I take credit for none of this.
I've had a few stunningly rotten things happen to me in my life, and when I saw them through, it was because infinitely better things were waiting for me on the other side. I think that in the times when I didn't push myself towards what was right for me, God gave me the push instead, and then used me later to help others going through similar situations.
I think I also leave myself open for blessings all the time. I can't count how many times something great happened simply because I asked for it. Example: I was in a play where a few solo singing lines hadn't been cast. I asked about them, found out there would be an audition, and at the end of the next rehearsal, mentioned that I was interested. One week later, without any auditions, I was given the part. Why? Because I expressed interest and showed that I was ready for it. When the time came to cast the part, I was the one who stuck in the director's mind; and so I had an instant solo.
I believe that open lines of communication are the answer; in allowing the door to your heart to be wide open to new experiences, to new adventures, to new sorrows, new joys. I see God as a Creator and so I can connect to Him through my painting, through making a joyful noise, through planting and working in the garden. I started a mission of chalking inspirational messages on the sidewalks in Mindowaskin Park this summer. And I started learning yoga, which teaches me so much about relaxing and being still and listening.
I also notice the blessings that are all around me and acknowledge them... maybe I lead a normal life but I choose to think I'm blessed because I see all the little things as blessings: a hot cup of my favorite tea, a beautifully colored leaf; a long-distance call, a favorite song on the radio. God has blessed me so many times, in so many ways, that all I can say is thank you, and to enjoy it to the fullest; and to try to pass it on to everyone I see.