Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Thankfulness

 

 

BODY, MIND AND SPIRIT
Laurie Kasperbauer
lkasperbauer@gmail.com

Imagine waking up on your most ideal day. What would it look like? Not a hard question to answer really, and if you asked 1,000 people, you would likely receive 1,000 different responses.

Again, imagine waking up on your most ideal day. What would it look like? Would the sun be streaming in the window or would there be the soft patter of rain against the panes of glass? Who would be with you as you woke to your ideal day? Or would waking up alone be your preferred way to greet the day? Looking out the window, would you see snow-capped mountains or a white sand beach? Maybe you would be back in the bedroom of your childhood home where looking out the window you see the hackberry tree your father dug from a ditch and planted with painstaking care some 50 years before.

Maybe, on this model day you wake up pain free with only positive thoughts running through your mind. The anxiety that plagued your sleep has dissipated; your breath comes more freely; the throbbing in your knee joint is gone.

How would you choose to spend your most ideal day? Are you staying under the covers, blinds drawn, settling in for a day of old movies on the tube? Or do you spring from the bed with heart-pumping enthusiasm ready for a long walk on the beach or a morning at the gym? What will you eat for lunch on this fine day? Where will you spend your afternoon? Are you going out for a fine dining experience, or will you be watching a football game on the tube with the three food groups: chips, dips and sips?

Recently, I was asked this question of my ideal day and the timing was everything. I was in the last few minutes of a particularly vigorous power yoga practice. I was drenched in sweat and physically spent. My legs were barely functioning, my hips were on fire, and the only thing on my mind was making it to the end.

The rhythmic music faded and a voice came over the sound system, “Imagine waking up on your ideal day. What would it look like?” My mind reacted instantaneously. I forgot about my physical discomfort and the beads of sweat rolling between my fingers. Instead, my thoughts shifted to my family. My husband and I were in a sun-lit room in our home beneath a virtual “monkey-pile” of our grandchildren. This monkey-pile is not a stretch for the imagination if you know the actions of four boys under the age of 5 and one very independent little girl. In my vision of this ideal day, our own children were scattered about this same sun-lit room, encouraging the scrambling and wrestling of babies and grandparents. That’s it. My whole ideal day involved my family, my husband and my dog.

We relocated to the beach, spent the afternoon in the mountains and finished up on the sand for sunset over the Gulf. Luckily, the imagination can change geographic location in a nano-second, without regard for logistics and time.

So, what exactly does thankfulness have to do with conjuring up your ideal day? For me, they are the same. Each day, first and foremost, I am thankful for my family. I have good days, even great days, about 29 times a month, but no “ideal” day could occur without them in it. I am thankful to live in a community where the sun shines nearly every day, and I am just a walk away from one of the most beautiful beaches on earth. I am thankful for a body that functions well enough to power me through an hour of exercise. I am thankful for a mind capable of creating beautiful images of loved ones in the blink of an eye. I am thankful for the freedom to choose where I live, where I travel, where I eat my dinner and with whom I spend my time.

Back in the days when Marco Island was our vacation destination, I remember walking on the beach feeling overwhelmed by the beauty of my surroundings and the complete gratitude I felt to be there. It was at that moment that a hymn from my childhood floated into my mind, and I began to recite it like a mantra as I walked. To this day, when I walk on the beach, when I sit at the water’s edge, or when I take in that first full view of the

Gulf’s panoramic majesty, this same hymn lands in my subconscious without invitation or provocation:

“This is the day that the Lord hath made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

In imagining our “ideal day,” we discover what we are most thankful for. We learn the aspects of our life we appreciate the most. The people, the activities, the components of life we hold most dear, float to the top.

At this time of Thanksgiving ask yourself what your ideal day would look like, and as each image unfolds, may you rejoice and be glad in it.

 

Laurie Kasperbauer is an active Florida Realtor specializing in properties in Naples and Marco Island. Laurie also enjoys the spiritual and physical benefits of yoga practice and instructs both group and private classes.

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