“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter the words, but to live by them.” John F. Kennedy
Grateful. Indeed I am! I feel grateful every day. Grateful to be alive enjoying another day on this amazing planet. Grateful to have a bountiful life; food on my table, roof over my head, good health, amazing family, wonderful partner, special friends, and time to do what brings me joy. I don’t think it gets much better than that. But. It. Does. We all have amazing people who enrich our lives or the lives of our loved ones. Look around, who are those people for you?
“Gratitude is the memory of the heart.” Jean Baptiste Massieu, translated from French
My daughter had her first experience at North Carolina Equestrian Special Olympics this year. It was wonderful! That long, exciting, tiring, fun, and rewarding weekend was an exclamation point on how absolutely amazing the folks and horses are at North Carolina Therapeutic Riding Center . I am so grateful for them! The center has a small staff, teachers, and loads of volunteers. They offer equestrian centered therapies to children, teens, and adults with physical, cognitive, and emotional disabilities. That weekend I found myself looking around at those wonderful women getting teary because I felt so fortunate to have such an amazing group of women in my daughter’s life. Reflecting back on her first year at SO and riding at NCTRC there have been a lot of volunteers who have worked with her each week at their scheduled time or filling in, but that weekend the teachers, administration, and volunteers gave up their weekend time with their own friends and families to come make Special Olympics a possibility for the riders from NCTRC. They truly loved doing it. You could see it in their faces, hear it in their voices, watch it in their actions. They love what they do and that love filters down to those they are giving to. Taking participants to an equestrian Special Olympics is involved; trailering the horses and their tack, feed, equipment, and supplies to the complex. Taking care of the horses all weekend. Encouraging the riders and cheering them on before, during, and after competition. Helping prepare the riders with practices and walk throughs, thinking of every last detail. Then packing up and taking everything back to the farm at the end of the competition. I find myself even now, as I type, getting choked up again, my daughter is so fortunate and I am SO, SO grateful!
“Ours is the responsibility to show our gratitude by the actions of our lives.” Thomas S. Monson
There are times when my gratitude is so big it spills over. I just have to act to show my appreciation. This is one of those times. I think you should always act to show your gratitude, not just speaking the words but with an action. I have striven to model this for my children. Writing a personal note is a great idea so the recipient gets to hear how grateful you are and feel the effect of their actions, however living your life in gratitude is the next step. I am grateful for the wonderful people at NCTRC and my daughter and I let them know that, but I can also show that gratitude in my actions to others. Showing more compassion, patience, or kindness to someone in my daily interactions. In my opinion that is the meaning of living your life in gratitude. What does it mean to you? How do you show your gratitude? I decided to add another layer in this case though, you probably already guessed it involves painting! NCTRC holds several fundraisers each year; one annual event is called The Mane Affaire. This year it will be held on Sunday October 19th, and if you are local (Triangle area, NC) there may still be tickets available! New in my Gallery today are two paintings that I am donating to the auction at The Mane Affaire. I don’t start my art with an end result in mind (if you haven’t read about my process, check it out in About Me) but horses kind of seem in order here. Wonderful women and wonderful horses have definitely been on my mind. As I started 5 canvases of different sizes a couple weeks ago I expected a horse would reveal itself somewhere, and two of them did! “Believe” has an original poem written around the sides that reflects the growth I have seen in my daughter from her experience with equestrian therapy. (see below for poem) “Ride” is the other painting for the auction. I hope these paintings help NCTRC raise money to continue with their mission. NCTRC makes the world a better place and hopefully will be able to continue to do so for many, many more years!
“Blessings are the echoes of gratitude.” Anna Pereira
There is always somebody whose life we can make a little easier, better, or happier with a simple gesture, or giving of our own time, treasure, and talents. Living in gratitude we can create a ripple effect, our actions encourage the next person’s actions and so on until we have created this wonderful collection of kindness; raising our collective vibration around the globe. The cool thing is we can start a new ripple every day! Imagine what a wonderful world it would be if we all consciously made an effort to create a ripple stemming from our own gratitude each day. Living in gratitude. Go ahead, start a ripple!
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” Mother Teresa
Today I am asking you to use the comments box below to share the love and express a little gratitude. NCTRC is an organization I am grateful for, but I’m sure you know of or have experience with or have been touched by other organizations, or groups of people, or individuals. Please share one or more with me and the other readers (include a link or web address too if you would like), lets spread around some love and gratitude!
“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” Marcel Proust
Light, Love, Laughter,
When I am on my horse, my partner;
I imagine I can.
When I am on my horse, my companion helps me get there;
I believe I can.
When I am on my horse, my forever friend transforms me;
Later, when my horse is only in my heart;
I still can!