Shine the Divine:

Creativity IS a Spiritual Practice

When we see through our hearts, we recognize that every single one of us is infused with creativity. Divine Sparks are embedded in everyone and everything. It's up to us to be courageous, to look and listen deeply, to find the sparks, gather and release them back into the universe, transformed into something new. Join me as we wake up to the sacred-ordinary blessings waiting to greet us each and every day.


Thursday, December 31, 2015

Gratitude Quilt 2015


Welcome to our 7th Annual
Gratitude Quilt 2015

I am grateful for kindness, compassion, joy, humor, love, and a courageous heart, that until recently I did not know was beating within me. I am thankful for the generous blessings of family, friends, friends who have become family over the years, for beholding the delicate beauty of tender shoots pushing up through decaying leaves on the forest floor and touching the tiny hands of a precious baby boy, Shimon Yishmael, whose name means to hear or be heard and God hears. I am grateful for being fully present to loved-ones through grief and critical illness, for witnessing the marvel of healing for some, and most recently tending to my friend as she was dying. One afternoon, asking permission from the nurse on duty, I gently washed her face, careful around the tubes, avoiding the fragile crown of her head and then rest of exposed skin with a warm washcloth, softly chanting soothing prayers, sitting silently holding her hand as machines hummed, breathing for her. I thanked her for the many lessons she taught me, her two lovely daughters and everyone she encountered, by living her life fully with kindness, compassion, joy, humor, love and a courage heart. ~Laura I am grateful for new life and for the creativity and courage I see in the world. I intend to shine micro with family nurturing and macro with working for candidates and groups who I think will help. ~Viv I'm thankful for having a job at Wegman’s and for my co-workers for making it more enjoyable. ~Reggie I'm grateful for my family& altho far & wide I am able to keep them close in my thoughts. I intend to shine light into the year to come thru continued support of my wonderful family. ~Emma In this moment as the year is drawing to a close, I am grateful for the bounty in my life.  Riches that my family, friends and loved ones bring me.  Kindnesses given and received.  Happiness shining bright even on cloudy days, and lessons learned that have helped me grow. I intend to shine light into the year to come by remembering the sun still shines on a cloudy day, and embracing my imperfect self. ~Donna This year has been stressful because of many illnesses but we as a family have survived and shown strength.  The chronically ill have remained stable and overall improved to make a family vacation delightful. Successful surgery has made one daughter whole again and a potentially devastating event in our son's health has been successfully overcome.  Thanksgiving brought many of us together in a joyful celebration and we can now look forward to the New Year with renewed hope and vigor. ~Mom and Dad In this moment as the year is drawing to a close, I am grateful for the love I receive from my family and friends.  They complain that they have a hard time thinking of what to give me for Christmas.  That's because my favorite things are not things at all, and I already have what I want - them, their unique idiosyncrasies, their growth, their laughter, their attention and presence.  How could I want more? I'm also grateful for my Self, self.  I am living a peaceful, joyful stage of life filled with personal discovery and transformation.  I am happy and I thank God. I intend to shine light into the year to come by allowing life to unfold without my "intervention".  That is, by accepting what is without thinking that I know things could/should be different or better. I will relax into the flow, doing what is my best and then let go.  I also want to shine light by being kinder.  That includes a lot, even my thoughts and especially a focus on being kind to my husband who shares all my days and receives the full impact of who I am.  So, I want to be a most kind wife who bestows love, thoughtfulness, affection and understanding. Each day my gratitude expands.  I am truly fortunate. ~Myrna I am grateful for you, for your friendship, for your strength and determination, your good heart, and your directed meditation that helps me keep myself grounded. ~Elaine I'm grateful for knowing what needed to be done in an increasingly toxic situation, and finding the strength to extract myself from it. I'm grateful for the personal growth which has happened as a result, and for the chance to start anew. ~Hilary This year, I am grateful to my family who have been incredibly supportive through some hard times I've had this year.  I know people who have never had family in the way we always have; good and bad, and I with I could share the feeling of knowing that no matter what, they would always be there, holding you up. That's not to say they are perfect, far from it... but when trouble strikes, they will hold you up until you can stand on your feet again. Every single time. ~Pam I'm sincerely grateful that the sun rises each morning and I get to begin my journey anew. I'm grateful that peace and serenity are my normal states of being more often than stress and chaos. I'm grateful for the magic of things unseen - my muse, my angels, and those shy faeries at play in my garden. I'm grateful for people who inspire me with their courage and capacity for love and forgiveness. I'm grateful for beauty all around me in everything I see. And Hope. I'm grateful for Hope in a world that's hurting. I'm grateful for hot cups of coffee in the dark morning hours, the warmth of my cat's body curled against me on the chair and the gentle soul that inhabits my dog's body. I'm grateful for music and art and flowers and bees and the miracle of eggs laid every morning by happy, healthy hens. I'm grateful for too much to list and more. I'm grateful for the light you shine in the world, Laura. May you be richly blessed. ~Carolynn I am grateful that people can grow and change. I can become a better person and can help support others on this path. This is a gift. ~ Devra I am grateful for those things we take for granted, our warm home, food on our table and a relatively healthy family.  Each day we begin, we choose our attitude, allowing a positive or negative thought to impact each step taken.  I am grateful that the majority of the steps my family and I take are positive and that we have the ability to adjust our attitudes.  Since our basic needs are easily met, we are given the extraordinary opportunity of concentrating on living and improving lives.  I am grateful for friends that give of themselves freely to make our day/lives better and cherish our friendship as much as we cherish theirs. ~Janet In addition to family, friends, and health, I'm grateful for the final days I had with my mother, who taught me kindness and how to laugh at myself, and for my father who survives her; that he's in good health and surrounded by caring friends. I'm grateful to have known my father-in-law Norm, who always offered love and wisdom, and for the continued support and love of my mother-in-law Sallie. I'm grateful to be able to do what I love for work, and to have the opportunity to pursue my dreams and write fiction. And finally, I'm grateful for old friends and new. ~Jerry I'm grateful for my family and friends. ~Elizabeth I'm grateful for the love and humor of my husband and daughter, and the love of family and friends. ~Sharon In this moment as the year is drawing to a close, I am grateful for my parents, brothers, my cousins, my two aunts, and my friends. I am very blessed to have a happy and creative life. I intend to shine light into the year to come by remembering to give thanks throughout each day regardless of my circumstances. ~Melite In this moment, as the year is growing to a close, I am greatful for the openings in my life. For my children who connect me to other parents. For those friends who connect with me year after year and are eager to learn about my ever changing life and share theirs. I am grateful to hear my husband singing Johnny Cash's "Sunday morning" to our daughter through the wall. I am grateful to hold my infant son to my chest, and hear his purring breath, and feel the round top of his head tucked under my chin. I am grateful for opportunities to give and help others feel happier, wiser, more connected. I can shine my light by bringing home cooked meals, revelations, nods, kind words, a gentle guiding hand and patience to those I love. I see and hear some of many blessings that are and have been granted me, wonders miraculous; temporary moments so sweet. I pray for these to continue. I pray for protection and good health and learning and love. I can grow, and stretch, yearn and attain. I can run as fast as my heels will take me. I can be held. I can zoom. I am big to those who look up to me. I can look up to my young daughter; l can adore my young son. I can connect, branch out and grow. For life has just begun, prayers for continued health, love, and protection, and for avenues of growth. ~Becky

I am grateful that despite needing to make a difficult decision, at least I have a choice. ~Marilyn At this moment, as the year is drawing to a close, I am grateful for the love of my life - a man who knows all my foibles, including how difficult I can be to live with, and loves me unreservedly still, after almost 46 years. I am grateful that in the great crapshoot of life, I was dropped down in this country (Canada) where things are pretty good - especially compared to some other parts of the world. It's Arctic-cold here today and the sky is so blue it makes my eyes ache to contemplate it, and I'm grateful to live here in this beautiful land. Going into 2016, I hope to shine my own light onto more causes about which I'm passionate, worry less about things over which I have no control, and be grateful for all the good in my life. ~S.E. This year more than ever, I am grateful for each and every moment with my family. I am grateful that even during difficult times we are there for each other and love each other unconditionally. I’m grateful that we live so close to each other and are able to spend so much time together. I am grateful for all of the precious memories we’ve created together, all that we’ve overcome, our time together now and hope for a bright future. ~Jill Grateful children, my health, my 'easy' life - outside of war-torn, terrorist ridden right to participate in the world I live in; to make it better and choose our leaders. ~Lisa i am grateful for my opening to inter-dependence as my obsession with independence fades away. ~Cathy In this moment, as the year is drawing to a close, I am grateful for life, for survival, for love, for family, for friends that have become family, for fellow travelers on the path, for the depth and meaningfulness of human bonds. I am grateful for recovery, for bodies’ ability to heal, for scars’ capacity to fade, for spiritual evolution. I am grateful for the privilege of my profession – for the honor of participating in the process of transforming lives. I am grateful for nature, for the seasons, for the seas, for the sun rising every morning with the promise of a new day. I am grateful for books, for poetry, for art, for opportunities to learn, to grow, to evolve – still. I am grateful for memories, for dreams, for transformations, for acceptance, for adaptation, for anticipation, for hope. I am grateful for glitters, for acts of kindness, for days of cloudless sky, for the ebb and the flow, for the commitment to counting blessings even on cloudy days. ~Nurit I am grateful for stars, fresh air, babies (and the reminder in their eyes of our innate, open nature and limitless potential), rain, flowers, small kindnesses, good books, and my fellow seekers of light and love. And I'm grateful for you taking the time to do this each year. ~ Lisa So… tonight, standing in Silence at the Winter Solstice I’m grateful for being able to feel that Silence within. I’m grateful to be comfortable with the Darkness, knowing that it has a role to play and to be accepting of my own Darkness. I intend to shine light into the coming year from my own heart by accepting the challenges given to me in whatever form they come & by reflecting the Light that others shine with around me. ~Suzi I am grateful for family, all who are still here and those we have lost. ~Patricia In this moment as the year is drawing to a close, I am grateful for my life, I am truly blesses with a dear husband, health and love of my sweet sweet daughter, this sustains me.” “I intend to shine light into the year to come by/through/with our pop up art show 'what's love got to do with it...spreading light through the intention of love as well as donating monies to our homeless shelter at the end of the show. Thank you for this way to spread love and light to our world Laura ~Stephanie I feel to say I'm grateful for Social Media and the connections made that otherwise could never be. Social Media gets a bad rap from many - dismissing the potency of this medium of expression. To me and others like us, it's a magical journey of light. Blessings upon you and yours and deep bow of gratitude for this connection ~Donna I am grateful for my health and family. ~Sue This song (partial lyric) has been in my mind's ear: Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto. Me ha dado el sonido y el abecedario; Con el las palabras que pienso y declaro--by violeta para, sung by mercedes sosa ~Michelle I am so very grateful for heart connections with other dear dear souls on this journey with me. ~Kim In this moment as we enter the season of resolutions, I am grateful that I don't feel I need to make any resolutions because I am at a place where I try my best every day; my best looks different some days, but it is enough every day. ~Jaclyn Grateful for my life path that I have chosen and has chosen me, grateful for family the joys and the sorrows. Grateful for friends and kindred spirits who have come into my life. Grateful for the inner yearning towards integrity, and speaking from the heart. Grateful for my abilities and my value of work that has helped and empowered others and and also enabled me to earn a living. Grateful for my breath, life and existence. Grateful for inquiries such as this. Grateful for my health, healing from ailments, and caring health professionals. Grateful for my senses, all of them. Grateful to and for the One Who created me and all of existence. ~Jack I did as you said and the feeling that first came to me is that my life is not perfect (of course) but I feel it is flowing in the right direction. And I am incredibly grateful for that. ~Debbey

Gesegnet sein wo ihr habt nicht gewollt vermute, es Suche nach Weihnachten wo man nicht tun suchte sie träumen Schnee wenn er wieder verzögert einfach lieben denn es ist so schön. ~Isabella I am grateful to have a family who loves and supports me and that we have the means to run away and release our stress on a warm beach this week. I am grateful to have a job that I love at a school full of incredibly kind and fun people and students that keep me laughing on hard days. I have learned over the last two months what it truly means to be surrounded and supported by my community and I am very grateful to know how many people are in my corner. ~Lauren I am grateful for so many things and people but this year I am grateful that transitions went well in my family-Susanna to college, myself back to work, parents adjusting to child far away!  Change is good but sometimes it can be difficult and I am thankful for happy transitions! ~Melanie I am grateful for this moment, for the love in my life and the light in the universe. ~Ayala I am grateful indeed to be with my son and his family this Christmas Day: a sunny Australian Christmas with a beautiful artificial snow-white tree and right now colourful wrapping paper littering the floor as we all enjoy our presents. For me it is about family and the warmth of gift-giving. Although I do not see myself as Christian, I am grateful too for the teachings of Jesus, which are wise and kind, and grateful that he lived to teach the things he did. ~Rosemary In this moment as the year is drawing to a close, I am grateful for… the persistence of hope - I am grateful that despite blood-lusted hatred and chilling shadowed renegade souls - there is still far more light than darkness and that this perpetual illumination permits us to see one another in love and in the grand connection of our common humanity - this is, and shall continue to be, our saving grace. I intend to shine light into the year to come by… continuing to bear witness, to write, to speak out and to never remain silent in the face of injustice and hatred in my own personal sphere.  I intend to continue to tend my own light and continue to seek, to accept and to integrate opportunities for greater illumination from whoever, wherever, whatever, or however such brightness shall manifest. ~Pearl Home, my own home.  And family, both human and furry. ~Shosh I'm thankful for the presence of Thich Nhat Hanh in my life. I first read one of his books 25 years ago. He's guided me on the path to peace ever since. His health has been frail this past year. I wish for him the peace he's brought into my life, a peace that I try to share with others through my writing. ~Toni What I'm grateful for in THIS moment: moments of connection unasked for, learning that the time of day I love the most has a name: the magic hour, shelter, renewing creation, that I have "enough", the work I'm privileged to do every day, my boys (all of them), friends like you, my camera, Bo, my mom, darjeeling tea. ~Jill I am grateful for all the slightly off-kilter and/or misanthropic and/or otherwise messed up people who I am lucky to have in my life. ~Bill I am grateful for music.  I just re-listened to "Coventry Carol" and realize how grateful for life and love I am in the face of death, and how grateful I am for the medical advances and teams that continue to address premature death and extend the possibility of living. I wish they could also stop slaughter.  But, gratitude especially this year for how lumbar fusion surgery removed my pain and gave me new life, a privilege that I hope more can experience.  As the days go by, I hope to continue to apply my breath and words and resources as God wills. Maybe it will be writing and maybe, without so much pain, I can pick up teaching again.  Surely my work with Undoing Racism and relieving those who are homeless will continue.  Bless you for what you do, Laura. ~Susan This year I'm particularly grateful for: my health, the health of my parents, having love, warmth and a roof over my head. And having the kindest children in the world! ~Fiona I am grateful tonight for my beloved community at UUCV-- the Unitarian Universalists of the Cumberland Valley... and for all of the branches of my family-- those from my biological family roots and those from the roots and branches grafted ion when I partnered with Kay. I intend to shed light into the New Year by keeping a written gratitude journal and by leading at least one UUCV worship service in the coming year. ~Dot In this moment as the year is drawing to a close, I am grateful for those who have lighted the way and taught me how to bring peace and calm to my spirit, to respond rather than react, to love instead of fear. I intend to shine light into the year to come by living in peace, love and calm in my thoughts, words and actions so that I may contribute in some way to the happiness and peace of the world. ~Rose

I am in deep appreciation for everyone in my life, for each one has shown me something about myself, causing awakening, growth and is a catalyst for my transformation journey.  I am thankful for the five souls who shared their earth-life with me, who left their bodies April-August of this year: B. Fleming (friend, healer), T. Bradford (friend), D. Banks (brother) S. Adams (sis-friend), R. Jones (cousin). They are forever a part of me.  I am thankful the essence of who I am is not my body.  I am spirit, eternal. I am thankful for my daughter and for being her mom (and for her dad); thankful for her happiness in her relationships, work and extended family, etc.; as well as the two sisters and brother still here with me on Earth - and for our parents for being willing, loving channels and stewards of us... and the good life they provided.  For all the goings on inner and outer I am thankful.  I am deeply appreciative my spirit within for awakening, for being willing to grow and 'do the work'.  I am thankful for Laura, her sisterhood and friendship and for her devotion and care in creating the Gratitude Quilt every year.  Thank you Laura.  And finally I am awed, amazed and immensely grateful for the Omnipresent, Omniscient, Omnipotent Spirit...Originator of All Creation...and my partnership and oneness with It.  Glory be. I am thankful. ~Cheryl I am grateful for all of the wonderful people in my husband, children, family, friends (both near and far), and people who have touched my life in any way. I am grateful for the abundance I experience in so many ways. My wish is to serve others by helping them to find strategies to relieve suffering and find peace. I am grateful for the gratitude quilt project for reminding me to take the time to be grateful for all of my blessings. ~Fran In this moment as the year draws to a close, I am grateful for every challenge that asked me to live my faith. If not for the challenges, I would never have known how powerful my faith really is. If not for the challenges, I would never have learned how powerful Spirit is. ~Carol I have a hard time sitting with myself and allow my thoughts to flow and take me time so writing this is a bit of an effort for me. I think that at this time while Barbara's death is still so close to my heart that is what comes to mind, Barbara. I am extremely grateful for the years that I had her as my friend. For her ability to accept me the way I was even when I couldn't sometimes accept myself. For her great listening skills and just for all the fun times we had together how ever fleeting or small. I will always see her as a gift in my life. I am so grateful for my children. Grateful that I have children. I have to remind myself that they were G-ds gift to me and although they came through me they do not belong to me. They both have their own paths to follow and I am grateful that I know that and can give them the room and space they need to find that path. I am grateful for my ability to pick up the pieces and to find strength to move forward even at times when it feels too hard. I hope that the New Year will bring new friends and new adventures for me that my heart will continue to remain open to whatever g-d might have planned for me. ~Bernice This year I am especially grateful for several unexpected challenges I needed to confront. These challenges tested, strengthened and increased my capacity for unconditional love and compassion in ways I never imagined.  This year my heart has grown in ways I never thought possible.  I intend to shine light into the year to come by sharing art and stories that celebrate everyday kindness on my new blog and Facebook page. ~Angela In 2015 I am grateful for flexibility. I am grateful for having the willingness to take each step forward. I am grateful for grace and ease of motion. ~Donna This year has been such a great year for my prayers being answered. Knowing that there is such a loving God that cares about the insignificant me is such a wondrous thought!  ~betty I am grateful for all that I receive, those moments of great happiness, of pure contentment, as well as the challenges and changes that are the growing tips for this life.  I am grateful to the One from whom all comes and to whom all returns.  Above all, I am grateful for the gift of seeing this and feeling gratitude. ~Sandra In this moment I am grateful for the cool breeze in this evening, the eyes to see, hands to write and the loving intention of my heart that directs my new future... Toward a peaceful New Year. ~Caterina I put on the day like a prayer shawl and count my beads of gratitude. ~ Sherry I am so grateful for the music in my life. And this year I will shine light on refining the talents bestowed in order to give back. ~Loni In this moment as the year is drawing to a close, I am grateful for all of the great hearts that surround me and support me as we journey together piecing together healing and love. I intend to shine light into the year to come with my intention to stay present in each moment. I am here NOW, what does this moment ask of me? ~Hannah Gelassenheit - Hoffung - Erwartung -(serenity - hope- expectation) ~Petra As a child of the universe, I am grateful for being held in unconditional love. I intend to shine the light of unconditional love into the coming year by sharing the powerful spirit of Wu Ming Qigong. ~Paula I am grateful for the freedom and ability to meet new people and learn their stories with an open heart. ~Meryl

In this moment as the year is drawing to a close, I am grateful for my work with the Monadnock Restorative Community, a nonprofit initiative to create a healing house for women returning to the community after incarceration. I intend to shine light into the year to come by helping the wider community prepare our hearts to welcome all our members and encourage each person to bring her gifts to bear. ~Leaf I am grateful for heartspace to love and heal. ~Kaveri That I still can learn. ~Annemor In this moment as the year comes to a close, I am grateful for the divine grace given to my husband Tom and myself to weather the storms of cancer treatment and ongoing after effects with strength, humor, and love. In the year to come I intend to continue the lessons learned this year and shine the light of love and acceptance on the people in my life, and to accept my own imperfections with a forgiving and grateful heart. ~Donna In this moment as the year is drawing to a close, I am grateful for Life.  So many have lost theirs this year. I intend to shine light into the year to come through my blog, to use it to heal those who are hurting, to continue to feed and shelter any animal that crosses my path or I cross theirs, to try to breathe out Gratitude daily. I am grateful for family who are loving, regardless the distance, and I am grateful to Laura for asking me to contribute to this Gratitude Quilt. ~Jane I am grateful the presence of spirit all around us; guiding, sharing, loving us as we walk our path... my intentions are to share my wisdom, time and resources with those who may be suffering. ~Dechen In this moment as the year is drawing to a close, I am grateful for strength. For the love that gushes from all corners after heartache. For family that acts as dear, loyal friend, and friends who will always be family. For fulfillment and moments of pure joy. For the privilege to live without fear. To be fearless. For boundless opportunity, adventure, and passion for life. For the unknown. I'll shine, don't you worry. ~Eve This year I am thankful for my ability to walk. You never fully appreciate something until you lose it and while my loss was only temporary, it made me more think of those who have lost their ability to walk permanently. The freedom of walking on your own is not one to be taken for granted. ~Katie I'm grateful for my family, my friends, my faith and seeing my wonderful children becoming wonderful adults. ~Eric I am grateful for the possibility of teshuvah, of return, of elevation. "If you believe you can break, believe you can repair."-- R. Nahman of Bratzlav. In response to this, I hope to soften and soften and soften.  ~Jordan I am grateful for a year of great change, focusing on a foundation of strong spiritual self improvement that has cross pollinated to support an enormous shift in my mental, physical, and career full of gratitude. I have been doing work with HAI, The Human Awareness institute, Tantra, Puja Circles and experiencing Kirtan, meditation with Buddhist and Hindu influences. This growth has not just aided me in my personal growth and finding my way of “Being”, “doing” and “relating” to myself, others and the world I exist in each day. My children have also benefited form my gratitude as I share the” nuggets” of knowledge I have gained. I am forever grateful to have such wonderful, warm, caring and loving children. I am blessed by them. I have been on a wonderful journey of “Coming back to Love” of self, my children and those that come in my path each day. “Coming back to Mitchell” is synonymous with where I am and how much grateful I am for allowing myself the ability to re-open my heart and soul to those that wish to receive my Shiva and Shakti within me. Instrumental in my shift comes from meeting and integrating the practices of Robyn Vogel, psychotherapist, Intimacy and Sex Coach, and facilitator of “middle-path” Tantra, teaching me Tantra and how being present allows the miracle of conscious living. When we push out love to the universe so it showers upon us, and all those present to receive it. My heart and soul that has always been open, continues to open more each day and for that I am grateful. I am blessed to have Shine the Divine in my orbit and all those that contribute to how grateful I am to be alive and breath each day feeding all my chakras, gaining spiritual power. I walk each day with gratitude. I look forward to even bigger shifts in 2016. Namaste! I love you all and you know who you are! ~Mitchell In this moment as the year is drawing to a close, I am grateful for the bountiful blessings of choice available to me and my loved ones. I intend to shine light into the year to come by choosing wisely & with an open heart. ~Irene In the moment as the year is drawing to a close, I am grateful for health and happiness all around us, deep connections with family and friends, much creativity throughout the year, renovations to our beautiful home, abundant travel and all else the universe has brought to us. I intend to shine light into the year to come through my deepening spiritual practice, expressing my creativity and connecting more frequently with family and friends. ~Silke I am so grateful to you for this gratitude quilt. We need more gratitude in this busy world. I am grateful to be able to be grateful and mindful through my day. To be grateful to God for my breath, my soul and my heart. I am grateful that I have friends like you who help me find reasons to be grateful. I am grateful to be alive to enter a new year with my 90 year old father who I am very grateful to still have in my life. I am grateful to my two daughters who continue to nourish my soul and fill my life with gratitude. I am grateful to my husband who is my greatest teacher. I am grateful for those mindful moments that allow me to live in the here and now which is the only place I really need to live and breathe. I am grateful to offer love and peace to you and to the world and continue to help fill the world with light and divine inspiration. ~Lynda I am remembering a line from a movie I just saw. Two men were hiking to find a hot spring. One said to the other: Sorrow is worn out joy. This idea is still rolling around in my head. I feel it in my heart. There is no joy without sorrow. There is also no sorrow without joy. They are partners in life, walking hand in hand. I am grateful for this teaching. ~Noreen

I'm grateful to my body, which despite the multiple surgeries and traumas it's been through the last two years, is still able to walk, to dance, to hear music, to see, to write, to pat dogs, horses, cats, birds, and to give hugs. ~Ina I am truly grateful our family expanded *twice* this year; my nephew married a wonderful girl and our niece gave birth to her second daughter. ~Wayne Working muscles, heart, breath. Clean water, clean air. ~Sadie I lost my husband a little over a year ago.  He was the love of my life. In this moment, as the year is drawing to a close, I am thankful for Alan's love, the gift of our children, the beauty of friendship and the incredible adventure of our lives.  I am grateful for beauty and art--for laughter and music.  Yet, the days are often awash in tears, and I find strength from the love, prayers and thoughts from friends and even people I have never met.  The world can be a very dark place sometimes. There are so many people who are grieving.  For this reason, I intend to shine the Creator's laughter and joy--His hope and love, into the world as best I can.  The truth is, you can't see a rainbow unless there is both the sunshine AND rain. ~Beth In this moment I am grateful for the family I have and intend to shine light into the year to come by supporting American Jewish World Service! ~Sheryl In THIS moment, I am grateful to be able to spend quiet time with my 86 year old mom in Maine where I've seen the first snow of the season.  I intend to shine light into the year through my work with my students, writing, and art.  ~Sharon As the year draws to a close, I am grateful for having spent the past week together with my husband and two children, both in college, but both home briefly in-between semesters.  I am grateful that somehow we knew well enough what to do along the path of parenting thus far to have helped these kids grow into their authenticity, not to have gotten too terribly in their way, and to have maintained loving, close, honest and healthy relationships with them.  It could have been otherwise! ~ Nancy In this moment as the year is drawing to a close, I am grateful for- the knowledge and power of women's voices - both as a recipient of wisdom and a sharer - we are stronger when we share and help someone else who also might be struggling or questioning or paralyzed.  ~Naomi Nearly four weeks ago an elderly, arthritic dog came to live with us.  I am so grateful for his constant love, which I know will see me through a sad time to come. ~Meredid In this moment, as the year is drawing to a close, I am most grateful for the love of my family and friends. I intend to shine light into the year to come by passing on a kindness each day. ~Denise I am so grateful for good friends and the support they give, I intend to shine light into the year by trying to reach out to help support others more often. ~Ben I am grateful that my health has improved and that I had family and friends to help me through the bad times. ~Amy In this moment as the year draws to a close, I'm grateful for my amazing children. I intend to shine light into the coming year by doing volunteer work for a good cause. ~Sharmon Besides all of the usual stuff like my family and friends, and music, what I am really grateful for, on a practical basis, are that my knees still work without too much pain!! ~David I’m full of gratitude for so many things: that I was created by a creative God to be creative, my quiet peaceful life, my loving husband. ~Angela I am grateful for the insight, wisdom, and support I have seen flow from friends and fellow teachers toward those who have been sick and experienced loss in these past weeks. ~Jon

In this moment as the year is drawing to a close, I am grateful for insight gained. Insight that flows as grace into the imperfect places. Calming anxiety, allowing moments of light and contentment. ~Teri I am grateful for Ethan and my dog, Ellie and being able to live at home. ~Belin It is a mixed up world we live in, but being grateful for what is good, is the seed that helps the goodness grow. I am grateful for family and friends who coach me and inspire me to achieve more. I intend to shine the light in 2016 by giving my best to new possibilities. ~Mandy I am thankful for being able to help people and guide them through extremely difficult situations. I am also thankful for the many people in my life that love and care about me. ~Rachel  We are thankful that Owen is alive and healthy. ~MaryLou & Owen. In this time as the year comes to a close I am grateful for my family and my dear friends who have been there for me when I needed them most. I am grateful for living in a place where I can speak and write what I truly feel and for the ability to write and get my feelings across. Most of all I am grateful to be a part of several communities of outstanding poets who personify peace and love!!! ~Barbara I am grateful for my renewed faith in humanity. I was so blessed this past year with not just family's, friends', acquaintances' support, but that of complete strangers. I had no idea how loved I was/am. I am so grateful for all that love! Not just family's, friends', acquaintances' support, but that of complete strangers. I had no idea how loved I was/am. I am so grateful for all that love! I plan to pay it forward and continue to share my gratitude, well wishes and love with my own family, friends, neighbors, community, acquaintances, but more importantly, complete strangers. ~Alicia As this year is drawing to a close I am grateful for Life's way of letting me know when I am barking up the wrong tree. I intend to listen closely to Life's messages so that I can find my way easily and effortlessly. ~Gavriel My family. Of origin and of choice. ~Lisa I am deeply grateful for the many gifts of Spirit that each of us is being given every single moment if we have the eyes and ears to perceive them and the heart space to receive them. On any given day, if I feel frustrated or confused, lost or frightened, I can drop into my breath, ask for guidance, and be shown a way. I know beyond a doubt that we do not journey through this life alone. There are helpers, saints, sages, teachers, numerous beings and forces that can keep us pointed toward our own wisdom and aligned with the Light of Source if we are open, trusting and willing to receive their supportive presence and generosity. ~Jan Every sunset brings the promise of a new dawn. ~Namaki In this moment as the year is drawing to a close, I am grateful for my husband who grounds me.  He brings me back to earth when I get too caught up in my own head.  He is my heart and he taught me to trust.  I am also so grateful for my amazing daughter.  She makes me laugh and frustrates me beyond words (as any good daughter should!)  She is my world and makes me want to live and be the best person I can.  She is smart and fractious and I adore her. I intend to shine light into the year to come by working hard to be healthy and happy and spending more time feeding my creative spirit. ~Janie Dear God, I am grateful especially for a young family member enjoying his studies and being happy. I hope to shine light into the year to come by noticing and sharing what is good and beautiful. ~Sara In this moment, as the year is drawing to a close, I am grateful for a warm, safe place to live with people and creatures I love and who love me in return. ~Anne Marie I am grateful for all the love and support I have received during the hardest time of my life. I am grateful to still feel moments of joy and hope every day amidst my loss and fear. I hope to carry strength, love, compassion and joy into the New Year. ~Julia

In this moment as the year is drawing to a close, I am grateful for family, friends, my life, my health, love, wonder, happiness, abundance, my faith, the blessings I have, and all who have touched me and who I've touched along the journey. I intend to shine light into the year to come by being authentic, living with integrity, being true to myself, and continuing my search for love and companionship/partnership. ~Linda I’m grateful for my family, for the life I have, for being healthy, for having nothing to worry about yet, grateful for everything I’ve ever had. AND grateful for Rosie. ~Gabriel I’m grateful for waking up every morning and for being safe in the city I live in. I’m grateful for having people who love me. I’m grateful for the friends I have to go on adventures with. ~Rosie I am grateful for my dear husband Sheldon who is my rock and my love. How appreciative I am! ~Ginat One thing I am grateful for are people like you who always inspire me, and for the gift of each Divine-infused day that I have been given. My words for the year to come, to help me focus: Joy, Within, Acceptance. I've been toying with which words to chose and you just made me commit. ~Victoria I am grateful for all my friends and family in concentric circles of community, centering me. I intend to shine light into the year to come by deepening those relationships, and inspiring others, with acts of kindness.  B'chesed (Hebrew for loving-kindness) ~Carol In this moment, as the year of 2015 draws to a close, I am grateful for how I have transformed and peeled away so many layers of suffering that have weighed me down over the years. I am grateful for my light and joyful heart and my ability to first honor, then reframe anything that comes to my awareness that no longer serves me and my path. It is my intention to walk into this new year with curiosity and an open and compassionate heart, for others and myself, especially as I explore the darkest parts of my psyche. It is my intention to be more playful, more available to the twists and turns of life and dance more with what comes my way. It is my intention to open to love, to mystery, and to the beauty of all of life with all my being. I intend to walk through the dharma door with joy and to be of service where my heart calls me. ~Lea I am grateful for my beloved teachers and my beloved students, my friends, my partner, children and grandchildren and mostly for continuing to be drawn to love and wisdom and goodness. May I have the strength and clarity to shine my light from my heart to everyone on my path and may I forgive myself when I forget. ~Sheila I am grateful for the blessed fruit of hard work.  I hope to shine the light of courage and compassion. ~Lisa I am grateful for peace and tranquility. ~Abner Humans who beam their love. Forgiveness. Miracles. Teachers. Life. Gratitude Quilts. ~Myriam I am grateful for my family, those who are and are not related by blood. ~Laura In this moment, I am grateful for healers - all kinds of healers. I intend to shine my light in the world in the year to come through soul-tending, nature-tending, art-making (in solitude and in community), and hospitality. ~Jeanne In this moment I am grateful for our precious dog Ellie, still a joy after all these years, continuing to grow as a musician. I am grateful for my wife who reminds me to be grateful when I’m not paying attention to the good things in my life.

This Michigan gal now sits and breathes in gratitude for this season of my life- for health and opportunity to travel and invest in the lives of our California kids and grands. ~Linda In this moment I am grateful for my health- ability to breathe clearly, having a warm cozy dry bed, delicious food to eat, water and juice and tea to drink, and having a healthy sleeping dog next to me as well. I intend to shine my light into the world in the by being open to the ways i am asked to serve my community - but by staying in balance with what i need to be well. ~Julie In this moment as the year is drawing to a close, I am grateful for love that knows no reason. I intend to shine light into the year to come by trying to live what I have been taught by wise people. ~Lorne I am grateful for second chances and second opinions, for health of mind, spirit and body.  I am grateful for changes -- those that come with ease and those more clumsy that come with some resistance.  I am grateful for friends and family and community.  I am grateful for love and love's possibilities.  I am grateful to be connected to and held by the One who connects and holds every living being -- energetically, with every breath, every pulse, every everything. ~Cindy I am so grateful for everyday blessings of sunshine, love, friendship and good health.  I delight in the conversation of my children, the love of my husband and my extended family.  Wishing peace and happiness to those around me in 2016. ~Jane I am grateful for every moment out in nature, appreciating the beauty of the tiniest life forms .......from lush moss to ravenous sunbird fledglings. Feeling the need for stillness and peace I hope to find much time to be quiet within myself during 2016 and in so doing sharing a general aura of peace with those around me. ~Robyn I am thankful for such a great companion. ~Coudia I am grateful to each and everyone who stood by and volunteered in their best possible means to rescue, relief, rehabilitate and restore in tough times of Chennai and cuddalor floods. And bring it back to normalcy. If not for you all it would have been months to restore and control an epidemic. ~Thilak I am so grateful for having a supportive husband, especially during these last two years.  I would love nothing more than to return his loving efforts, and generosity of spirit. ~Karen I am grateful for my good children and GRANDDAUGHTERS ~Zahava Honestly right now being inspired by the people has really been my beacon of hope and expanded my vision of what is possible.  So much do that next year I am finally taking up the batten to be a counselor for those who experience disordered eating. ~Liz I am so grateful at this moment for my family!  Without them I would be nothing & have nothing! ~Donna This moment I am grateful for friends I can pray tor, for my darling daughter and her children who envelop me in love and make sure I never end up in a nursing home, for the sunshine even when it is too hot to bear, for cooling breezes and tiny flowers in unexpected places, for all the manifestations of God that heal my soul and give me so much joy. ~Arija My life ~Neorah Thank you one and all for sharing your kindness, compassion, joy, humor, love, and a courageous hearts and light from 2015 toward 2016. Pure radiant energy and love, love, love, this is what we are; in those moments when you or I forget all we have to do connect, looking into the eyes of a beloved, a stranger, the abundant beauty, sometimes hidden in plain sight, to remember we all here to Shine the Divine.  



  1. Always a wonderful post and I will enjoy reading each gratitude square on this quilt!

  2. It's such a shame that gratitude doesn't get broadcast on the news. I think we all would be made aware of how blessed we really are. Thanks for doing the quilt every year, Laura. It helps to put things int perspective. I pray that the new year brings much happiness and love to you and yours.

  3. I am grateful for this life I have on all its glory, everyday and lows.

  4. This is simply wonderful!!!
    Thank you!!!

  5. What an exquisite fabric created with love!
    Thank you, Laura!

  6. Laura! What a blessing it is to have your quilt to read and be warmed by each New Year's ... thank you so much for doing it, and including me. I love it and you!

  7. This is such a beautiful project.. I'd love to see it in a coffee table book with Laura's awesome photos... I'm getting to it late this year, but here's my offering: I am grateful for spiritual practices that help keep me centered, help me to clear when necessary, help me to expand and grow, and help me to share with others more of what is possible for us as humans. I am also grateful to my teacher's who have shared these with me and for my fellow travelers who add so much inspiration and momentum to all good efforts. Wishing all happiness and inspiration in 2016... and thanks Laura, my sweet sister!

  8. Thank you, Laura. I am grateful for you and your quilt, a way of joining with others.

  9. Thank you for this, Laura. It's beautiful as always.. just like you.

  10. Thank you for taking the time to post such beautiful shots and wonderful words of gratitude! This made me swell with happiness as I read it this morning...

  11. Wonderful post. Thank you, Laura!
    Wishing a happy and blessed new year to all.

  12. Heisann! Happy new year - I wish you all the best for 2016!

  13. from Maxine: I am grateful for you and your messages. And for the air around me, which so many blessings and opportunities to discern and to act in loving kindness. May I be up to it!

  14. from Lisa: I am grateful to be living in the comfortable way I have been blessed to be born into. I have 5 loving siblings, 4 thriving daughters and 2 joyful granddaughters. I intend to shine light into the year to come by spreading my wealth to those in need as much as I can.

  15. Heisann, hope to join the Gratitude Quilt 2016, this year has been turbulent for my family, and I missed your invitation for this year... hope 2016 will be more predictable....

  16. Thank you for the great effort of stitching this wonderful quilt together and for the beautiful illustrations as well Laura. A very Happy New Year to you my friend!

  17. From Annie: I am of course grateful for my health and family and friends, but right now I am so grateful I am an artist and that I have something everyday I am passionate about, there are no words to express how lucky I am and how much I love my life. ~Annie

  18. From Isabella:

    pure - a receipt

    be blessed
    where you wouldn't
    suspect it
    finding Christmas
    where you don't
    sought it
    dream snow
    if he's again delayed
    simply love
    because it's so beautiful

  19. Oh Laura, your quilt turned out so beautifully this year! I will keep coming back t this post for inspiration.

  20. Grateful too for having been invited to participate! xx


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