Coffee & Meditation

Some mornings I only get out of bed because of the coffee. And my journal. And my friends. Okay, and my family. But coffee comes first.

Today’s Valentine’s Day. Perhaps it’s a little depressing for many? Like my family of origin, my husband’s not too big on gifts, cards, remembering holidays. I, on the other hand — the one who overcompensates — made every one a personalized Valentine’s Day card. And though I didn’t get much — or anything — at home, I did get some little cards with fair trade chocolates and a pink Valentine’s dish towel at work. I love my work peeps!

It was an ordinary day. I worked my job, did Pilates at lunch, worked again, then taught a session of comedy/improv at the Middle School, made dinner, shared dinner with the fam, went to the theater with my husband, (we saw The Broken Heart a play from the 1620s by John Ford — it was a bit of a slog). I took the subway home alone (I couldn’t stay for the second half). I shooed the kids to bed. I did the dishes.

And tomorrow I’ll do it all over again (though I hope I don’t have to see that play again).

I want to be grateful for every single day. I want to have an open, loving heart, especially on Valentine’s Day. And I did find one moment of deep calm and contentment in my day. At the end of Pilates class, Shayne, our teacher, turned off the lights. We lay in the Yoga corpse pose, Savasana. Then, Shayne read this poem by Hafiz:

The Sun Never Says

Even after all this time
The sun never says to the earth,
“You owe Me.”

Look what happens with
A love like that,
It lights the Whole Sky.

Is that amazing, or what? Meditation is almost as good as coffee.

Attitude of Gratitude

What are you grateful for?

Studies show that people who keep a journal every morning or make a gratitude list every night have an improved immune system. (I can’t find the link right now to support this claim, but just trust me!)

I have also heard that a child must hear 10 positive things to overcome one negative thing. The number is probably similar for adults. Today I made a conscious effort to remain positive, adding to other people’s positivity and not depleting them.

Sounds altruistic, but I am doing it for my own health. Remaining positive is good for me. 

I love a neuroscientific excuse to write, be grateful and pursue happiness.

Here are today’s 10 reasons for joy and gratitude — in no particular order.

1. The power of nonviolence and the peaceful overthrow of the dictatorship in Egypt
2. Valentine’s Day chocolates everywhere
3. Handmade Valentines left anonymously on coworkers’ desks
4. Kids’ health, especially my son’s heart, fixed by brilliant doctors
5. Wonderful boss
6. My kids’ singing voices — at this moment, the girls are singing a song from Grease. So fricken’ cute!
7. This warm day nearly melting the icy mounds of snow in NYC
8. My mother’s coming to visit in a week and a half
9. My friends, especially my book club friends
10. My own creativity and sense of humor

While I was watching the Grammy’s last night and making Valentines (see number 3 above), unbeknownst to me, one of my daughters was making one too. If I ever get down, and it is inevitable, I am going to look at this: