Kelleia on Gratitude

photo credit: Dan Kitchens

photo credit: Dan Kitchens

Two days ago, a man broke into my home and stole $8000 of cash that I had worked my ass off earning as a dancer. He wrenched open the bug screen on my second story bathroom window with a crowbar, walked through my home, went into my bedroom, and took money out of my drawer. He walked out the front door. 

This was my cushion. This was my savings from months, years, of physically taxing and emotionally challenging labor. I am grieving. A part of me is gone. Dead. Lost. Yanked from me. 

I am angry. I am furious at this man for stealing from me. I am angry that our collective situation made it so that he is suffering and needed to break into my home and make me feel unsafe and violated. I could stay scared, as I was yesterday, leaving all my blinds closed, running the A/C, staying safe in my own bubble of latches and perceived containment. But that would be letting evil win. That would be letting this guy who stole my money win. And, I won’t let that happen. So instead, I am out on the same balcony where his shoe prints have dirtied the bamboo straw mat I got from my parents. I stand outside to water my flowers and plants. I sing loudly and use kapalabhati (a yogic “breath of fire” breathing technique that invigorates one’s energy) to cast protective forcefields around my home but really all just to make my presence seen, heard, and known. I am here. I am not shrinking; I am showing up even stronger in the face of adversity. I talked to the mailman yesterday, and now I know all my neighbors in my complex and even neighbors across the street. We’ve started becoming a community. My anger can be a gift.

I’m mad that all this money is gone. But now I’m going to work even harder. I’m going to make it all back and more. I’m not going to perpetuate this cycle of living off of other people’s hard work and charity, thinking the world owes me something. I’m not going to start a Kickstarter. I got this. This is a learning opportunity and now I get to rise to the occasion. Be smarter. Be more thoughtful with my spending. Be more vigilant in my observations of my surroundings. The Universe wants me to win, and this is her giving me tough love. I am rolling up my sleeves and getting to work.

This guy must see justice. He has been trying to break into multiple apartments and cars, and we have his face on tape from the neighbor’s surveillance camera footage and his fingerprints he left on my window screen. We’re going to find him. I may not get my $8000 back, but now I see how fleeting possessions and material things can be. We just have to do our best in every moment and continue to fight the good fight. To work hard and stay focused on our goals. Trust and know that everything evens out. 

There is no end, there is no “everything will work out in the end”. There is only now. 

photo credit: Dan Kitchens 

photo credit: Dan Kitchens 

I’m grateful to this guy for bringing me back to what’s important. Reminding me to practice gratitude in even the most challenging times. Remember that I am taken care of. But also demand that my landlord install ADT and replace my window screen ASAP. 

And now, I am smiling at the hummingbirds outside. The bees are visiting the lavender flowers on the tree outside my balcony. I had a good sweat at the gym this morning with my best friend. I’ll soon have a good cry and a good scream. I feel it all. I make more beauty because I feel it all. I get to be basic with my family and eat popcorn and watch silly YouTube videos that make us laugh. I own my power. We get to be the queens and kings we are. Our pets show us unconditional, sweet love. There is so much variance in life and there is so much to be grateful for.

Give and give and give. Be nice to people. You never know what they’re going through. Justice will be served to this man, and in the meanwhile I’m going to keep giving love to all my friends. 

[learn more about Kelleia at]