A Plateful of Grateful


“Fill yourself with gratitude for everyone who helped to put the food on your plate.”  That was the cue for a guided meditation I followed awhile back.

If you think about everyone involved in this effort, whether it be simply a local grower or a faraway provider, your heart can swell with deep appreciation. The gift of the actual growing or raising or preparing is then multiplied by the folks providing the seeds, the water, any packaging or transportation, anyone involved with other ingredients, their parents and so on.

It is mindblowing to contemplate.

If we add to our servings of gratitude all of the other wonders of being alive–the sunshine, nature’s creations that cross our path, the music that I hear as I write this…..Well!  We can fill ourselves to overflowing with gratitude.

This particular meditation came blazing back to me this morning after we viewed the film “Unbroken” last night (based on the book of the same name) about the true story of triumph by the astoundingly powerful spirit of Louie Zamperini.  Not only did he survive 47 days in a lifeboat after his plane crashed in the Pacific during World War II, but also he then endured unspeakable torture as a prisoner of war in Japan, with his amazing integrity and indomitability intact.

This morning, in the wake of witnessing such an extraordinary story, my routine of rising from a comfy bed, pouring clean water from the tap, heating it for tea, peeling fresh fruit, made my breakfast seem nothing short of miraculous.  Which, indeed, it was.

As has been the rest of this glorious spring day.  Because the serving on my “plate” today has been filled with so much priceless sustenance–sunshine, water to drink and food to eat, birds chirping their happy melodies, the freedom to come and go as I please and all of the people who have made this possible….The list goes on.

While I actively cultivate a practice of gratitude, I must confess that seeing “Unbroken” has brought me up short.  Observing Zamperini’s incredible fortitude and heart in action in the face of extreme and ongoing deprivation, pain, terror inspire me to step up my gratitude “game.” Hoping that I will recognize for a very, very long time the big “helpings” I have been served by so many.

And hoping that my gratitude spurs me to ever greater heights of generosity and courage.


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18 Responses to A Plateful of Grateful

  1. kanzensakura says:

    Thank you for this reminder. I am now definitely steipping up my attitude of gratitude for I have truly been so very blessed.

  2. Not sure I want to see that movie, Chloe, I have a hard time with stories like that.
    But, gratitude-wise, sometimes as I walk I realize how miraculous it is that our bodies work to propel us so smoothly and easily. Most of us, at least. I have friends on crutches and in wheelchairs and with walkers, and each time I visit with one I am reminded of this small miracle I so take for granted.
    Tis a blessing to be alive and well on this beautiful planet.

    • SirenaTales says:

      I know what you mean, Emilie–I usually take a pass on films like this, but am so glad I didn’t forgo seeing “Unbroken.” I love your gratitude practice around walking–so insightful and inspiring. It is indeed a miracle that is commonly taken for granted. Your wise presence here is a blessing. Thank you. xo

  3. Eileen says:

    Love doing the grateful exercise always. Like the idea of thanking for all the folks that keep us so well fed. One funny thing here, my husband had a recent complication with his pacemaker, an exceedingly fast pulse rate and swelling. Soooooooooooooo, his salt intake has been cut severely. The man is seriously addicted to salt. He is counting everything, measuring everything, even shopping with me so that he can have two or wow! maybe three dill pickles at night for his dessert. I have never seen anyone so delighted when he can manage that. One day he kept it so low that he said he could have ten dill pickles that night. I disabused him of that notion…..had to convince him that even his prescription meds for acid reflux could not handle that. But his struggle has made me very aware of the joys of salt and how important it is in our world. It also brings alive the meaning of Jesus saying we are the salt of the earth and if we lose our flavor……………..

  4. ST, I can always count on you to bring me back to the basics…gratitude, generosity and kindness. I’m so pleased to read you’re meditating! And that guided one that traces back through the food history is a goodie…I’ve seen this for the clothes we wear. It’s a nice practice to keep in mind. Thank you for the sweet reminder. x x Hope you’re enjoying the spring-y weather!

    • SirenaTales says:

      Sorry for the delayed response, Elysha, especially as I so appreciate your wonderful and constant support! Love the idea of a meditation tracing gratitude back through clothes’ history. Thank you for turning me onto the tool of guided meditations–so helpful. Hope you have been enjoying the sunshine (can’t believe when I just went to the grocery store it was SNOWING for a minute :)!). xox

  5. Rachael Charmley says:

    A heart lifting piece, Chloe. Thank you for reminding me how much I have to be grateful for. With love to you. xxx

  6. So beautiful to the senses! I hope you will read my short story in my latest post.

    xo Bry


  7. Lorien says:

    YES! Thank you for sharing your inspiration. It is so helpful to summon the feelings of gratitude, to affirm what it is that we have. It’s good for our health, it’s good for the people around us. I appreciate this reminder. And I want to see Unbroken now. ❤ 🙂

  8. Luggage Lady says:

    Amen, Dear Chloe! Mr. Zamperini’s profoundly courageous life story is something EVERYONE should read. I’d love to see it be mandatory reading at the high school level. What a perspective changer!! I could NOT put the book down!! What he did with his life AFTER enduring such atrocities = AMAZING! And there are so many incredible folks, just like him, sacrificing/overcoming/making a difference daily. We indeed have much to be grateful for in our country — we just need to step outsides our little bubbles and give thanks where thanks is due…Thank you for this beautiful gratitude-boosting reminder!! 😘

    • SirenaTales says:

      How right you are about the countless, untold “….incredible folks, just like him, sacrificing/overcoming/making a difference daily.” Thank you so much for that key reminder. And for ALL of your eloquent and passionate comment. After reading your words and seeing the movie, I know I must read the book. In the meantime, thank YOU so much for making a difference daily by shining your beautiful soul on our world. Love to you….

  9. diahannreyes says:

    Thank you for the reminder that there is much to be grateful for. I’ve been feeling a bit blue this week about it isn’t but a reminder to say thank u for what is and for all the blessings and people that add up to abundance in my life. I’m grateful definitely for you, Chloe! diahann

    • SirenaTales says:

      And I am so grateful for YOU, Diahann, in all of your resplendent courage, wisdom and artistry! Thank you so much for your generous support. Here’s hoping the blues have hightailed it away from you :). xo

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