My Wish for You This Week Vol. 18: Reconnect with What You Appreciate

Occasionally on Mondays, I like to share a photo or two or a short video from my camera roll and a wish for others (and myself) for the week ahead. Since I know that not everyone uses Instagram, I also post them on the Optimistic Anthropology blog because the wishes often focus on themes we’re committed to in our work here - growing our sense of possibility, the power of changing mindsets and reflection, and of course observing the world, it’s beauty, and it’s challenges.  You can also check out previous wishes here.

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My wish for you this week is that when you are feeling grumpy, you are able to take a walk or do something else that helps you reconnect with what you appreciate about the world. The Fushimi Inari-Taisha is a Shinto shrine in Kyoto that is said to feature over 10,000 Torii Gates, which definitely felt like it was true. When I arrived, I’ll admit that I was feeling quite grumpy, and that I found the large number of tourists, many of whom were loud or were blocking the way to get pictures, quite frustrating. What I hadn’t realized was that there is an 2.5 mile long path that leads up Mt. Inari from the main shrine to a much smaller one. Virtually the whole path is lined with Torii Gates and dotted with smaller shrines featuring many smaller gates. Most of the bright orange gates were donated by businesses - because Inari is worshipped as the kami of merchants. Despite not having realized in advance that there was a lovely hike to be experienced, I embarked on it and was delighted to find that it didn’t take long for the throngs to disappear and for the world to quiet. That combined with the walking and upward trajectory which revealed birds including a pygmy woodpecker (though no monkeys) and views of Kyoto improved my mood markedly. And I fully embraced the Torii gates role of guiding me from “the mundane to the sacred.” Along the way, I was able to catch some nice photos of the gates and fellow walkers, and some flora and fauna. I never saw the woman in the first photo again, but I passed the gentleman in the second photo and then saw him at the top where we nodded and smiled in mutual appreciation. The selfie is me at the shrine at the top of Mt. Inari, I think you can tell the grumpiness has abated. #japan #kyoto #fushimiinari #taisha #mtinari #mountinari #torii #walking #travel #travelphotography #shrine #havelovewilltravel #optimisticanthro #adjacentpossible #bird #woodpecker #crows #blossom #flower #mywishforyou #wish

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Let me know what you think about this wish or share your own in the comments below or on Instagram where my handle is @AKGold11