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The other day my son asked me what a Utopia was. As a Dad, one of the things I have always enjoyed are questions, and our conversations about life. I thought about it for a moment and realized that humans have been dreaming about utopian worlds for many lifetimes — a place where there is peace, where no one goes without, where humans and nature live in harmony, and where people support one another in pursuit of their dreams. After I had finished, he looked at me and said, “that sounds like where we live.”

Victoria may not quite fit the definition of a Utopia, but from my son’s perspective, I could see what he meant — we have so much to be grateful for. The great majority of us have a roof over our heads, and food on our tables — for many in excess.  We have access to some of the best medical care in the world. We are surrounded by beauty,  kind strangers, friendly neighbors, and the absence of war or violence that many in the world today experience on a daily basis.

Despite all this, I am still able to find myself lost in some petty complaint or discomfort — a long line at the bank, the price of an avocado, the weather, a slow driver, a new barista. It saddens me really to admit to myself these moments of petty fussing — a moment lost indulging in “non-presence”.  For if I was truly present in each of these moments, I would be unfazed by them all. I would see the extraordinary miracle of my life and of those around me, and I would emanate this awareness, reminding myself and those around me.

This year make a commitment with me to practice being grateful, and to catch yourself when you slip into that other place. Embody it, live it, and share it.

Blessings to all,