A thank you note from Tim……..
Want a tip for gracious living? Here’s one you can try.
You know when you go for an early morning walk on the beach, and you see groups of people doing all sorts of bazaar, unusual, inexplicable … .and yet obviously very purposeful activities? You know, it might be Tai Chi or Chi Gung or Sahatharahawidgemultha breath meditation …whatever.
Well one of those groups is likely to be me, my partner Shani and an assortment of friends and neighbours.
Over summer we developed a bit of a routine. You walk down to the beach (dogs optional) and walk briskly to the northern groyne. At this point you touch a rock with some part of your anatomy and star vacantly into space (preferably without drooling) while you cast your mind back over the previous 24 hours and remember three things that you are grateful for.
When the slowest (ie most reflective) person has been able to come up with three we walk quietly back down the beach, each person sharing what their three grateful things were.
Now I know this may sound a bit Secret Seven or Californian New Age Sunshine Church of Positive Thinking ish (after all we are in Fremantle!) but I’ve found this a great way to start the day. Us humans, you know, we’re a cynical bunch and it’s easy to bypass or ignore the simple pleasures and give over to the majority of life’s ruminations - outstanding tax returns, frothless cappuccinos or the despairing looks on the faces of homeless polar bears as they drift north on their tiny ever decreasing ice burgs.
I’ve found that, when repeated regularly the “Early Morning Three Grateful Things While Walking on the Beach” meditation not only forces you to think (even if only fleetingly) of the best things that have happened in your day, but after a while you start bookmarking things as they happen. You know “hey I just found an unexpected $20 in the pocket of my old jeans. If nothing else happens today that can be one of my three grateful things” (See there you go you have two already – you found $20 and you are able to use that as a grateful thing – you only need one more!)
There is even a term for those days that after much reflection, have really just been s**t. One morning the best my friend and neighbour could come up with was “Well I have two legs … and they both work”
This is what we call a “hard grateful day”
That’s the three grateful things: Meditation. Try it. You might like it.
So anyway this morning as Shani and I shared our three grateful things, we were so grateful that three just wasn’t enough. You see the previous two days were spent at the Hulbert Street Sustainability Fiesta.
We had such a wonderful time that just three grateful things just didn’t cut it.
We did three each, another three, then another three, and the three grateful things lasted all day and well into the night …
Mmmm …Now that I think about it maybe I should see if I can open some kind of grateful account. I reckon I could come up with enough grateful things from those two days to tide me over into next year.
In the end we pared it down – here’s a combined list from Shani and I -
1. The 178 entry, open home, dishwashing, panic party and other volunteers who donated $31,825.00 worth of time and in kind support.
2. The 205 people from 31 community groups who shared their vision and commitment.
3. The 181 people who shared their passions and talent at the Show and Tell and Busking areas.
4. The 10 sponsors and visitors who donated financially to fund the $27,305 in cash needed to run the Fiesta.
5. The 52 food, artist and business stall holders who added such colour and warmth.
6. The 77 residents of the 30 houses on Hulbert Street for their open homes, gardens and hearts.
7. The 6595 visitors who came to the Fiesta, and between them only created 6 bins of recyclable resources, and no rubbish – but two big piles of compost for the Hulbert Street Guerilla Garde
OK … … I know … . . that makes seven … …
It was such an awesome experience to take part in the fiesta, the PlanBig crew had an unbelievable time. What would you add to the grateful account?