Gratitude = Joy

Pondering gratitude today and how the events of this past weekend produced so much of it. I am so grateful for all the people that came out to support the grand opening event at Moonstruck CLE and my part in the adventure. I was genuinely thrilled to have that experience and felt waves of gratitude rippling through my whole being as I watched people interact with one another, sang carols, and witnessed Elisa’s happiness unfold as well. I couldn’t help but think about the effect gratitude has on one’s happiness. The experience is akin to relief – a sense of calm, peace, and harmony sets in – could this be santosha? 🙂 I think so. When the stars align and the universe gives you what you need, gratitude can be and has to be the only response.

It is not joy that makes us GRATEFUL – it is gratitude that makes us JOYFUL.

It wasn’t just the opening of the store that reminded me to be grateful. On Sunday, I sang with my fellow choristers and the Cleveland Orchestra at a benefit concert we do every year. The day is long and can be quite tiring, but listening and participating in the music created a response in me that led to tears multiple times, and some asked if everything was okay. I couldn’t respond as I didn’t actually know why I was having such a response. And then I put my finger on it. My mother and my mother-in-law are currently both battling cancer and my father-in-law passed away last year related to cancer. Even if you’re not with them every day, you feel and participate in their struggle and experience your own range of emotions that arise – anger, fear, sadness, helplessness, all mixed with hope and joy. But my tears Sunday were not from those feelings, but they were from the fact that – even in the midst of all of those struggles – there are so many other things in life for which one can be GRATEFUL…

For the constant and supreme power of music – to bring awareness to self, to distract from self, to create joy, to calm, to motivate, to thrill, to heal…

For friends and family – to laugh with, to love, to lean on, to connect with, to relish each one’s uniqueness…

And mostly for life…even though it is short in the universe’s timeline, may we cherish our part in it and always treat it with grace and gratefulness.

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