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Five Affirmations

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“Each night we tell each other the five things we’re grateful for from that day. Some nights, it’s really tough to come up with five. Some nights, I really have to search for just one, but each night we make it to five.” Kathy Sherwin

Yesterday, we did a filming session with Kathy and her husband Chris as a start in our search for heroes, which they both are. Kathy is a professional mountain biker with a researched Zen approach to performance. Chris is a biker too, though not quite on the same level. He’s also a life changing Spanish and Public Speaking teacher and someone who qualifies as a bon vivant. Whether skiing, mountain biking or kite surfing, he makes it the best day ever for anyone joining him—even while carrying a few extra passengers.

Almost two years ago, he was diagnosed with three types of rare renal cancer. He said that rare is the designation that you get when they put research into the other types. His doctors never used any time frame longer than months, which is why Kathy’s above quote is so significant, though as they both said they don’t look at things much differently now than they always did. They’re still the same people, but some of the lessons and simple parts of life are just a bit more profound, timely and heartfelt. Kathy’s comment made me realize that heroes are the products of the choices they make, like choosing to appreciate five things every night, because that can change our perspective and our lives.

A few years ago, while I was studying acting, one of my classmates asked the professor how to deal with not feeling confident for an audition. He responded, “Act confident,” which drew an incredulous look from the student, so he elaborated, “When you wake up in the morning act confident. When you get out of your car, get out with confidence. Before you know it you’ll feel confident.” I

Jean and I decided that tomorrow night would be the first night that we shared our five things with each other. Then, I had a bit of a panic that I might not have five things so I decided to do a dry run today, and I realized that I started to see the world for the things that have gone well or make me grateful as opposed to the things that have gone wrong, that I have to check off my “to do” list or the things that make me ungrateful (something that often gets bigger play in my mind).

Here’s my list for today:
I’m grateful that Jean and I decided to share the five things we’re grateful for.
I’m grateful for the way the light of the descending sun plays with the hills and sage behind my house.
I’m grateful that Chris and Kathy shared their story and perspective with us.
I’m grateful for my bike ride this morning.
I’m grateful for the friends and family that I have in my life.
And a sixth, I’m grateful the Red Sox gained a game in the standings.

Thank you to Chris and Kathy. Look for their video on our website in a few days. Send us your stories of the heroes that changed your life and helped you make sense of the world around you.

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