I have great admiration for those with the inner sense peace to take life as it comes and accept the disasters and foibles with as much grace and dignity as successes. They are truly the happiest and most content people on earth.

That sort of equanimity has not been my experience in life most of the time, but I’m encouraged that one can learn to develop this mindset. One of my mentors in that quest has been Vibha, an extraordinary woman from India who works internationally as a facilitator for the United Nations and other organizations but whose personal passion project is spreading the practice of being grateful as a constant part of one’s life.

Vibha visited our valley in January and put on three joy of gratitude introductory workshops (she’s coined the term joyshops). What was notable in these evening sessions was learning the brain science that showed the health benefits of gratitude and the practices that one can use at any time as a way of being in the present moment for whatever life is giving us. These sessions are all by donation and more than 60 people attended, including several of our Latino neighbors.

As a human being, she is one of the most gracious souls you will ever meet. She walks through the day like a cool breeze on a hot day. She’s an interesting, fun and wise individual.

Vibha fell in love with this valley and with the people she interacted with. She’s coming back to North Central Washington next week and we’ve scheduled three introductory workshops so far in the Wenatchee and one in the Methow, plus an in-depth workshop.

On Wednesday, May 22, she’ll be at the First United Methodist Church from 6 -8:30 p.m., followed by a session at Cascade Unitarian Church from 6-8:30 on Tuesday, May 28, and then at Grace Lutheran Church from 6-8:30 on Wednesday, May 29. On June 5th, she’ll be in the Methow Valley Community Center in Twisp at 6-8:30 p.m. and will conclude her visit with a five-hour intensive workshop at First United Methodist Church from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 8.

These sessions are by donation only. She’s made this her life’s work because as she told me, it transformed her life from a highly stressed mode of being to one of embracing every turn in the road. What a wonderful way to live.

Those who are interested can check out the details by searching Facebook for Joy of Gratitude with Vibha and then register through an Eventbrite link for the session you want. If you want to learn more about her work, check out her Genuine Contact Space website, gcspace.org.