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No matter how long one she been away from the house – whether it be fifteen minutes or five hours – his welcome home greeting is always the same. It is as if his heart flows immense gratitude, and I can tell by his frantic dash to the door that connects the garage to the house, that “Mom’s back!”

Last evening was no different, other than that all of us had been out for a little bit. The sun had set in the interim between when we had left the house and when we returned. After his greetings and hugs, I opened the patio door to let him out on to the deck, so he could go and burn off some energy running around the yard. There was a rush of cold air which took me by surprise, as I had forgotten how quickly the temperature drops on these winter days after the sun goes down. What a beautiful circle of warmth is our Sun, I was reminded.

Stepping out and looking up at the crystal clear night sky which had just a solitary puff of a cloud hanging low under the firmament filled with stars, I caught my breath. Every single star, every visible and yet to be discovered planet and its moons, is another magnificent circle weaving a sphere. I stood there in the cold, clearing my mind of the day’s events, expressing gratitude for the great circle that is our near and far universe.

The owls in the forest may have caught a whiff of my standing reverie, for they decided to provide some impromptu background music . A single owl started the circle of sound, and it didn’t take long for the circle to expand into a full blown forest-jam. More gratitude flowed with a smile, as the louder they sang, the faster he seemed to run around the yard under the glittering dark sky.

From the small to the big, from those close to earth to the extremely distant, the spheres and circles where we may find gratitude are omnipresent. It may be our inclination to be easily distracted by the seemingly perpetual stream of aches and pains, trials and tribulations. In challenge-filled situations, our propensity may be to contract our circle(s), when in fact we may be well served by doing exactly the opposite.

The truth is that we can actually expand and contract our circles at the same time. If we find ourselves contracting our family circle, we may decide to expand our circle of friends. If we need to contract both family and friends, we can expand our circle with nature by simply walking outside. In our spiritual practice, when we make time for yoga or meditation or silence, we may be contracting within, and yet often find ourselves expanding the love and light in our heart.

The key is to remember that all of our circles and spheres, from the microcosm of every electron with every cell of our body, to the macrocosm of distant stars and galaxies, are playgrounds for life. When we accept the invitation of life’s myriad circles with an of attitude playing with a smile, of singing with joy, to observing with the heart’s light, life fills us with her abundances.

And for life’s abundances, the twelve pound havanese puppy named “bubbles”, and I are both grateful. How about you and your circles? Where are you discovering gratitude and expressing thanks today?


P.S. Please join our weekly gathering on twitter, where gratitude often streams in abundance – Sunday, November 24th at 9amET in #SpiritChat. Our circle is ever-welcoming of new folks. Namaste – @AjmaniK

P.P.S. This post is dedicated to my maternal aunt, who was instrumental in teaching me so much about life and its circles and spheres, as she raised me from the age of seven to twenty one. It would have been her 90th birthday today, 23 Nov 2019. Thank you, dear Mom!