To the editor:

Life is full of uncertainty, mystery and surprises. As humans, we like to think we are in control of more than we actually are, and savvy marketers capitalize on that by selling us the same idea. When it comes down to it, there are really only two things we can each control as individuals: our attitude and actions.

That can either frustrate us or open us up. If I put my energy into making my attitude and actions contributory and not contaminating, I not only help myself, I can better serve the wider world. The surprise is how things tend to fall into place better. Instead of trying harder, we learn that trying easier, leaning into uncertainty, is actually beneficial.

Our usual surroundings and nature are full of surprises too. Take a moment to step into a favorite room in your home or to step outside. Close your eyes for a few seconds, pause again, and then open your eyes with a sense of surprise. See the mundane in a different light. Each day is not a given, it's a gift. If we begin a new day with this sense of surprise, gratefulness flows. Life is precious. Life is fragile. Life's mysteries can paralyze us with fear or catalyze us with awe.

Join us on Tuesday, June 18 for the next Rivertown Gratefulness Gathering where we will consider and discuss the idea of "Being with Mystery and Uncertainty." Meetings are at 6:30 p.m. at ArtSpace River Lofts in 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//

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 June 18.

Lisa Valentine