When times are hard, gratitude journalling every day is the best prescription. I haven’t been taking my own medicine. A friend, Simon, reminded me yesterday that when joy is hard to find, it isn’t because it isn’t there. It is because we aren’t seeing it. He is right. I said that sometimes I need someone to light the pilot light in my soul. And, there was Simon.
I am grateful for Simon’s message. It reminds me that there are people out there who care, even if they aren’t people that I see, daily.
I am grateful for a winning prize in a raffle of the street artist TSP’s work. There was a memorial party for him last weekend. I didn’t attend because I felt I would be intruding (although everyone there would have made me feel very welcome) As much as I feel his presence in the friends he left behind and in then street art around town last year, I never met him. I know he was loved and I am privileged to own a piece of his art.
I am grateful for the artists who include me in their circle. At the moment, I am feeling really out of sync with the rest of the world and so it is hard sometimes to connect. There is nothing worse than being surrounded by people one likes and feeling lonely. And so, I am grateful to know that they will be there when I am ready to come back again and be present with them all.
I had intended to attend two events last night, but I was not feeling well and so I went to bed early and watched Peter Sellers in The Party. I haven’t seen that film in a long time. I loved it as a kid but now realised how much I had in common with the socially awkward but fun loving character. I am grateful for the laughter.
I think I need to spend more time with comedy, my camera and in meditation.
I am grateful that I made it to Sufi meditation with the deputy to Llwellyn in the UK. It was a small group – 17 of us that evening. The neighbours are suspicious, so we entered and exited in silence and we sat in the dark as we prayed and meditated. It felt like other times, when Sufis have been persecuted and had to pray and meditate together in secret. Afterwards, we shared tea and nibbles and talked. I recognised many faces from the last decade in his public lectures. It was nice, after 10 years and 2 months to sit amongst them. I am grateful that when I spoke to Llwellyn, he sent me to this meeting.
And finally, I am grateful that Wednesday evening is an open meeting at Friends House in Covent Garden (Quakers). Sitting in silence, in community, is something everyone should experience. I didn’t always appreciate it when I was at the ashram, but since the ashram is no longer nearby, I appreciate it now. Perhaps I wasn’t ready for silence, back then. I am looking forward to the Quaker meeting tonight. I wonder even if I will see that soft spoken poetic Quaker again. I hope so.
It was a joy, this morning, to awaken to sunshine. It has improved my outlook.
I am in a weird state lately and so it is wonderful to spend time with others in this state. Sufis are known to aim to be in the world but not of it. Their remembrance is of a different reality and that is where they reside. Being with them on Monday night was very grounding, and calming. For a few hours, I was with others in my situation. I struggled with the meditation because I am not sure I am really doing it right. But, I had some interesting images and some were really wonderful. I was with a community of seekers and experiencing some images from the unconscious. Oneness really is soothing.
My service this week has been more features of artists on Facebook, but my real service this week has been trying NOT to add to the negativity, criticism, disdain and violence in the world. It is a challenge because I see so much that just clashes with my sensibility right now. Judgement adds to the darkness, but perhaps by understanding one another, we can encourage a more just and equitable society.
For what are you grateful, in this moment?