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The fundamentals class at Mindfulschools.org is finished.  The last question asked is, “please think back over the last 6 weeks and reply to this question: What have you noticed is different in your life now than it was at the beginning of the course? Does the intention you set at the beginning feel real – even if just for moments here and there?”
I began the course with a lofty and long intention:

“I am safe and grounded.  I am joyful and grateful for the joy and love I experience.  I am peaceful, accepting of myself, my daughter and my community.  I am present.”
Reading these intentions at the close of the course, what jumps out at me was my desire to experience joy and gratitude.  For much of the time since my husband’s death, joy was elusive.  I wondered if even a desire for joy would surface.  I have kept my head down, working towards my goals.

Now, looking back, I think that movement on the joy front had already begun before the course began.  The organization of the practices in the course nudged the process further along.  I am not the ‘cock-eyed optimist’ of my past but I have begun to be grateful for the extraordinary experiences that are part of living and from the gratitude blossoms joy.