigarettes (the blog).  

Sunday, May 25, 2014

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 62

I am grateful...
  1. That my parents made it home safe and sound from their month long trip to Europe.
  2. For NamaSteve's Saturday morning beach yoga matter what it brings up in me it's always a work out and it's always therapeutic. 
  3. To Adam for understanding my pain and always asking me what he can do to help.
  4. To Viv, my new friend who spent many hours explaining things to me in a way I wasn't able to see them before. How blind we are when love clouds our weary eyes.
  5. To myself for potting my garden even though I didn't want to go outside in the grey wind and cold.
  6. For my beautiful new plants - may they live long!
  7. That so many folks are on board to help out with a Sunday of Service tomorrow.
  8. For Derby Blue's little baby puppy dog sleep breath.
  9. I'm grateful for the future. I'm grateful to have things to look forward to. I'm grateful that in the next few months I will be in New York with my guru and then with my very best friends. I'm grateful that a few weeks after that I will be hosting some other dear loves in my home. 
  10. I'm grateful that I have a bed I'm about to get into.   

Friday, May 23, 2014

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 61

I am grateful...
  1. That some great people are coming together and getting on board to do some good this weekend.
  2. For people being willing to chip in and help out with this new project. 
  3. That tomorrow is free beach yoga day.
  4. That I finally chose and bought a paint color for my bedroom.
  5. That I was much more motivated today than yesterday.
  6. That the guy at Home Depot was nice and did not get annoyed with me when I couldn't choose a paint color.
  7. For a sleeping angel Derby baby. 
  8. That in a few weeks time I will be in New York.
  9. For peace and relative quiet and as much solitude as social media allows.
  10. For water, which I can't get enough of today. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 60

I'm not gonna lie to you guys, today was difficult. I woke up on the tails of a nightmare in which someone I really do not like (but am trying to let go of) came into my life and took away everything that was important to me. This girl literally pushed me off of my own stool in my own house. My dreams are not very subtle. I am always confronted with new tests and opportunities for growth. I don't yet know how to get peacefully past this one and let this girl and my resentment for her go. It's none of my business what she says, does, or she attempts to take from me. Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing that she does has anything to do with me. I need to keep telling myself this until I feel the truth of it and thoughts of her no longer plague me.  I am grateful...
  1. That my great aunt Edie took time out to text me that she loves me all the way from her fabulous vacation on Italy. 
  2. That instead of wallowing in my shitty feelings I brainstormed ways that I can be of service and came up with a pretty good plan.
  3. That the friends I told about this plan are on board! I'm excited.
  4. For Derby, who is such a good companion. 
  5. That today was full of silence, and that hopefully tomorrow won't be.
  6. That someone I love is handling a difficult situation really well. It shows growth and self love and I am so proud.
  7. That it's 9:15pm and I'm about to get in bed with a movie.
  8. That I have food in my house.
  9. For open windows.
  10. That with some hard work and a trip to home depot I can change the color of my room to soothe my tired eyes. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 59

I am grateful...
  1. That I woke up with a heart full of love.
  2. That the first thing I did this morning was be as true to myself as possible by telling someone that I really care for them. 
  3. That Derby let me snuggle her a little bit.
  4. That my cousin has some great friends to help her through a tough time, especially since we are so far apart.
  5. For Hairy & Merry again, for babysitting Derby again, which is like a super fun extra special play day for her and the other pups.
  6. That I am getting some recognition for my work and I know it will snowball if I keep my heart in the right place and work hard.
  7. That someone acknowledged that I just had surgery 8 weeks ago, and said to me, genuinely, "You are very much still healing. What can I do for you?" That was so nice to hear!
  8. To spend the day at one of my favorite places in San Diego.
  9. I'm grateful to myself for getting up and getting my shit together and going to an event today when all I really wanted to do was stay in bed and take a long walk and maybe make some art. This couldn't have been done without CB, who sort of made me.
  10. I'm so very grateful that after an already long and physically as well as emotionally draining week, tomorrow I don't have any obligations. 

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 58

I am grateful...
  1. That Greta can tell exactly how I'm feeling by my pins. 
  2. To spend a day with my grandma.
  3. For my grandma's wisdom and her humor.
  4. To Hairy and Merry for free doggy daycare so I could spend the day with my grandma without feeling guilty that Derby was home alone.
  5. That Derby had a blast all day playing with other dogs and getting exercise. 
  6. To my parents for gifting me tickets to the Padres game.
  7. For time with my girlfriends Kellie and Greta.
  8. That I got to spend some quality fun time with my sister without the kids for the first time I can remember (I absolutely love her kids, but it was nice to hang out with her sister to sister).
  9. For a lot of free delicious food.
  10. That my sister got home safe and sound. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 57

I am grateful...
  1. That there is so much beauty in this world. And that today I was reminded of that so many times. 
  2. That I witnessed a man in the military walking in front of me pick up some garbage and throw it in the trash on his way to wherever he was going.
  3. That Derby made friends with an old homeless Polish man who I could see got so much joy and love out of the ten minutes he spent petting her. "They just love us all", he said. "Even when we get old and wrinkly."
  4. For the strength to ask for what I want, no matter the outcome.
  5. That Derby let me brush her for a long time today, because she really needs it. 
  6. For beautiful photographs that take me to another place and time and also remind me to appreciate and be present in the moment I am in.
  7. For a dinner date with my new girl friend.
  8. That I felt like I could be candid with said new friend, and that she actively listened to me and I did so for her. What a gift. 
  9. For the Replay cover by Julia Sheer and Tyler Ward. 
  10. For the much needed rain, even if it is just a drizzle, falling down upon my town. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 56

I am grateful...
  1. For the ability to sleep in.
  2. For the new yogis who taught a great class at Core Power today.
  3. For all the firefighters around the county who have been working so tirelessly to keep us all safe. 
  4. That I got the truth out, even though it was difficult. 
  5. For the shower I'm about to take. 
  6. That my family is safe. 
  7. That when I'm not feeling so great I can look at my sister's instagram and smile at the beautiful photos of her kids. 
  8. That the sunset looks different every night, reminding me that each day is miraculous. 
  9. That AIDS Walk New York was a success.
  10. For an opportunity to spread kindness. 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 55

I am grateful...
  1. For beach yoga. 
  2. For the perfect temperature for beach yoga.
  3. For the breeze. It soothes my soul like nothing else.
  4. For NamaSteve, who teaches beach yoga for donations every weekend.
  5. For all the delicious and healthy food at the farmer's market.
  6. For brunch with friends.
  7. That it ended up being a free brunch for all of us.
  8. For even more new friends. 
  9. For BOGO mascara and lipgloss.
  10. That I don't have to decide anything right now. 
  11. That Kellie was looking out for me today.
  12. For SRF. 
  13. That Jamie said a prayer for me to get a great job where I can be of service. 
  14. That I saw that someone I am facebook friends with is also doing 100 days of gratitude...pretty cool! If you are doing it too please let me know!

Friday, May 16, 2014

100 Days of Gratitude - Days 53 & 54

Confession: I didn't do my list last night because I was out and when I got home I was a little drunk and suppper tired. So here are 20 for today. I am grateful...
  1. That my family is safe from the fires.
  2. To my new friend Chris for sharing my painting facebook profile on his page and asking his friends to like it. 
  3. That my page broke 100 likes today!
  4. That Joe Campagna inspired me to name this blog SugarHeart after I read it in a poem he wrote many years ago.
  5. That someone who was very cruel to me today apologized for it.
  6. For the discipline to ask "What would love do?" in this situation instead of being nasty back. 
  7. That Kellie got me dryer sheets from the grocery store.
  8. For my mom who gave me the gift of a clean house.
  9. For the woman who came to clean my house.
  10. That I met a new friend who is awesome (Lisa, you are awesome). 
  11. That yesterday Kellie asked me to go to the beach.
  12. To sit in the sun, feeling the breeze, looking at the sea and feeling the sand between my toes.
  13. That the water in my building is back on today.
  14. For a shower. 
  15. That I decided to take the day off from worrying about job stuff today.
  16. For Taylor Swift. Her songs speak to my lovelorn soul and that feels good. I Almost Do expresses exactly how I feel and is so my jam right now. 
  17. That a blast from the past made me realize that I am much better at choosing which people to have in my life than I used to be.
  18. That I did not drunk dial or text anyone last night. 
  19. For a $5 breakfast.
  20. For Derby, I love her even though she has been farting up a storm. 
  21. That I will get to do yoga, for free, twice this weekend. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 52


  1. For watermelon jolly ranchers, and that they taste just like childhood.
  2. That the UPS people didn't kick me out when I brought my panting, whining dog into their store.
  3. For comrades. 
  4. For answered prayers.
  5. That when I asked for help in the form of opening A Course in Miracles to the right advice, I was shown the way.
  6. That my loved ones are safe, for now, from these crazy fires.
  7. For life as it is. Today I cried twice, both just a few unnoticed tears, the first of sadness and the second of happiness.
  8. That for the first time in weeks I felt peaceful, present, at if happiness wasn't a constant battle against my instinct. 
  9. For a loving massage from hands that feel like home.
  10. For the big giant full white moon, illuminating my way home, a constant companion. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 51

I am grateful...
  1. That I didn't get pulled over even though a cop was driving behind me while I was driving 85.
  2. For a perfect picnic in the park with my sister and her kids.
  3. For a beautiful day and a cool breeze.
  4. To catch up with a friend I had been out of touch with for too long.
  5. For a sweet email from a friend I love. 
  6. For a full belly.
  7. To get a loving and supportive message from my parents from far away.
  8. For Derby snuggles.
  9. For A Course in Miracles.
  10. For photographs and films and music and books that know how my soul feels. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 50

We're half way through! On day 50 I want to talk about the difference that showing my gratitude for others has made in my life. Late last summer I started writing gratitude letters to the people I am grateful for and the experience was wonderful. It's so beneficial to write your list down in your journal or even do a project like this, but by sending your gratitude to those you are thankful for, you increase the love and gratitude in the universe. You have the opportunity to make someone else feel good; someone that has made you feel good. You could say "isn't that a thank you letter?" and it is, but it's also a declaration of gratitude and it can mean the world to someone else. 

I started with my parents, who have been doing things I am grateful for for 30 years. My gratitude letter started with the beginning of my life, thanking them for taking care of me and making sure I was healthy and safe and had everything I needed as a baby. I thanked them for everything I could think of from paying for my college education to always supporting me when I followed my heart. It was a long letter. I put it in the mail with a smile on my face, feeling like I had a secret and I couldn't wait for them to find out what it was. About a week later my parents told me that they cried while reading the letter. My heart swelled because I knew that theirs did while they read it and I knew that no matter what happened to me they would have this letter and they would know how grateful I was for everything they did for me. 

We are grateful for the people in our lives who love us, support us, are there for us through our difficult times, and who perform the powerful gift of making us feel less alone. I encourage you to write gratitude letters, or even just notes or emails or texts, to the ones you are grateful for and increase the love in the world. Today my list is dedicated to all the people who do those things for me.

I am grateful...

  1. To my mom, for being there for me since I was a little sea monkey. For always loving me unconditionally even when I was hard to love. 
  2. To my dad, who has loved me as his own since he met me when I was just a little squirt running around his office. He has saved my life. 
  3. To my siblings, Jimmy, Michael, Hilary, and Madison, for being sources of inspiration, love, and lessons. And for my sister's kids, who teach me about life all over again every time I see them. 
  4. To my best friend Aliah, for possessing the rare combination of being the person I want to celebrate with when things are amazing and the person I want to cry with when things are at their worst. Also for always being grammatically correct and hilarious and fun and lovely. And for understanding me. She is a kindred spirit. 
  5. To my roommate and dear friend Kellie, who is a constant inspiration and is constantly motivating me to be a better person. Who leads by example in never giving up, always staying positive, being hopeful, and always being so loving.
  6. To my cousin Stephanie, with whom I have been family and friends since I was born. She is so full of loving compassion and constantly striving to be the best version of herself for her and her loved ones. It's an honor to be loved by her. 
  7. To my great aunt Edie, who supports me in my choices, believes in my heart, and is always willing to lend a listening and understanding ear. She is brave and strong and I want to be like her when I grow up. She is doing this project with me and doesn't want to stop at day 100!
  8. To my friend Ryan, who answers my calls at 3am New York time, who sent me flowers when I had surgery and who loves me in my full weirdness, including my crazy voices and dramatic hangovers.  
  9. To dear friends new and old: Bradly, Greta, Adrian, Andrew, Elysha, Nicole, Sara, Brandon, Jeff, JR, and many more. 
  10. For my ex boyfriends who taught me about love: Erik, Alex, Brady, Nick, the other Nick, and Dan. 
  11. For you! For reading this post and for being exactly who you are.