Donna Smaldone
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Friday / February 21 / 2014

Living with gratitude

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I would’ve posted something about my blog being on hiatus. However, I didn’t know it would be. Sometimes, the words just aren’t there to give. Sometimes, as in my case, everything you write is SO personal, it’s almost like a betrayal to publish it.

How long does it take to birth ones’ self? For me, it’s a continual journey. One I embrace (for the most part, anyway). It’s been nine months since my last post. Is that a coincidence? If it is, then it’s also a coincidence my last blog post was titled, “You is plenty“.

Yesterday at Elevation Pilates with Kathy, Laura and new friends Sandy and Frannie, I found myself pining to write. I felt…. refreshed. Invigorated. The way a cold splash of water feels on your face as you greet the morning. This isn’t the first time this has happened to me at the studio. Simply put: it’s a place of inspiration.

As we stretched and toned — and laughed, and enjoyed getting healthy together — the sense of renewal was almost spiritual. Not only was my body engaging, my mind was, too. Refreshing.

I closed my eyes and drew-in a deep breath, relishing the air coursing through my nostrils, filling my lungs. Refreshing. I was cognizant of the smirk that crossed my face as next to me, Laura Roth did her flawless impression of Lucille Ball. My heart for Laura is strong. Just moments earlier, she took my hands in hers, smiled with her whole countenance, and thanked me for being me. Have you ever thanked someone for being them? It’s a powerful compliment. I urge you to try it.

“You radiate gratitude and grace,” Laura told me with conviction. I couldn’t help but chuckle at the ‘grace’ part as I consider myself pretty clumsy. The ‘gratitude’ she sees reflected in me, however, really spoke to me. “She can see that?,” I thought — with gratefulness. It was as if she’d just paid me the greatest compliment.

Certainly, I want to live with gratitude. I want to embrace all I was designed to be. I don’t ever want to miss taking the time, for myself, to stop and “smell the roses”. And I never, ever want to settle. To me, that’s what Failure looks like.

Far from “easy”, my experience has taught me NOT settling is far better than any alternative. Just yesterday, my friend Rachel posted on Facebook a quote from John F. Kennedy, “Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men.”

Coincidence? Yeah, I didn’t think so either.

What we have, my friends, is today. Try living today with gratitude and see how people respond. See how YOU respond! By embracing gratitude, a whole world of love and acceptance will open up.

 

 

 

 

2 Responses to “Living with gratitude”

  1. Karen Ulrich says:

    Donna,
    I want to take a moment to explore “Grace” further. While physical grace is all well and good (spoken from a fellow klutz), it’s the mental and spiritual grace of which we are in awe. Case in point, your mom, Mrs. Philips and Julie- grace personified- as well as yourself. The kind of person that others want to be with because just your presence feels like a hug, does that make sense?
    Love you!

    • Donna Smaldone says:

      Wow, Karen. Thank you for sharing that — and yes, it makes beautiful sense. I am grateful to have you (and my Mom and the Philips) in my life. Love you, too. xo

      …to living with gratitude AND grace!

      Love, Donna

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