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Ack! It’s a bear: My close encounter with gratitude


I have done lots of crazy things in my life, but our trip to Alaska ranks towards the top of that list. My husband (then boyfriend) and I decided we would spend nearly a month backpacking in the remote Alaskan wilderness. This was his dream, not mine. We all know love will make you do crazy things – so, off we went. There were lots of wild and wonderful moments on our journey into the middle of nowhere but today I want to tell you about our bear encounter.

We were trudging along under our giant packs and off in the distance we spotted a grizzly. He (or she) spotted us about the same time. We knew from our months of preparation that this day might come. Now that it was here and we were 50 miles from the closest town with no way to get help, our situation seemed a bit more grave than I had anticipated. I was sure we were going to die. We armed ourselves with our trusty bear spray and huddled together to make ourselves appear bigger to the approaching grizzly.

I should note – it is way harder not to run than you can imagine when hundreds of pounds of flesh-eating fur is marching toward you. Nevertheless, we stood our ground.

At that moment I had never been more grateful for my life and the lovely man with whom I was sharing it. I turned to him and looked him in the eyes and said -in, what I assume now, was a little over the top dramatic way – I LOVE YOU. I was desperate to live but if I was going to die I wanted the love of my life to know how I felt toward him.

Seconds later the bear became uninterested in us and unceremoniously ambled away. Close (or seemingly close) encounters with death have a way of making gratitude more accessible and important in my life. What does this have to do with health you might ask. Well, everything.

Having a healthy body and mind mean little to me if I take them for granted. One moment of gratitude can increase their value exponentially. When times are hard, I can easily slip into a space where – “poor me” becomes my mantra. I know now that isn’t helpful on my journey toward better health.

I am committed to being grateful for the wonderful things I have in my life – my family, friends, the big tree in our back yard, and even our crazy chickens that invariably make me nuts with their little poop-factory selfs. All of these little things add up to something big -my incredible, fabulous life that was spared by that indifferent bear.

Have a fabulous day! If you like my posts please follow me to get notices when I write, share a link to my site or leave me a comment. You can learn a little more about me here. I would love to hear from you. What is or isn’t working on your your journey to better health?


2 thoughts on “Ack! It’s a bear: My close encounter with gratitude

  1. Looking through the lens of hope, optimism, and resilience is a beautiful test to our strength and character. My yoga teacher once said, tell someone “I love you” once a day. How fascinating!

    In addition, we can come back to those sweet thoughts to experience a tiny, but wonderful burst of positivity — sometimes even that small burst can flip the “poor me” world on its head.

    Liked by 1 person

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