Each morning I wake and say five things I am grateful for. I have learned that an attitude of gratitude, not only begins each day with peace, but science is beginning to show us how we affect each cell and molecule in our body by the attitudes we hold.
Dr. Robert Emmons a professor of psychology at University of California Davis a foremost authority on the topic of Gratitude says: “Gratitude improves emotional and physical health, and it can strengthen relationships and communities.” He published Thanks: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, an interdisciplinary book that provides a research-based synthesis of the topic as well as practical suggestions.
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” - Melody Beattie
This morning I woke early this morning before the sun rose to see a brilliant full moon lighting the early morning sky. The glimmering light guided me as I gave thanks for many blessings and began my day with an attitude of gratitude. In the last few years I have added my heart-full of pleasure. This morning gave me many reasons to be grateful and to celebrate the pleasures of life. In a few short minutes I can feel my body tingle and my heart fill with love as this simple practice transforms all that follows.
I packed the last items to bring with me as I begin my travels to join the circle of Austrian doulas and then onto Midwifery Today in Belgium. In both places, I am looking forward to reconnecting with old friends who share a passion for optimal MotherBaby care as well as being excited to meet the many new birth workers who will join us as we share our vision for every woman’s right to give birth with dignity, respect, privacy, safety, support, pleasure and love and as we discuss Human Rights in Childbirth.
This week in preparation to open registration for Orgasmic Italy: a woman’s retreat to celebrate and deepen our appreciation of the pleasures of life, I have been enjoying photographs and savoring the many memories we shared in last year’s Pleasures of Italy retreat on the Amalfi Coast. In the dim morning light I placed stamps on the notes we had written to each other to send three months later, which is today. I can see us all on the beautiful terrace at Hotel Le Rocce with a spectacular view of the Amalfi coast below. The Mediterranean Sea glistening as the morning sun reflects off it. The smells of Italian coffee and fresh baked goodies. The Italian pottery tables, with lemons and blues, against the backdrop of the mountain peaks of Agerola surrounding us in beauty and filling all our senses with bliss. The connection we created with each other, and our own nurturing of ourselves has expanded my heart and fills me with love. I can still see our drawings that captured our feelings as we wrote notes to send to ourselves and each other that I have kept on my desk these three months. I am grateful yet again, reminded of the many pleasures we shared as well as our deep connection to nurture ourselves and each other as well as the commitment we made to continue enjoying the pleasures of life and celebrating each day.
The sun is gently rising now and I am off to begin another journey. Join me in beginning your day with an attitude of gratitude and a heart-full of pleasure. I hope to hear from you. Please share your list of pleasures or maybe I will meet you at a workshop or retreat to celebrate the pleasures of life and birth in person.