favorite parts*

family_surrey.jpg
My family, on a surrey bicycle, Santa Barbara, CA, Canon Digital Rebel XSi

I have been wanting to cultivate a gratitude ritual for our family for some time now. A simple question we can hold in our hands at the end of the day, perhaps a question that flies around the dinner table. What was the best part of the day? What was a highlight? Pretty soon you start looking for best parts and seeing the day through those eyes.

Although I hadn’t gotten around to instituting this yet, Ben started doing this all on his own… asking us the same question each day. It goes something like this:

Ben: “What was your favorite part of the day?”
Me: “My favorite part was riding that big bicycle along the water.”
Ben: “That was my favorite part!”
Ben: “What was your favorite part daddy?”
Matt: “Let’s see, my favorite part was swimming in the pool with you.”
Ben: “That was my favorite part too!”

As you can probably tell, whatever you say, it will be Ben’s favorite part too.

As I sit in the doctor’s lab waiting to get my blood drawn (standard pregnancy stuff) I am looking for favorite parts. Driving around for twenty minutes looking for parking? Not my favorite part. Getting blood drawn? Probably not gonna be my favorite part. (I get very anxious and often cry or pass out when I get a blood test)

But I imagine seeing the same moment through Ben’s eyes… and while I’m with the technician I imagine how this could be my favorite part. As this question enters my mind, I see the sweetness in the man’s eyes when I tell him I don’t feel well and I see how connected he is when the tears start pouring down my face. I notice how he holds my gaze and says, “You are safe with me. Nothing is going to happen to you. I’ve got you…” and how that made me cry a little more. And I noticed how he tried to talk to me about Alicia Keys, about how she was classically trained and writes her own songs and most artists don’t do that and how she deserved those Grammy’s… and I understood that he was trying to keep my mind on something else… I noticed all of it. And because I asked myself how this could be my favorite part, I could see something of the sacred in it. I could see how the favorite parts aren’t necessarily just the fun ones, but the ones where we see beyond the superficial into the sacred. And that’s what happened today. Thanks Arturo. And thanks Ben.

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Hi, I’m Andrea

On this blog you’ll be learning with me how to use our voices, share our creative superpowers and live life in full color.

As an artist, photographer, life coach + mentor, I’m redefining what it means to be a SUPERHERO — ‘cause in my world, it’s got nothing to do with capes, spandex or sidekicks and everything to do with tenderness, intuition & baby steps of bravery.

LEARN MORE ABOUT ME >

54 Comments

  1. Jennifer

    Sounds like you’ve got some sweeties taking good care of you – we all deserve that, don’t we?

  2. Molly

    Wait, you’re pregnant again?! Did I somehow miss that? I can’t imagine that I would have… that’s such terrific news!

  3. Brian

    Your blog posts bring sunshine into my cubicle laden day. Thank you!

  4. tekeal

    “beyond the superficial into the sacred”… that’s exactly what I was looking for right now. thank you.

  5. pixiemama

    THIS was the favorite part of my day – discovering that you are pregnant. Congratulations!
    xo

  6. Trish

    Great post
    oxox
    trish

  7. Monica

    thank you for sharing how to turn something “superficial” into something “sacred”…
    this concept comes at a much needed time for me!
    you are amazing and insightful – thank you for sharing who you are and what you do here =-)

  8. Jill

    I love the idea of a gratitude ritual. We do “peak and pit” at our house. Peak is the best part of the day and pit is the worst part. It’s a fun way to get people talking, and it makes one analyze the day. We learn a lot about our kids during these discussions!

  9. Faith

    Wow, amazing post. Thanks.

  10. Jennifer

    how incredible that little ben manifested exactly what you need in your life. what a wise little boy you have on your hands. and how ever more incredible for you to slow down and look at the moment through his eyes. that is truly special.
    hope all is well with you!

  11. Sandy

    A group that I studied with for about 15 months (once each week) used to share Highs, Lows, and Uh-Ohs at the end of each meeting. It was GREAT to share all of those things. Like you said, you start looking for the highs! It helps to share the lows and to know that other people often understand. And the Uh-Ohs usually made us all laugh — those were silly things that happened, comedies of errors if you will. I miss sharing those things on a regular basis in that way.

  12. melaniejennifer

    Congratulations on this pregnancy!!

  13. nicole

    oh my! congratulations! and wonderful post too.

  14. Cory

    I’m with pixiemama. Congratulations, and best wishes. xo

  15. Yolanda

    Man. Your posts hit me in a deep place so, so, so often. Here I am weeping again. Ben is such an old soul. A magical, sweet elf.

  16. Cathy

    Wow. You inspire me and I always feel good after reading your posts. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! And congratulations on your pregnancy!

  17. Tom Mohan

    Nice.

  18. Anneli

    Thank you for this beautiful post it was exactly what I needed to read today.
    This post was my favourite part of today.

  19. Karen Maezen Miller

    Gratitude ain’t picky, is it? Congratulations to all.

  20. kolleen

    thank you….beautiful Andrea Scher.
    thank YOU
    XOXO
    K

  21. Jet Harrington

    This post is one of my favourite parts.
    One of my favourite quotes is this: a joyful spirit is evidence of a grateful heart.
    A grateful heart is a blessing.

  22. Beth

    Andrea this is such a gorgeous post, a wonderful ritual and the best news about your pregnancy. Congratulations!

  23. Shelley Noble

    beep beep beep
    BACKUP!!!!!!
    I didn’t hear the good news! How fantastic!
    Lovely Ben story too!!!

  24. m-c

    I also come to be like a little child when i need a blood test, the nurse has to take care of me and be super gentle and sweet, just as she would do for a 3 years old afraid of the needle – all of the adult in me just disappear at that moment, the tall 34 years old just has to surrender and let someone take care of her for a moment, there is no way to hide anymore. And behind all this stress i see so much kindness in the nurse trying to help me going through this part, a sweet heart connection…
    I experience the same when i end up in trouble while traveling alone. The people i find on my way at these moments are so helpful and kind, it looks like they were shipped straight from heaven, just to give me a hand at that particular moment, going back to their heavenly occupations the next minute 😉

  25. Kristy

    Whoop whoop! Congratulations Andrea and as always thank you so much for being so brave to share your journey with us. It means so much.

  26. Valentina

    Ohhh.. This is a really *LOVELY* post. Congratulations for the pregnancy 🙂

  27. Puanani

    Ahh. Sweet. Thanks. And I guess I missed something, my heart swelled and a smile slowly spread across my face at the thought of your growing family. Love and light your way!

  28. Loredona

    Where are the pictures of the belly? Your Ben belly was SUPER cute!!
    Contrags!

  29. Loredona

    Where are the pictures of your belly? Your Ben belly was SUPER cute! Congrats!

  30. Liv @ Choosing Beauty

    We do this every night around the dinner table – everyone shares a favorite part of their day. It’s become such a habit that last night, when we didn’t have a chance to all eat together, we spontaneously shared our favorite parts right before bedtime because everyone missed sharing! The best days are those when someone can’t pick just one – there were too many great things! And you’re right…the definition of what’s great changes as you do this. You start to notice all the little things that bring you joy. The other day, my favorite part was when I cut the shoelaces on my favorite slippers because they kept coming undone and I’d trip on them. It sounds so silly, but it gave new life to my slippers and they still look cute! 🙂

  31. Catherine

    why did this post make me cry before I even got to the juicy part?
    I’m not sure. But it did. I’m printing this out and taking it with me to read at my photograph workshop. Looking for the sacred in the everyday. And in the events that we think aren’t so good. Right now Max is sick. What is there to like about this? All the hugs and love we are getting from friends and family. Max’s love that keeps pouring out toward us and the world even when he isn’t feeling well. The surgery is in July. More time to wait. To be PRESENT NOW.
    Lots of things to think about in this post. ..and opportunity to shift my attention. Thank you

  32. Brigitte

    Today is my first visit to your blog, and I’m moved to comment.
    I have a similar reaction to a blood draw. I get very light headed and my palms sweat. Once, at my doctor’s office, the tech sang Kokomo to me as he drew my blood. It was such a generous act, and it made my day.

  33. Mel

    We also do this every evening. Today’s favourite was: finding a tinkerbell notebook in the Oxfam shop, lol, 3 year olds are often easy to please.
    As for me, looking at the things to be grateful for has changed my life so profoundly that it’s untrue. Essentially you taught me that in Mondo Beyondo. Looking at the small things, stretching my courage muscle daily, doing something for others and you know just be happy now. The rest will follow. You have absolutely no idea what a profound change Mondo Beyondo made in my life. I am so grateful and celebrate gratitude every day.

  34. Mariella

    Yes! I so love this entry of yours!! 🙂 xoxo, ~ M.

  35. Design Mom

    Oh. I really love this post. Maybe it’s my favorite thing you’ve written. Just wonderful.

  36. Susan

    It’s so nice to find that sacred moment, especially in healthcare…last week I had surgery to repair a hernia and as I was being wheeled toward the OR and I was fighting to hold the anxiety and fear at bay, the assisting surgeon put his hand on my shoulder and squeezed. And boy did that ever help.
    Those are the moments that make me feel connected to people, to kindness, to love.

  37. liz elayne

    oh yes yes yes to this. to the sacred and the favorite and the turning things around to notice them anew. yes.
    thank you for sharing this so i could learn a bit about my own journey today…

  38. Cath

    Wow. That was perfect.

  39. Kristen

    Thanks for sharing your vulnerability re: blood tests…they are the worst!

  40. amy Komar

    I am breathless.
    Thank you sweet lady
    for that deep pool of insight.
    your words ring true . . .

  41. marina

    thank you Andrea!
    the idea that the favourite parts may be “the ones where we see beyond the superficial into the sacred” is beautiful!
    thank you for sharing it.
    a big hug to you and amazing Ben and lots of wishes of long long lists of favourite parts to all your growing family!

  42. heather

    My 2.5yo has a running joke that his favorite part of the day was “playing inna snow!” because it makes us giggle. Congrats!!

  43. rawqueen

    Give thanks for the lovely post. My family also shares the “best part of the day” ritual. Most of the time (when the children have the patience for it) we share the most challenging or yucky part of our day, and what we might do better tomorrow. This is a wonderful way to bond and check in. Blessings to your family and thanks for your words. 🙂

  44. rawqueen

    Oh yeh, I forgot to add that I love the concept of living it through the eyes of a chid, or favorites. This is a tactic that i have used in situations of extreme boredom or bureaucratic b.s.. I imagine that I am an baby/young child and that everything is new. Somehow it seems to take the edge off. I usually discover new ways to look at things I have seen too many times, like the interior of the DMV!

  45. Stacia

    Dearest Andrea,
    I hope that this message finds you in highest spirits!
    We’ve never met (I’m from Trinidad and Tobago) but I stumbled across your site a couple months ago and I’ve visited since for encouragement. I needed this post today.
    Thank you for lifting my spirits. And good luck with the baby!
    Stacia

  46. Alison

    Boy, I like this post SO much!

  47. Sophie

    I was linked to this post from Design Mom and I just wanted to tell you how much it touched me. Thank you for bringing happiness onto the internet.

  48. dental hygienist

    Great site. A lot of useful information here. I’m sending it to some friends!

  49. elizabeth

    “beyond the superficial into the sacred”. a reminder that’s worth hearing everyday.
    thank you for sharing that with us – so we could look for it too.

  50. Brenda Withers

    I love this idea small or large, we need to do this. And I hate blood tests also but I’m getting them for different reasons. But my person is either Frank or Andrea and Andrea is good. Frank is okay. nice enough, just not as good as Andrea.

  51. amy j.

    I didn’t know you were pregnant again! YAY! Congrats!!

  52. Caroline

    My sweetheart and I often ask each other this question right before we drift off to sleep at night. No matter what the favorite moment I mention is, it’s usually immediately usurped by this shared moment of reflection.

  53. kathi

    oh…i will have to, must, do this daily! i’ve been having a difficult time and this will help. thank you so much for always brightening my days.

  54. Jaimie

    My husband and I discuss our favourite thing about the day before we go to sleep. When my son gets a little older, I’d like to share this ritual too, and take it a bit farther: I’d like to write them down in a journal, or possibly write them on little pieces of paper to display in his room.
    I’ve heard that some people do “roses and thorns” (best points and worst points of the day) which I like too.

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