"Gratefulness is the key to a happy life that we hold in our hands, because if we are not grateful, then no matter how much we have we will not be happy -- because we will always want to have something else or something more."
~Brother David Steindl-Rast
How many of us take the time to make a conscious effort to feel grateful?
I'd like to tell you I do.
That I spend my mornings quietly meditating and chanting Ohm Shanti Shanti Ohm while contemplating all the good in my life.
But if I told you that, I'd be lying.
Because in reality, gratitude is hard.
It's much easier to take notice of the things that need fixing, or changing, or re-arranging, than it is to be grateful for what I have.
And I know I'm not alone.
The whole thing became more clear this past weekend.
Remember a few weeks ago, in my blog, "I Need to Get Off This Road" when I said "When I want to turn left, I must remember to turn right. when I begin to feel stress, I must turn it around and find the joy..."
Well friends, I have turned right.
About two days after writing that fateful post, a commercial came on TV for a brand new show on Food Network Canada called Recipes to Riches and for some reason, it caught my attention.
The premise is to give amateur cooks from all across Canada an opportunity to come up with a dish that could potentially become a product on the shelves of The Real Canadian Superstore. It also offers the largest cash prize in Canadian TV history: $25,000.00 to seven category winners, and a $250,000.00 grand prize to the winner who will be voted on by a Canadian audience.
And how will that occur?
By having the finalists appear on a reality style TV show.
People, talk amongst yourselves...
I am obviously verklempt.
Friends who have been with me throughout the years know that:
A, I am a reality TV Super Fan.
and B, I was born for the spotlight...
With a pie in hand.
In other words, the universe, in it's infinite wisdom, is providing me with a chance to get back to living life on some kind of edge.
And so I began - first by creating a video - where I had the unfortunate misstep of describing "Big Bowls" of chili lining my kitchen counter while simultaneously, and fabulously hand gesturing toward my chest.
"When I want to turn left, I must remember to turn right. when I begin to feel stress, I must turn it around and find the joy..."
On Thursday evening, the day before I was set to take the ferry to Vancouver for the open calls, I arrived home with my bag full of groceries ready to prepare my dish - only to find the Man I Married sitting on the kitchen floor with our oven door on the floor with him.
People, who's oven door falls off the day before the most important cooking competition of their lives?
Don't answer that.
I ended up driving over to my mom's with my ingredients packed into a Superstore "Bin Shoppin" rough tote (apropos, I know) and baked the whole thing there.
But none of that is what this blog is really about.
I decided to write about the experience because it has, this far, been so incredibly rich for me.
Although my oven door falling off could have been disastrous, I chose not to see it that way and instead opted to go with the flow with the way things were panning out.
In the end, I got to spend the most memorable, funny, and love filled afternoon with my mother that I can honestly tell you was worth more to me than the prize package - people, life is short, and I will treasure my memories of that day with both my mom and my dad for the rest of my life.
Ditto for the day of the open call.
The ferry ride over with my husband and sister in law was so much fun.
Although I was nervous, their love and support got me up the elevator and through the doors, where, once I was actually there, I decided to be in the moment, and have gratitude for the experience - and that, as Robert Frost once put it, made all the difference.
Truth be told, in my deepest heart of hearts, I believed (and still do) that I had something to bring to the table that was pretty special and I am most proud of myself for staying out of my own rut and giving myself the opportunity to never have to say "If only."
We live our lives in a sea of "If Only's"
"If only I hadn't said that."
"If only I had finished school."
"If only my life had taken a different turn."
Talk about an exercise in futility.
Because "if only's" are nothing more than sand on a beach.
Ever present and seemingly solid but easily crumbled under the test of time and tide.
I received a gold ticket on Saturday to be considered to carry on in the competition and I want to tell every single person reading this that the risks you take in life are completely worth it.
You may not always succeed in the ways that you hoped for - but when you finally do, the moment is like nothing you could ever imagine, and worth all it's weight in GOLD!
It's the vehicle that drives us onward toward wellness, happiness, esteem, and creation.
And it is my wish on this beautiful Tuesday that you will take the time to look around, notice, and to acknowledge all that you have to be grateful for.
And maybe in the process, commit to taking some risks too!
Whether I make it any further, I truly feel like a winner already!
Love, hugs, and SMOOCHES to ALL of you!!!!
Here's to taking chances!