The woman in the vinegar bottle

This is an expanded version of a popular post I did on instagram recently.

The woman in the vinegar bottle. Y’all know that tale?

It goes like this: 

A woman lived in a vinegar bottle and was unhappy with her circumstances. (Don’t blame you, sister.)

She asked for a bigger house. A cottage with space. Her wish was heard by magically fairies. The fairies gave her instructions on how to receive her wish, and receive her wish she did. 

Yet, the woman wasn’t satisfied. So she asked for a bigger home, and got a bigger home. She wasn’t satisfied with that bigger home, so the fairies came back and gave her and another bigger home,  then and another bigger home over and over and over again.

She never remembered to thank the fairies. Her next and final wish, to move the the biggest palace in all the world…well, the fairies sent her back to the vinegar bottle. Because the fairies thrive on gratitude.

As I’ve heard this story, I think there are two things that I come out to me:

Gratitude is for the gifts you receive in this world is everything.

And it all begins with loving what you have. 

I know how tough gratitude feels is when you’re in the trenches. I’ve been there and when people tell me to find gratitude, it feels like the biggest stretch of my imagination.

Yet this practice, of gratitude, is researched to cure our anxieties, to take us out of our fears and into a place of joy.

You don’t have to express gratitude to get what you want.

But you may have to express gratitude to love what you have

(check this great post by Celeste Frenette on the same subject)

My husband Jason and I have started a simple gratitude practice. We try to do it often, sharing a few things we are grateful for daily. We’ve gone through so much (7 years of marriage and almost a decade together!) and gratitude is a way to connect us back to what brought us together: love.

I do believe in presence as something I value tremendously — it’s why I make and teach art. There’s nothing better than creating to get me present.

And, I know gratitude is natural byproduct of presence.

Maybe we don’t have to live in a vinegar bottle all the time. Even though some vinegar can be really sweet…that’s a whole other blog subject on the alchemy of food/taste/senses.

Maybe…there’s truly a simple way out of the bitterness we can feel, yes?

Let’s begin with a thank you and see where it takes us — hopefully to this moment, right now.

Thank you.

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