Reflecting with Joy & Gratitude

June 4, 2023—Every year I look forward to my June 5th birthday because I use it as an opportunity to reflect, with joy and gratitude, upon my just completed circle around the sun.

This year, my focus is the following encouragement from my mentor, Daisaku Ikeda, about the power of a grateful heart. He wrote:

“‘Thank you’ is a miraculous expression. It energizes us when we say it to others and encourages us when we hear it said to us…. Having gratitude and appreciation for the countless people and things that support our lives—that awareness, that feeling, that joy—will invite even greater happiness. Rather than being thankful because we are happy, being thankful itself will make us happy….”

With a grateful heart, I celebrate the fortune I have had to be born to my parents; to have two wonderful sisters, and to be a mother to my beautiful and fabulous daughter, whom I love with my all my heart.

With a grateful heart, I thank my friends for their support, encouragement and for always reminding me to take care of myself.

With a grateful heart, I reaffirm the joy of living a purpose-filled life as a Champion for the Arts—to promote and share the transformational joy, healing, wonder and awe that fills our hearts when we engage in or experience someone else’s creative expression.

With a grateful heart, I celebrate the opportunity I have had to support clients; to work with my amazing team, and to open doors that make it possible for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Access to be a catalytic and impactful force within arts institutions, organizations, and the communities they serve.

With a grateful heart, I honor the students I have had the opportunity to teach, who challenge me to continue to expand my capacity for studying, learning, and growing.

With a grateful heart, I express appreciation for the arts administrators and artists who help enrich our lives through their hard work and creative expression.

With a grateful heart, I am humbled by the wisdom that I have been able to garner through my life experiences and five decades of Buddhist practice—the importance of appreciation rather than complaint as the catalyst for change and the spur for unfathomable growth.

I am also grateful for you, readers of Arts & Culture Connections; for being a loyal audience; providing thoughtful comments, and for sharing this blog with your colleagues and friends.

My goal this year is to build an internal foundation of diamond-like joy, the essence of which is recognizing that everything that happens provides me with the opportunity to become a stronger, wiser, and more compassionate person, who will not be defeated by setbacks or circumstances. I remain forever mindful of the past—the challenges I have had to face and the victories I have achieved. I am determined to continue to utilize what I have learned to create value through my efforts to help support and encourage others,

And it is with gratitude, faith, and courage that I joyfully look forward to my next trip around the sun!

As always, I would like to know what you think. I invite you to share your thoughts below.

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