Monday, June 19, 2006

Get Uncomfortable

Sometimes the key to gratitude is walking into discomfort. I can remember vividly the summer after college graduation when I spent two months in Ecuador to participate in medical research with two of my favorite college professors and another student who became my good friend. Those sixty days were long, hot, dirty, and lonely in addition to being influential and beneficial for character building. We were stuck a lot in gooey, sticky, boot-sucking mud on long trails that led to houses with no outhouses or running water. No gas for fire, no dry wood for cooking, and of course, no electricity. This was the trip that started in a cheap hotel in Quito, where Dr. Rudy's backpack (with all of his money, eyeglasses, radio and other important things) was stolen on the first day, and prostitutes had the bed in the next room squeaking all night. This trip also started with a drive in a cab through a cloud of smoke that burned my eyes and nose and turned out to be tear gas from a riot to protest the escalation of the price of fuel. When the sixty days were over, and I was home again, my heart swelled with gratitude for the modern conveniences which were really luxuries. A flushing toilet, warm water, a gas stove that you could just cook on, clean water that you could just drink, paved roads. And my heart swelled with love for the Ecuadorian families who were able to create a home for their children with delicious food and joyous pasttimes like soccer while living without the modern tools we have come to take for granted in this country. Families that were young and strong and bound tightly together in the rigors of life and the simple joys that come from simple living. I came home reluctantly, missing my experiences. Missing the hostel we found in Quito, on a beautiful maple-lined street, where we had a clean room and breakfast for seven dollars a night. Missing the music and the beautiful arts available on the streets. Missing the discomfort that I learned to embrace and love and appreciate. Have you ever had an experience like that? One that makes you come home happy to see your house, no matter the state of disarray? I did it today. I worked in a doctor's office, strapped to a desk, being of service, doing everything I could. I came home to a very messy house, to children I MISSED, happy to be there. I came home happy to prepare dinner. I needed that.

I created this belly chain using Labradorite, amazonite and aquamarine. It is a powerful, protective enlightening piece. Guarenteed to make you happy and appreciative in the most difficult of situations all the while, protecting and aligning you and diminishing your fear so you are left with only the pleasure of getting uncomfortable.

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