It's Thanksgiving and I am feeling grateful. In fact, I'm often feeling and voicing my gratitude. Did you know that gratitude practice is a powerful path to happiness? I also believe gratitude leads to a profound sense of trust in life. I say a blessing over my food at every meal as well as "Reiki" my food. My most recent version is this: "I take you in, as a blessing and in gratitude and allow you to come into my body and do the good work you are going to do." Five years ago I began a daily vocal practice of gratitude combined with asking for help in the places where I need it for myself or help for others, and specific situations. This practice has taken on a powerful life of its own and is a daily gift. In thinking of what I am thankful for, my gratitude practice is what stands out the most as it connects and opens me to the depth of love and healing connection with others and all creation. It allows me to see what is good in the world. In my daily practice, I feel and voice gratitude in great detail for more than it's even possible to name-my loving family; friends; the sanctuary of my home; my ability to care for my needs and others. I say gratitude for our planet; all people; the elements of earth, water, fire, air; the flowers, trees, birds, sky, animals, sea creatures, insects, reptiles, birth, breath, life, death, rushing waters; mountains, rain, snow, warm breezes; rainbows; ocean waves breaking; rushing waters; still clear pools; rocks; the soft earth between my toes. I voice gratitude for loving connection, communication, joy, gentle kisses and sweet cuddling, smiles, laughter, tears and deep emotion. And, I cry and feel my feelings. My gratitude is never-ending.
When I experience difficult people or frustrating situations, I step into my place of "grateful heart-mind". This is when I open my heart and stretch deeply as my mind speaks, "I am so grateful you are here, on the planet; you have so much to teach me."
Throughout the day, the practice takes on a life of its own; showing up in every situation, conversation and interaction. When I experience difficult people or frustrating situations, I step into my place of "grateful heart-mind". This is when I open my heart and stretch deeply as my mind speaks, "I am so grateful you are here, on the planet; you have so much to teach me." When I do this, I can breathe; my Sympathetic Nervous System calms and imagined separation dissolves; my "grateful heart-mind" guides me to connection, understanding and acceptance of what is, as I let go of judgment- no matter how challenging the person or the situation. It is a holy gift to be able to step into this place of peace and do the work that is also required to heal and repair what is broken.
I have so very much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving, 2016. What comes to mind, in this moment- my son, back in the U.S. for a 3-month stretch, filling my small cottage with his shoes, skateboard, keyboard, Mandarin language books, his beautiful music and love; connection to my beautiful daughter and her loving partner-living, growing and thriving in Asia; my parents, a few miles up the road-in their ninth decade; aging with vitality and grace; the screech owl in the nest box, outside my bedroom loft; right livelihood as I continue to grow through a powerful gift of healing transformation; dear friends and some of the deepest, loving connection I have ever experienced; food in my belly; a warm safe place to sleep, live, love, meditate, pray and do my healing work; Qigong; the waterfall on the nearby trail; clean air to breathe and the clarity and vitality to treat my life as a work in progress; creating, adapting, growing, intuiting and letting go when I am called to do so.
We each play a significant role in this life; every being on the planet. I am so grateful you are here.