Thank you.  Thank you for reading my blog and making me feel like I have something important to say.  Thank you for letting me express myself in this way that I feel comfortable.  I feel grateful for being able to write this blog.  I feel grateful for the dexterity to move my fingers, to own a computer, and most of all to live in a peaceful place that allows me the time and quiet to share these thoughts.  I’m grateful to have family, friends, and colleagues all around me who inspire me everyday in so many different ways.

When you make an effort to live a life of gratitude, there is little time or space for negativity and judgement.  When you give up complaining and criticism you start to smile on the unbecoming.  Acknowledge that life is not perfect and you can learn from the ebb and flow of life and even begin to see unending possibilities for growth and change.

This past weekend I attended a conference for work to earn CEUs and learn about the new developments in my field.  It’s an exciting time to be an American Sign Language Interpreter as our profession has changed more in the last few years than the last few decades.  But, with change comes growing pains and unfortunately this particular conference had a very negative overtone and left many of the attendees frustrated.  I left feeling like there may not be much future for me in this field even though it has been the only career I have known.  I worked hard to become certified and licensed over the last 16 years and it seems a shame to throw in the towel.  But, it’s so easy to consider walking away when you feel such despondency.

So, as we drove 4 hours back home after leaving early, my traveling companion and I had plenty of time to process what we had just experienced.  Lucky for me, my friend is also on a journey of her own to find more happiness in her life similar to the way I have pledged my happy promise.  So, we talked and talked about how to turn this antagonistic groupthink into a learning opportunity.  We talked and talked as friends do, and in the end the farther away we drove, the easier it became to let it go.  I rolled it around in my mind long after I dropped her off and my overwhelming feeling was one of gratitude.  I’m thankful for having an opportunity to see my colleagues whom I don’t get to see very often, and I’m grateful to have had an opportunity to exercise my new awareness that I have worked hard to procure.  I spent the weekend being mindful of what I was experiencing and was able to practice conducting myself with gratitude.  A situation that would have once drained my spirit now allowed me to gain and thrive just because of a change in perception.

The details of the conference will fade in time, but what I will remember is the way this gathering made me feel.  I am grateful for the lesson and I am grateful for the unforeseen chance to stretch my newly evolved spirit.  I’m grateful to feel…..happy.

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