Tag Archives: friends

Attitude of Gratitude–Day 29–Meetup

About a month and a half ago, my colleague from Switzerland, Kerstin, was here on Long Island for a business trip. We spent a good amount of time together, both working and hanging out. We were talking about my life on Long Island and the usual blah blah blah of how challenging I find it to meet people with similar interests as me when she suggested I try Meetup. She explained that Meetup is a website and an app that you can download that you plug your interests into and it finds groups of people in the area who come together around their shared interests.

I’d never heard of the app, and I was curious to find out more so I downloaded it and proceeded to tick off my interests in this order: hiking and outdoors, spirituality, yoga, reading, meditation, politics, and languages. Hundreds of Meetup groups around the area popped up and I could choose to RSVP to any of the gatherings.

One particular group that peaked my interest off the bat was the “Center Reach French Club,” which meets at Panera in the Smith Haven Mall every Tuesday night from 7-8:30pm. It seemed do-able and safe and if worst came to worst I could always get a soup and baguette and pretend that it never happened. I joined the group, RSVP’d, and then didn’t show. The other day on a Skype call with Kerstin, she asked me if I’d gone to a Meetup group yet. I gave her all my excuses and then told her that I planned to go to the French Meetup this Tuesday as long as nothing else came up. Today she sent me a friendly reminder via Skype and so I right then I pulled out my phone and RSVP’d before I could change my mind.

This evening I hopped in my car and drove 25 minutes to the mall, all the while telling myself that I had absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain. I was welcomed by a small, yet diverse group of francophiles of varying language level, age, nationality, sex and race. To my pleasant surprise, everyone was dedicate to speaking in French, with the occasional Franglish sentence thrown in to make up for lacking vocabulary. We held a lively conversation that touched on subjects such as issues with the Common Core Curriculum, differences between American and French schooling theories, favorite places we’ve traveled, and then the usual stuff, like introductions, occupations etc. I was quite pleased that I hadn’t lost my French completely…though frustrated with how rusty it has become after being back in the US for over a year and a half. But I felt good about my grammar, conjugations and my accent….and in general I just felt SO good to be speaking French again.

Beyond the explicit function of this group being to practice and upkeep our French language skills, there is also a strong element of community involved. This small but mighty group has been in existence for over two years meeting once a week to speak in French. I immediately fell in love the idea of having a weekly friend group consisting of an Indian mathematician, a Guadalupian middle school teacher, an Italian immigrant police office, a retired high school French teacher and a young American woman who was also a former English teacher in France like myself–such a diverse group of people, all of whom shared my passion pour la langue Francaise.

I felt the accueil chaleureux (warm welcome) of the group as a whole, and also an immediate bond with the young woman, Audrey, who taught for a year in a French school near Versailles. We stayed after the group left and ate dinner together, getting to know each other a bit more and sharing our similar experiences teaching abroad in France. It was a monumental moment for me to connect with another female in general, let alone someone that I have something in common with! Honestly, I could snap my fingers and have a date with a dude around here in two seconds, but meeting girls to be friends with is another story completely.

Tonight was a homerun, and I’m super grateful for all of the pieces that fell together to make this night happen so beautifully. I’m grateful to Kerstin for introducing me to the concept and then pushing me to join a Meetup group. I am grateful to have spent an hour and a half using my brain and practicing my rusty (but functioning!) French. I’m grateful to the group for their warm welcome, wonderful conversation and diverse perspectives, and finally I am grateful to have met Audrey, a young, smart, and interesting woman with a brilliant handle of the French language and my newest official friend crush.

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , ,

Attitude of Gratitude–Day 22–Animal Energies

I’ve always liked animals, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say, I’m a huge animal lover. I’d describe myself as a dog person, with an allergy to cats, a dislike of reptiles and a downright fear of rodents. I could never own a guinea pig or wrap a snake around my neck, though I find cats are tolerable with some Claritin and dogs, well, everyone likes dogs…right?

I grew up a poodle person, which, in many people’s opinions, are not even real dogs to begin with. We went the hypo allergenic route in our household due to our genetic dander intolerance. But dogs, yes, I’m still all about them. Their drooly, silliness and their capacity to love and love and love some more will never get old. But above all, it’s their loyalty that I admire most in dogs. They are the first to greet you at the back door waiting for you the moment your car door slams. They can feel when you’re happy and know when you’re sad or scared. They share so fully in your emotional experience, it’s like they are a part of who you are.

And then there are cats. Agile, smart and spiteful. Their feline grace is what I admire most about them. Their “zero fucks given” attitude. Their ability to fall from great heights and land on their feet. They are sharp and swift and sly.

It’s been quite some time since I’ve had such one on one time with any animals, so this weekend has been a complete dose of wonder for me. I love being able to sit quietly and question what is going on in their minds, analyze their needs, take care of them, and let them take care of me. I’ve learned a lot from these animals this weekend, and for that I am most grateful today.

I’ve thought deeply about the qualities that I admire most in my new pals, and seek to channel their loyal and graceful energies this week as I move from one moment to the next.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Attitude of Gratitude — Day 2 — Soul people

I’ve always thought myself lucky to know so many good people. I have a family that extends far beyond my blood’s limits, to whom I can always count on for a genuine affirmation, a listening ear, a love-filled hug. From one corner of the globe to the other, I can reach out at any time and tap into my network of soul mates.

When someone hears the term soul mate, they automatically think in terms of a romantic life partner. In my experience, however, my soul mates are people, both men and women, wise with age and ripe with youth, that have connected with me on a molecular level. People with whom, when we’ve looked into each other’s eyes have recognized ourselves within.

This recognition is more than just our commonalities. Of course we share interests, but what I am trying to describe goes beyond that. They are the kind of people you feel you knew in a past life, and who, with no explanation, understand and accept your entire being.

Tonight I am grateful to have had the privilege of spending time with James and his wonderful girlfriend, Anne — fellow beautiful soul people. Mr. James Birney came into my life a few years ago, and our soul connection was evident from our first conversation. James told me soon after we had met each other that we were going to know each other for a very long time. I, however, knew we had already known each other for an eternity.

Soul mates are people who unite you with Source. They are human reminders of the divinity that lives within us all, that which unites us all together as one.

Tonight was a night filled full with soul. Just a few truly good people sitting together around a table, blessed with good food and a healthy conversation.

I am especially grateful for this connection and to all of my soul mates past, present and future.

FullSizeRender

Amen, right on shalom, salaam, namaste!

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Attitude of Gratitude–Day 36: Divinity

All week I’ve been building up to this post, like a yogi building up to a challenging pose. I’ve been limbering up my mind, body and soul to openly accept the divine within. I specifically decided that divinity, would be my last subject of this week’s “You Are What You Eat” posts, because it is encompasses all of this week’s topics: humility, self-sacrifice, friendship and love.

When we are in tune with our divine essence, we synchronize ourselves with the infinite expansion of the universe. We are at one both human and divine–ever changing, ever expanding beings.

Through humility we recognize our place in the universe and allow ourselves the flexibility to accept who we are in this form, but also recognize the goddess and god within ourselves and our fellow earthly inhabitants. Through self-sacrifice, we experience the needs of the collective, and give them precedence over our own individual needs. Through friendship we learn the give and take, or the divine dance. if you will, of relationships.  And  finally, through love–especially self-love–we learn to elevate our energetic fields so that those who come into contact with our love know exactly how they should treat us. And thus, as divine beings, we promote all of these wonderful characteristics through a concentrated practice of non-judgement, awareness and patience.

While this week has been tough physically as a result of the juice cleanse, and emotionally quite low for me, I am grateful for some divine perspective. The challenge of body, mind and spirit awareness isheavily concentrated in the body and mind. For me, though this week has been hard in those two aspects, I feel like I am soaring to new divine heights. The dirty work, the hunger, the endurance, the patience, the awareness, the commitment are tools  we use to alter our perspective.

My commitment to gracious living and doing the dirty work is what makes my spirit shine. As a result of this cleanse and my week’s worth of concentration on the divine, my light is lighter and brighter this week.

I am grateful today for this learning experience, for the hard work and commitment, for the lessons I learned by sitting with the discomfort and for my well earned treat, a deep tissue massage.

 

enlightened-chakras

Amen, right on, shalom, salaam, namaste.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Attitude of Gratitude–Day 21: Throwback Tuesday

I’m going to keep this short and sweet, because I’m in the company of my best high school friends. Today I am grateful for the kinds of friends who know me to the core. They know my family, they knew me when I had braces, when I marched in band, and when I creepily stalked the high school hockey team…….as a middle schooler.

They know the most awkward version of me, and they still like me. So for that, I am grateful!

Here’s to 20 years of friendship! May we grow old together! And may we never let our children wear tacky Halloween costumes. Ew.

Halloween 2006

Image

 2014 Selfie

IMG_20140325_222152

 

 

Tagged , , , ,