This season I’m tapping to what feels like infinite rings of discovery around the power of gratitude.

I recently spent a lot of time in California, helping my parents prepare to move out of their home of 50 years. I continue to dream about cleaning their basement every night since I’ve returned. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

Perhaps you are familiar with the spin of “How is this ever going to get done?” Or, “How is this ever going to work out?” We could ask those questions about any number of personal or collective challenges. Is there even a way to work them out?

Emily with Jerry Wellik, an older white man with white beard and wearing a sweater.
Spring Forest Qigong Master Jerry Wellik (R) with Emily Jarrett Hughes, Spring Forest Qigong Certified Instructor (L).

With encouragement from my dear colleague, Spring Forest Qigong Master Jerry Wellik, I’m interrupting this spin with gratitude. I’m taking time to make extra gratitude lists. With gratitude I notice how I am being helped. 

Most days I’m thinking about all that needs to get done. Working with Jerry reminds me to appreciate all that has happened or is even happening now. We may have a planning meeting together and at the end of the meeting I may be thinking of the oodles of things that still need to happen. I’m often surprised by his genuine exclamation, “Wow, we got a lot done today! This is great!” At first, I’d sometimes think to myself, “I don’t think much happened, is he even paying attention?” Now I realize that it’s me who hasn’t been noticing some things.

Jerry disarms me with how frequently he expresses gratitude to me and everything that comes up in teaching together. I want to live with that kind of trust and appreciation for the Universe.

Gratitude is one of the guiding themes for the coming Winter Solstice Celebration. There will be time to reflect with gratitude on your past year. There will be some small group sharing. We’ll simply rest in the dark for a moment. All of this will be embraced by dance that activates our connection to community and to vital earth energy. These traditional ritual dances cultivate the sensation of profound support and wholeness which is my favorite way to arrive at PEACE here and now.

May gratitude carry you through the longest night.


Register for the Winter Solstice Celebration

Let’s gather for an evening of beauty, connection, and reflection to welcome the return of light. Sunday December 17, 6:30. Learn more and register.