Thursday, November 17, 2011

My way of thinking/ Things for which I am thankful

Why does Austin have a picture of a man being loved by his lion on his blog?  Thanks for asking.  It's because I am thankful that I can share this beautiful moment with you.  Can there be too many pictures showing the connectivity of all living things?  Can we have too many examples of unconditional love between humans and the creatures that surround us?  But I digress.  This post is part of a challenge from my pals at The Circulation Desk (my blogging group) to write 5 - 10 things for which we are thankful.  I am thankful every day but I will use this holiday time of year to express my gratitude once again.

#1.  This year I almost lost my partner Jon.  He became ill very suddenly and spent 8 days in a coma with a ventilator doing his breathing for him.  I am so unbelievably grateful that he pulled through and stayed with us.  The power and energy that I received from my friends was palpable.  I felt a protective energy field around me all the time.  Out of an extremely negative situation, I was given the most positive reinforcement of my belief in the power of love imaginable.

#2.  I have a lot of friends.  Each one brings something very special to my abundant table.  My friends are like pieces of a giant puzzle that, put together, make such a beautiful picture.  My life is blessed every minute of every day by the knowledge that you love me.  I love you more.

#3.  My love for animals is well known to my readers.  Our dogs, Roxy and Charlie have been well documented in my posts.  They teach me about love and connectivity every day.  By following their example I am a better man.  I thank them by emulating their kind, generous and loyal, happy and loving, examples.

#4.  I consider the fact that I have had the opportunity to travel all over the world to be an enormous gift.  There can be no better education than the ability to see firsthand the wonders and the scope of the world that surrounds us.  The chance to glimpse into other cultures and experience different customs is priceless.  The understanding that we are all different and that that is a good thing is a lesson that is gained though open minded travel.

#5.  I was blessed with a wonderful family growing up.  Though they are almost all gone now, I cherish the memories and the lessons they have left behind.  Love was first and foremost.  Loyalty and commitment were required. Honesty was a given.  I am well aware that I honor my family when I do what I know to be right.

#6.  How could I leave out something that is so important to me, it is the equivalent of breathing? That would be music.  Music has been the soundtrack of my life.  I remember thoughts and conversations by what song was playing in the background.  Sometimes no song was actually playing anywhere but in my head.  My ability to express myself through music saved my sanity on many occasions.  Ask my New York friends.

I could go on and on.  I am grateful for the sunrise every morning.  I am grateful for the songs of the birds in the trees.  The majesty of the mountains that surround our valley.  I try to remember to be thankful for these things every day.  But it has been nice to put it in writing one more time.

                                        Peace and Love,




  1. Poignant, honest and infallibly touching! 'We'(your readers)are always grateful for the touch stone that is your writing, the reminders to see what is around us and notice the good in it.

    You're always inspiring!
    Thank you
    Laine D.
    "aspire to inspire"

  2. Laine, I am putting your comment on a sampler and framing it.

    Perception and intention don't always match. It is so wonderful to know that the intent of what I write is coming through. It inspires me to keep forging ahead!

  3. Oh, Bill, This was so worth the wait. You feel love and gratitude so deeply and, as Laine says, it is inspiring. Laine's description of your writing as a "touch stone" is perfect. Thank for choosing to write a blog - it really is something I look forward to reading and treasure.

    caregiving. family. advocacy.

  4. Thank you, Trish! I always look forward to your comments because they always inspire me. I so admire your work and your writing that it makes your praise all the sweeter.

  5. Hi Austin,

    you are such a great source of inspiration! I always get carried away when I read your posts. And the photo is fabulous, love it.
    I am so glad that your partner is with you. I'd wish more people had your positive attitude and sunshine! You make the world a brighter place.

    Oh and one more thing: remember when I wrote on my list of random things that I am clairaudient? I was serious, I hear things all the time and most of the times it's accompanied by music. So much fun: I am never alone and always entertained! When I was younger I couldn't control it and at times it got so loud that I had a hard time taking it and I had an occasional outburst of rage... And now, I paint what I hear :-)

    Thanks for your list, I am grateful I met you!

    Franziska San Pedro
    The Abstract Impressionist Artress

  6. Franziska, I am so interested in the clairaudient thing. Years ago Jon and I were on a Greyhound Bus travelling across country. The entire trip I was hearing these beautiful choral arrangements of Christmas music. It was September and I was the only one hearing it. I still hear songs in my head all the time but that one time was amazing (and a little annoying).

    Glad you liked this post. A week off did me a world of good, I think.

  7. This is a great list of things to be happy for. Even with all the surprises that life throws at us, we should be grateful for waking up in the morning. I, for one, am grateful that I survived drowning in the Kern river up here in California last year. It was the scariest thing I'd ever gone through and remember the exact moment I thought "this is it". Thankfully I'm still here. I think I may write about the experience soon thanks to you, Austin!

  8. Dennis, I do hope you will share your near drowning experience. It must have been terrifying. Isn't it amazing how much more precious every minute becomes when we finally understand that we are always vulnerable to forces outside our control? I would love to know how your experience has changed you.

  9. So lovely to read, Austin (and a reminder about the challenge!) Your appreciation of animals as living, loving creatures is one of your gifts, along with your general capacity to love. Very scary to hear about Jon--that definitely deserves to be #1 on the list. I know you could have kept writing and writing, because gratitude is something you practice daily.

    Judy Stone-Goldman
    The Reflective Writer
    Personal-Professional Balance Through Writing

  10. Thank you Judy! You are right. I could have kept on writing but I write about gratitude all the time. I just wanted to showcase a few highlights. Right now, I am grateful for your friendship and your always kind words.

  11. Wonderful wonderful (as the late great Lawrence Welk would say!). So much to be grateful for all the time -- not just during Thanksgiving time. Obviously, I totally get the love of animals piece. My dogs (well, especially Atticus) are my better self. They remind me to find happiness & joy wherever I am.
    I absolutely love the comments written for this post! great insights

    Heidi & Atticus

  12. Thanks Heidi! Our pups keep us honest don't they? As I said before, gratitude is a daily thing and I mention it often. This post was somewhat redundant but I like taking part in a challenge. Hope we can do one every month and get more participants.