Rough Bellies and Gratitude

One of my most prized and irreplaceable possessions is the Gratitude Journal my mother kept the last year of her life.  My mother was first diagnosed with a rare and slow progressing form of cancer when I was six years old.  She died when I was thirty two.  She was one of the most fierce and persistent people I have ever known.  The week before she died she took my hand and placed it on her belly. Where there had once been soft, pliant tissue there was only compacted roughness.  The tactile sensation was like touching a heavy, solid, earth-red, brick wall.  

Her journal describes the wonders of this ordinary life, the quotidian encounters that have enormous value, and the mindfulness of gratitude for them.  Her journal propels movement:  to begin to create the kind of life most wanted and dreamed about, starting exactly where we are each day.  I am not so much interested  in achievements and accomplishments.  They are important to me, but not so much as in cultivating a life that is rich in experiences with the one resource I can never get back:  my time.

If you have hesitated moving forward with a creative venture, whatever it is, I encourage you to pursue it.  Not only because I believe the world needs you to use your talent, but because of how it will change you.  The ideas that follow us and  that will not leave us alone are wholehearted gifts.  Start small, start gradually, or start big.  However you do it the important thing is to start.  If you are working toward your goal, there is always more right with what you are doing than there is wrong.