Practice Gratitudinal Healing

eagle falls reflection © lynette sheppard

Just over a year ago, I was writing about the tsunami warning and our evacuation here in Hawai`i after the Chilean earthquake. Deja vu all over again as Japan suffered a 9.0 quake and a huge tidal wave engulfed much of the coast.

Once again, we have much to be grateful for in Hawai`i. The tsunami caused some property damage, but we are all safe. Once again, our hearts hurt for our friends, known and unknown, across the sea.

I’ve talked to several of the Venuses who’ve felt tired, ill, depressed and/or frightened. I’ve been having nightmares every night. I have not had bad dreams since I was a child. Such a huge “disturbance in the force” affects us all. What to do?

Certainly, we wish to help. We can donate to relief funds and help our neighbors clean up if needed. What might we do beyond this?

My friend, Cathie Haynes, wrote a thought provoking post this week about celebration on her wonderful blog: BE-ing Rooted: a Practice in Essential Living. Confronted with the suffering and disaster, she did one of the only things we can do. Celebrate. Focus on what is important in life. See the extraordinary in the ordinary. And practice gratitude.

My husband, Dewitt Jones, sends out a photo and quote each week exhorting us to “Celebrate What’s Right With The World.” It’s simply a lovely reminder, a refocusing, and an affirmation of life. It’s something we need all the time and especially at times like these.  As he says, celebrating what’s right can give us the energy to fix what’s wrong. (Sign up to receive the Celebrate photos on his site – no charge, just spreading gratitude.)

How does this help? Do gratitude and celebration create positive vibrations in the force? Does kindness? I’m not sure if it helps the world, but I’m pretty sure it helps in our little corner of it. I may still have nightmares for awhile, but I’m going to adopt an attitude of celebration. Right now.

Here’s a partial list of those things I am grateful for in this moment:
rescue animals (including a dog afraid of thunder and a cat that “thinks out of the box” sometimes
breathing
family
birdsong
good friends
raindrops
rubber slippers
photography
rice
sprouted grains
water
breezes
the gift of sight
books
Hawai`ian music
old cars that still run
wifi and cable on a rural island
hot flashes (okay that’s a stretch, but means I’m alive!)
flowers
kisses
my menopause goddess sisters

Wishing you all some gratitudinal healing. What are you grateful for? What might you celebrate? Share it in the comments or just hold it in your heart. Malama pono – take good care. Of you.

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7 Responses to Practice Gratitudinal Healing

  1. Anne March 20, 2011 at 4:34 pm #

    Dearest Lynnette, So sorry to hear of the nightmares. I keep sighing and thinking: those, poor Japanese people!! Im impressed w/ their resilience and stoicism, and how they cooperate even under the grimmest circumstances. Lessons for all of us as a society. (don’t get me started on the new bombing the USA joined in this weekend!!) I am grateful for: the concept of peace (may it come to pass in our world), my wonderful (if creaky) middle aged body. 5 glorious senses which all still work, my dearest children, husband and family. My sisters. My girlfriends. My bike. GARDENS, birds, bees, bugs and all creatures (except slugs, pincer bugs and sow bugs), the honest TSA and USAir staff who found and returned my driver’s license last week! The safe flights which we’ve taken so many years. The safe cars and highways we drive. Rain. Water in the desert. Ocean, Mountains sky and God (whatever she turns out to be). Amen

  2. Cathie Haynes March 20, 2011 at 8:00 pm #

    Sleep disturbances seem to happen in this chaotic time . . . so sorry to hear you’re having nightmares, Lynette! I just wake up at the end of each sleep cycle. In our awake time and perhaps just as we fall asleep celebrating and expressing gratitude is healing. As my friend Sandy Lagno wrote after reading my latest blog post, “You celebrating your life sends that wonderful vibration around the globe to where ever it is needed.” Global climate change is happening (we had a terrible wind and storm last night) and I am accepting that chaos is now the norm. Amidst this accepting, I am ever so grateful for Dewitt’s weekly reminder to “CELEBRATE WHAT’S RIGHT WITH THE WORLD!”

  3. sharon March 21, 2011 at 10:35 am #

    Thanks Lynette for this wonderful blog. I’m noticing the birds song right now.
    I’m amazed at the spirit of generosity and resilience of the Japanese. A friend sent me a note from an american living in Japan in one of the hard hit areas. She was forced to leave her “shack” and was staying with a friend. She returned to her home to find a jug of water and small sack of food. It is a reminder to focus outward to help others. This is a way to truly heal ourselves.

  4. Kimberly March 21, 2011 at 3:00 pm #

    The nightmares are natural; they are reflections of a deeply concerned, caring, compassionate heart. Just keep doing what you can to help your friends/family/community and most importantly, keep yourself optimally WELL with good, positive, grateful energy.

    Practicing gratitude is HUGE! I have a little meditation that I do after I wake up, but before I move – I make a quick mental list of the immediate thoughts of gratitude – the warm bed, the roof over my head, the beautiful day developing outside, the opportunity I have to make this day the very best, whatever comes immediately to mind – It is a powerful way to start the day! 🙂

    And just recently, I’ve added to my quick list, gratitude for the progesterone cream that contributed to my good night’s sleep. 🙂

  5. rae March 21, 2011 at 5:01 pm #

    lynette thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, it has helped to explain, my feeling of melancholy. focusing on the things in my life that matter helps, my love, my friends, my family, good health, living in paradise and being able to share aloha.

  6. Elizabeth March 21, 2011 at 7:28 pm #

    I didn’t realize that the nightmares that I was having along with the depression, tiredness, and illness was also shared by others not in Japan. I was sending too much of my healing energy to Japan, leaving myself too vulnerable and the above happened. I am trying to turn that around, and being in Hawaii in 2 days will certainly help. Thank you for posting your thoughts for us to share- mahalo, Lynette:)

  7. jannie April 4, 2011 at 11:16 pm #

    Dance hula!! When trying to sleep dance in your mind. That mana will time travel the world.

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