Tag Archives: Gratitude

It’s all around you…

“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”
~Philippians 4:8

So some of you may already know this because you’ve either read a Facebook post or I told you in person, but three days ago a wasp collided with me while on a bike going about 18mph. It entered a vent in my helmet and stung me two, possibly three times. Without going into too much detail I’ll just say that I learned the hard way that I am allergic to wasps. Last night was my second and hopefully last visit to the ER at a local hospital; I was there till 5am and almost admitted. So why am I mentioning all this? Because as I was walking to a coffee shop this afternoon after getting only a few hours sleep I was feeling depleted…physically, emotionally, and spiritually (and soon, financially, given healthcare costs). It’s a rainy and grey day and I was walking in my own personal fog. Just walking but not seeing anything. But even though I was feeling low and sort of zombie-like I was still thinking how we and everything are all connected, I just couldn’t feel it right now. So I sent a thought-vibration out into the Universe on this grey, grey day…Show me your beauty, I really need it right now. And before the thought even left me I got response. Not a voice, more of a hunch…a knowing. And the response was simply…It’s all around you. Arrogantly, I thought to myself that I already knew this, but I needed proof. And then I looked down and saw the leaf pictured above, it was on the wet sidewalk directly in my path. All I needed to do was look at what’s right in front of me. 

Urban Simplicity.

Thankful…

I’ve posted this image of the above painting before at this blog–a few years ago–and I like it so much I thought I would re-post it for Thanksgiving. I personally find it a very moving image. You may already be familiar with it, it is a painting by Henry Tanner and titled The Thankful Poor (read about it here).

“If thank you is the only prayer you say, that will be enough.”
Meister Eckhart

Urban Simplicity.

A Bicycle for Mului (updated)….

Joe and Mului (small)

Update…So we surpassed our goal in a little over an hour! Amazing, it really is. With all the negativity that is portrayed in the media each day this outpouring of generosity is really moving to me. Thank you. According to the website it will take about ten business days for the funds to reach me. When they do I’ll post pics of Mului on his new bike. Peace, and thanks again.

 

Hello Friends,

This is a picture of me with Mului, a co-worker. I am trying to raise $325 to purchase a bicycle for Mului. He is new to our country and works very hard to support his wife and young daughter, but he needs transportation to get to work. Right now he either walks or takes a bus. A bicycle would be much quicker and also offset the cost of a two-way bus ride everyday. $325 would be enough to purchase a bike, a good lock, and proper lighting. Contributions will not only help a person in need but also a local business as I will purchase the bike from a local independently owned bike shop. Click here if you’d like to help. Thank you for your consideration,

Sincerely,

Joe

 

 

Urban Simplicity.

A Bicycle for Mului (updated)….

Update…So we surpassed our goal in a little over an hour! Amazing, it really is. With all the negativity that is portrayed in the media each day this outpouring of generosity is really moving to me. Thank you. According to the website it will take about ten business days for the funds to reach me. When they do I’ll post pics of Mului on his new bike. Peace, and thanks again.

Hello Friends,
This is a picture of me with Mului, a co-worker. I am trying to raise $325 to purchase a bicycle for Mului. He is new to our country and works very hard to support his wife and young daughter, but he needs transportation to get to work. Right now he either walks or takes a bus. A bicycle would be much quicker and also offset the cost of a two-way bus ride everyday. $325 would be enough to purchase a bike, a good lock, and proper lighting. Contributions will not only help a person in need but also a local business as I will purchase the bike from a local independently owned bike shop. Click here if you’d like to help. Thank you for your consideration,
Sincerely,
Joe

Urban Simplicity.

The view from my handlebars, a few thoughts on Ash Wednesday/Lent, and things to be thankful for…

So there I was anxious and rushing to get home from the community center on yet another single digit evening so I could make it to the opening time of an online class that began tonight, but then I had to stop for yet another traffic light (pictured above). Why, I thought, did I hit another light? Doesn’t the Universe know I am late? The traffic light, of course, seemed especially long. But I couldn’t help notice the sunset. Incredible. Here it was something like 9F and I was straddling my bike shivering a little but looking at that incredible sunset–the same sunset that if you live in the same hemisphere as me could view along with me–it made everything ok. At least for a few minutes. And I started thinking about how today was the beginning of Lent; Ash Wednesday. Symbolically representing Jesus going into the desert and fasting for forty days. Well, I am far from fasting, though I have given a few things up. But I don’t just give things up for the sake of doing so (but if you do I am not trying to pass judgment); I like to add something, such as additional prayer, meditation, yoga, etc. And also random acts of kindness. But as I stood there straddling my bike, and my fingers grew increasingly colder and I looked at that incredible sunset, I thought that–as a spiritual practice–I really should appreciate gratitude more. Just the little things. Because I have so much to be grateful for. And at that very moment I realized how grateful I was for that sunset on this very chilly night. So I took out my iPhone and snapped a picture with shivering fingers.The traffic light seemed to take ten minutes to change (though it was probably only two), and I did make it home just in time for the online class. While I watched it I ate dinner while my two pugs sat at my side and wood stove heated the room. I was, and am, thankful for that as well. But as I rode home this evening I also realized that it was nearly 7pm and there was still light in the sky, and that each day brings a little more light as we progress towards spring. The cold darkness of winter will end soon enough. And after riding through this very cold and snowy winter, this is something to truly be thankful for. I’d love to hear what you are thankful for at this point in your lives (because there is so much).


Urban Simplicity.

The view from my handlebars, a few thoughts on Ash Wednesday/Lent, and things to be thankful for…

So there I was anxious and rushing to get home from the community center on yet another single digit evening so I could make it to the opening time of an online class that began tonight, but then I had to stop for yet another traffic light (pictured above). Why, I thought, did I hit another light? Doesn’t the Universe know I am late? The traffic light, of course, seemed especially long. But I couldn’t help notice the sunset. Incredible. Here it was something like 9F and I was straddling my bike shivering a little but looking at that incredible sunset–the same sunset that if you live in the same hemisphere as me could view along with me–it made everything ok. At least for a few minutes. And I started thinking about how today was the beginning of Lent; Ash Wednesday. Symbolically representing Jesus going into the desert and fasting for forty days. Well, I am far from fasting, though I have given a few things up. But I don’t just give things up for the sake of doing so (but if you do I am not trying to pass judgment); I like to add something, such as additional prayer, meditation, yoga, etc. And also random acts of kindness. But as I stood there straddling my bike, and my fingers grew increasingly colder and I looked at that incredible sunset, I thought that–as a spiritual practice–I really should appreciate gratitude more. Just the little things. Because I have so much to be grateful for. And at that very moment I realized how grateful I was for that sunset on this very chilly night. So I took out my iPhone and snapped a picture with shivering fingers.The traffic light seemed to take ten minutes to change (though it was probably only two), and I did make it home just in time for the online class. While I watched it I ate dinner while my two pugs sat at my side and wood stove heated the room. I was, and am, thankful for that as well. But as I rode home this evening I also realized that it was nearly 7pm and there was still light in the sky, and that each day brings a little more light as we progress towards spring. The cold darkness of winter will end soon enough. And after riding through this very cold and snowy winter, this is something to truly be thankful for. I’d love to hear what you are thankful for at this point in your lives (because there is so much).

Urban Simplicity.

The View from My Handlebars…

I had to be at work a little early this morning. It was cold–the first really cold morning of the year–probably about 30F, and not a breeze in the air. It felt good; crisp. And then as I rounded the corner and faced east this was the view in front of me as the sun rose. Beautiful. I stopped in the middle of the street to snap a photo. I was, and still am, so grateful to be on a bike in the open air. It was a great way to start the day.

A Garden of Eden in Hell

The above image is that of Alice Herz-Sommer, who is also the interviewee in the below short but very inspiring video. At 108 years young she is the oldest known living Holocaust survivor. A few years ago–at the age of 104–she wrote a book called A Garden of Eden in Hell, retelling her amazing life story. Her secret to survival and longevity, it seems, is gratitude, thankfulness, and positive thinking. Many of us, I believe, can learn a lot from this woman and this short clip…I know I can. It’s well worth the twelve minutes to watch this. To read a very short bio of her, click here.

Urban Simplicity.