Sunday, March 23, 2014

What are you grateful for?

This sturdy yellow bowl is today's object of respect. It comes from the San Francisco CAFE GRATITUDE. Rimming the interior of the bowl are the words: "What are you grateful for?" I uncover this query whenever I get to the bottom of a hearty bowl of miso soup or a rice bowl drenched in peanut sauce. (My husband contends that cardboard would taste good covered in peanut sauce.)

But I don't need to be at the bottom of a one dish meal to ask and answer this question. If you attend to life carefully it is hard not to be virtually overwhelmed with appreciation for the people and things of this world that serve us and make our own daily life possible and often, easy.

I've written about this in my book, Improv Wisdom in the chapter titled: "Wake Up to the Gifts." When we fail to notice the gifts it is likely that we are in the grip of our natural self-centeredness. When it occurs to me that "it is not about me" I am able to see how densely Reality is supporting me all the time. Cultivating an eye that looks at the world gratefully may be the single most potent vitamin for the happy and satisfied life. Even the stuff that drives us crazy can be torqued to reveal a gift.

I am grateful for so much. I am grateful for this moment when my eyes can see, when my limbs allow me to type, when my mind seems to be functioning normally and I can parse sentences. I am grateful to Google for the technology of the Blogger that allows me to put these ideas together easily and post them "out there" for anyone to see. I am grateful for the rain today which is helping the plants to grow and is washing off the needles of the pine outside my window. I am grateful for problems to solve, for laundry to do, for the time I have to reflect upon my life.

And, by the way, the Cafe Gratitude has wonderful food if you are in the San Francisco area. Stop in for a meal or to buy a bowl with the words: "What are you grateful for?" in the bottom. Or simply etch these words in your heart and let them appear when you look at anything carefully.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. Since this essay was written Cafe Gratitude has moved. The San Francisco location no longer exists. However, there are locations in Berkeley, Santa Cruz, and Los Angeles. Check out their website

  2. Patricia, no hablo Inglés! Me llamo Santiago Salaburu, soy de Neuquén Capital, una ciudad remota en la Patagonia, al sur del mundo en la Argentina!... Los amigos de AlertaImpro de México me enviaron, a través de Chechi Savoia (improvisadora de Buenos Aires) dos tomos de tu magnéfico libro "Sabiduréa de la Improvisacién"... sinceramente me pareció maraviloso, revelador, único!... lo he leído y releído... Estoy enormemente agradecido de haber podido recibir estos ejemplares, uno de los cuales obsequié a un colega y gran improvisador Juan Pablo Ríos... Siento la obligación espiritual de difundir tus palabras y tu filosofía de vida, basada en la impro, más allá de la técnica en el escenario!... Estoy emocionado y muy agradecido, a tí, Chechi y a los generosos colegas de AlertaImpro por el envío de este libro de oro!...
    Abrazo cordial y que viva la Impro!!!

    Santiago Salaburu
    Caidos del Catre Grupo