Sunday, August 22, 2010

With Complete Gratitude...

I believe everyone is an artist.  Everyone.  I believe we all are born creative.  All of us.  I believe each of us has a unique set of gifts and talents, with an imagination that needs to be discovered, explored and nurtured, and an individuality that makes us US, and a connection that makes us ONE.  I believe we all have the ability to inspire.

For nearly 10 years I have worked at an art studio that strives to nurture the creativity in children and their families.  This special place has been provided free as a public service and creative gift to our community by one of the largest greeting card companies in the world for close to 40 years.

I started working there full-time and eventually reduced my hours to part-time to pursue teaching yoga and my deep desire to make art with yarn and felt.  For the last year I've only worked one day a week so that I could not only grow my creativity and holistic life-coaching career, but also to stay-at-home with my sweet boy.

This past Friday marked my last weekday.  (I can't seem to step away completely - I'll be going back just one Saturday a month after my maternity leave.)  But I've made the decision to keep both my boys out of daycare to stay-at-home and work-from-home on the things I love most.  

This job has been really good to me.  It's where I met the love of my life.

It's where I learned to knit.

It has been the stepping stone that I needed to make my dreams a reality.  

And on my last day something really cool happened.  The day itself was pretty uneventful.  I worked as usual, had a quiet lunch, said good-bye to a few friends, and then towards the end of the day I check my mailbox one last time.  

I found a letter from someone I've never met and I have no idea why the letter was addressed to me.  The man who wrote the letter shared that 25 years ago he remembered visiting this art studio as a child and he reflected on how it was such a joyful experience for him, one that let his creativity run wild and free.  

He goes on to say, "I write to you with gratitude from the child of my youth, the child within, and the grateful adult I have become for the special impact this [art studio] has had on my life.  ...I also write to you as part of a lifelong dream of mine that has been of great importance and value in my life as of late due to a recent diagnosis of colon cancer for which I anticipate a successful recovery.  It has, I admit, been a lifelong dream of mine to write a book as a tribute to those special to me. The idea came to me in the last year to honor these special to me with their thoughts of gratitude and personal legacies in a book for others to learn about, be inspired by, and appreciate these people.  ...more importantly I hope to have this collection of inspiration available for my loved ones to reinforce their gratitude and inspire them in the event that I may one day not be around...

I would be honored to know your thoughts on the following questions:

1) What are you grateful for?
2) What gratitude do you hope others will have for you?  That is, what legacy do you hope to leave for others?"

He ends the letter by saying, "I wish you all the best in the realization of your dreams and the realization of the dreams of those special to you."


Is that not amazing?

And to receive this letter on my last day, where I'm taking bold, big steps to continue manifesting my own personal dreams?

So I ask you today to please take some time to reflect on these two questions and if you are so willing, I would love for you to share with me here.  I haven't yet answered the questions myself.  And I promise to share when I do.  What I can say is I'm completely grateful to the universe for bringing this letter my way.  

So thank you, Mr. Letter Writer, for posing such thoughtful and positive questions for us all to reflect on.  You are an inspiration.

Your Personal Reflection:  What are you grateful for?  What gratitude do you hope others will have for you?  That is, what legacy do you hope to leave for others?


  1. Wow Shannon...that brought tears to my eyes. That is a tremendous gift and send off on your last day. And that makes you think so deeply. What do I want my legacy to be for others? that is a huge question and I can see why it would take some time to ponder that and let it sit for awhile. Thank you for sharing. That gives my heart and soul something meaningful to think about. My gratitude towards you and the universe for sending you my way.

  2. Wow, talk about synchronicity!! Very cool. Enjoy your time with the little ones, they are very precious :D

  3. What a lovely post. What an amazing gift that letter was.
    I am eternally grateful for my family. My children are my life!! Every single day I wake I fall deeper in love with them. They make my life beautiful. and my soul mate is right there by my side.
    I hope others are grateful for my loyalty and love. I also hope others see my convictions for my beliefs to be a respectable quality (even if they don't agree with everything). ;)

  4. Wow Shannon, this is beautiful.
    As for myself,
    I am grateful for becoming a more loving person, compassionate. I am grateful for cleaning my eyes with love each day and being able to love those with whom I share my life, my loved ones but also those people I don't really know, who also need my smiles and good words. I am most grateful for having lerned to love my life down here as a human, for it has taken a long time for me to do so...
    I hope I will leave a legacy of love, that people will remember me as the one who told them to love themselves, that this is the secret to loving others and life itself.

    I am grateful for friends like you Shannon, with whom I can share those special glimspes of magic...
    Big hugs to you my dear friend...

  5. Shannon, that is so beautiful. The vibrations are throughout the universe aren't they. I hope you know what an enormous and life-giving effect you have one people's lives, mine too! What you do in your work and at home is so important. An incredible story . . . thank you so much for sharing this beauty. Peace, Angela

  6. Thanks for all of your amazing comments. I am realizing I have so very much I'm grateful for. And I love having the opportunity to ask myself about my legacy in life.

  7. I love it when complete serendipity like this occurs. It's always a sign (for me) we are doing the right thing at that time.

    You are really inspiring, all that you do, and all that you write about. By taking these bold steps to living a dream I believe others get their permission too :)

    It's taken me years to get to this place, but I guess I am grateful for the tough times I have had as they have brought me to the place I am in now. Looking back I see the divinity, at the time I didn't. I am grateful (like people will never know!) for all those others who held and supported me either emotionally, or just through encouragement and as a shoulder to weep on when things were bad :(

    I am intensely and insanely grateful to the dreams I've had that have directed me to take those 'steps', art, books, radical people and on and on. My parents taught me more than school ever did or could. I am eternally grateful.

    It's all so lovely shannon, I feel all emotional :0 Good luck with your beautiful life right now as it continues to unfold in new and wonderful ways:)


  8. I have goosebumps! This is so wonderful! This is definitly a sign of life that you're on the right path! YOUR path!

    I'm so grateful for my long-term relationship with the love of my life, our 3 wonderful kids and what I'm designing in terms of life'mission with my worshops.

    Manon xxx


Thanks for sharing!