To the editor:

Have you paused to consider what emotions you are feeling today? Is there contentment or frustration? Is there joy or grief? Fear or hope? It's really not an emotional either/or for us most of the time, it is a mix of feelings. Yet, we often go through our busy days without even acknowledging or being aware of that range of emotions.

The physical body and giving our attention to our own were the focus of last month's Rivertown Gratefulness Gathering. This month we will turn to exploring the landscape of our emotions. Our feelings, our emotional health, are just as vital to our overall well-being as our physical health is.

Emotions have been described as "energy in motion." They guide and teach us, helping us through despair as well as deepening our joy. Recognizing and moving through our emotions helps us more fully live, more widely open our hearts to all that life has to offer. Tapping into our emotions also helps us tap into gratefulness.

We hear so much about the pursuit of happiness. The human condition isn't about always being happy. We would get complacent and take too much for granted. Being human is an emotion-filled journey. Burying, numbing and denying the difficult feelings will limit our potential to experience the positive feelings that also come.

Join us on Tuesday, May 21, for the next Rivertown Gratefulness Gathering where we will consider and discuss the idea of "Appreciating the Wealth of Our Emotions." Meetings are at 6:30 p.m. at ArtSpace River Lofts in downtown Hastings.

Gatherings are free and open to the public. We are meeting monthly throughout 2019. Each meeting is stand alone, so make the ones that you can. Contact local host Lisa Valentine at gratefulnessgatheringsmn//gratefulness.org/connect/gratefulness-gatherings/.

Each person who takes part in a Gratefulness Gathering makes it more than it would have been without you there. We hope to see you on May 21.

Lisa Valentine

Hastings