Thankful for Connections

Gratitude comes in layers. I’ve written about that before, about how there’s the thankfulness for things, and then the deep thankfulness that is (in my opinion) actually our natural state. For me, the form of gratitude that feels most glorious is the kind that comes from opening to life just as it is, that comes from letting go of old unhelpful habits or beliefs. It’s the kind of gratitude that doesn’t need any remembering even, because it just flows through you. It’s not something to grasp or hold, but just to allow. Trying to grasp it, in fact, generally makes it diminish or even disappear. (This is bound to be the case, because if we hold anything tightly enough, we get tension!)

And yet, sometimes the thankfulness that flows through me is for things. So my first Ten Things of Thankful post in several weeks starts with some thanks for things.

First though,  a photo, taken outside my mum’s house around 10.30 on an evening in early July.

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Look carefully at the photo above and you’ll see that to the right of the first rainbow, there’s a second one. And it is sunset! Life comes in layers too, it seems. This was just astonishing to see, and though I’m sure you’ll find the photo amazing, it cannot fully convey the exquisiteness of the evening. It was all the more joyful for sharing it with my mother and daughters.

Work-wise, I have a ton of stuff to feel thankful for. I’ve been away a lot over the summer. We hopped home for a few days in between visiting my family and heading off to my husband’s family. And then, I went to visit a friend to work on an exciting new writing project that we’ll soon be launching. I’m very excited about that, and will reveal all very soon. (Possibly even next week.)

While we were away, I was utterly over the moon to get an essay accepted for an anthology. Several bloggers I know will also be in it, so that makes it even more exciting. Publication is a while away yet, so that’s all I’m saying for now.

There’s been more acceptance – this time from Project Underblog, who will be publishing a revised version of the post Thankful For a Loss, which I wrote back in March for this here Ten Things of Thankful hop! At the risk of sounding like a Hollywood starlet, I am going to say that without so many people, I would not have had that article accepted. First, of course, there’s Lizzi, who both started this hop and inspired that particular post with a post she wrote for Mother’s Day. Then there’s Susan, who is soon to launch Beyond Your Blog, a service for bloggers that assesses your blog posts for suitability for submission to other sites. I tested out her service while it was in beta mode, and felt incredibly encouraged by her observations about my blog and her suggestions for where I should submit. It was on her advice that I submitted Thankful For a Loss to Project Underblog – and she was spot on! I shall be following up her other suggestions very soon! So I’m thankful for all that support.

Actually, now I’ve written about a few things, what I’m noticing is that they aren’t so much things at all as connections. I am so thankful connect with these people – working on the project with my friend makes it feel easier for both of us. Being in an anthology with several bloggers I know gives a sense of inclusion that I haven’t felt the times I’ve has short stories in anthologies. The sense of support I felt from Susan’s blog analysis and suggestions is part of what encouraged me to submit to Project Underblog. And then their tweet – well here it is! Aren’t they just lovely?!

So when I started writing this post, I had no idea what its title would be. Now I do! I’m thankful for connections.

Last night, in a Facebook blogging group someone suggested we share StumbleUpon profiles. I’ve had a StumbeUpon account for a while, but didn’t understand it, and couldn’t be bothered to try. Still, last night, I joined in with the others, and soon found loads of really interesting stuff – some funny, some deep, some informative. The whole exercise also had a lovely feel to it, of people helping each other out. So once again, it’s that feeling of connection. I was also really pleased that one of my posts got as many views in a day as it’s had in the week it’s been up. That post is about an issue I feel is important. It’s about how our culture is one where judgement is so utterly common most people don’t notice they are doing it, it’s about how we elevate people to celebrity status and then tear them down. It’s about why when a celebrity dies of an overdose, I think we should care. If you haven’t read it yet, please do.  And if you agree with me, please share it! I am thankful in advance!

In that post I share my dream that we can create a culture that is based not on blame and shame, but on compassion and support. The truth is that it feels so much nicer to feel compassion than it does to judge.

To read more thankful posts, or to join in the hop, click the link below:

Ten Things of Thankful

Comments

  1. What a gorgeous photo! We have had several double rainbows this summer and I never get enough of them.
    It sounds like you have been incredibly busy and have some great things in the works.
    I just started an account on Stumble Upon and I am having a hard time figuring it out. I suppose I’ll need to take a little time and see how it works. Too bad time is something I don’t have a lot of.
    It was wonderful to see you here this week!

    1. Author

      Sandy, am I right in thinking you live in Florida? I guess with all the sun and rain you would get great rainbows! We don’t see doubles that often, so we all got a bit excited1
      You’re right, I have been busy this summer, and will be for a while with all the exciting things coming up! I know what you mean about not having a lot of time!
      Thanks for your comment.

  2. You are right; whether on the giving or the receiving end, compassion and support is so much nicer than blame and shame.

    1. Author

      Kristi, reading your comment, I realised that it feels pretty similar whether you blame someone or are blamed. You’re right! Thanks for popping by!

  3. Oh Yvonne, here is to compassion and connections. I’ve been having a hard time of everything this week for one reason or another and always find such peace and hope here. I’m thankful for that, and for your friendship. I love that you were able to share the awesomeness of the double rainbow with your mom and daughters. I can almost smell the air, which is one of the things that brings me to myself and to my inner, ungettable when I want it (ungettable is totally a word – now) happiness. xo

    1. Author

      I know some of what you’ve been through this week Kristi (but obviously not all) and I’m so pleased you found peace and hope here. I’m thankful for your friendship too. (One day I will get to the USA again to meet all the lovely women I’ve only met online so far.)
      I love your description of how the smell of rainbow air affects you – ungettable is such a great word! It just sums it up, that (until now) indescribable aspect of us. Ungettable is just perfect. You’re a genius!

  4. Connections… well, um, I’m just not feeling the love much. Some connections are working, some, not so much.

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