Giving great thanks

Screen shot 2015-11-25 at 2.16.37 PMWhat can we say of thanks-giving that has not already been said?

The best thing about remembering to give thanks – even in a formalized way through a national holiday (even one based on falsely concocted national myths) – is that it encourages many of us to shift our attention from our personal sorrows, fears, and desires to a bigger picture.

It helps us shift our lens from our mind to our heart, from the eyes of calculation for what we can get, to  the eyes of appreciation for all we already receive.

For some it is e a time of appreciating those closest to us. For others it may go further to include thanks for the simple amenities of life we take for granted – hot water, safe housing, enough food. For others the appreciation may extend further, to the bounty of the Earth that is the support of all life, despite how we abuse her. And for some it may go even further, to Existence itself, the very miracle of Being that brings us all into this moment of experience – whether that moment is pleasurable or not.

For the truth is that every moment is an out-breath of something we cannot fathom, a mystery greater than we normally even pause to consider.

Is it appropriate to thank that which breathes us into existence – we and the entire universe? Are thanks in order? Or is it something more like humility and awe?

Can we stop our mental calculations long enough to look up to witness such a bigger view?

And what purpose does that serve?

I believe humanity is moving in a direction of inclusivity, away from the ground rules of separation that have caused so much chaos and suffering for so long.

The impulse to remember what we are grateful for is a moment of inclusivity in larger and larger circles of connection. It is a moment of recognizing our interdependence, and that the ultimate reality we are part of is totally out of our hands – and yet is a blessing.

The impulse to give thanks helps us to remember that self-reliance (the great myth of our culture) is a delusion, and that we are all co-participants and co-creators in a great dance so vast we cannot see its pattern or its edges.

We do not know how the steps of our lives contribute to the pattern of the dance – because we cannot see the big picture and we’ve been given no rules to follow.

But I am sure that every step you take and every step I take in our seemingly separate lives, and every occurrence on this and all worlds, are all part of that dance, whose beauty and meaning are continually emerging in patterns we cannot comprehend.

And I trust that some great Eye is witnessing it all and giving thanks.

The Paradox of Gratitude – The one thing you need to know

Screen shot -Golden eggDo you know that wonderful Leonard Cohen song – the one where he says, “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in”? 

That is so profound, it gives me chills.Don’t we think we are cracked, that the world is cracked? Don’t we reject what we think is wrong with ourselves, with our lives? I know I’m guilty of that over and over.
And yet… what if those very things we reject are what we NEED?Are precious experiences by which our souls grow?

Now look at the image above, of the egg, full of cracks.

Instead of letting the light in, in this case, it’s how the light gets OUT!

Because there’s treasure inside that egg… just like there’s treasure inside each one of us. Just like there’s treasure inside of you.

Your soul is a treasure, your essence is a treasure, the gifts you brought into this life are treasures. But in order to find them… sometimes we all need to crack a little. Because they can be buried within.

The paradox is that we are being called to be grateful not just for the things we think of as “good, fortunate, pleasurable.” Not just for our successes and joys..

No, from the perspective of the soul, we should be grateful for ALL our experiences – including the cracks in our lives, and in the world.Each of those “cracks” is here for a reason, to develop our deepest capacities for love, joy, courage, strength, and compassion. They are not mistakes. We didn’t do anything wrong .As souls on an amazing journey of development and evolution, expansion and contribution, we are supposed to participate in the full spectrum of life experience. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be incarnated at this time.

The wonderful secret is this: As we embrace this truth and open to our experience with acceptance and gratitude, we flow into alignment more and more with the frequency of our Higher Self. We come into resonance with our purpose.  We start to know who we truly are. 

As we stop resisting and are able to say a heartfelt Yes to this adventure of life, life itself starts to transform and reflect the beauty of what is shining  through from within us  – through the cracks!
If you practice nothing else but choosing to feel Gratitude for every event in your life, to look for the light shining through the cracks, making yourself available to that light even when it seems the darkest – this alone will transform your life. Guaranteed!

Gratitude vs. Reverence

I wanted to share with you this image that I found in my camera today. It so perfectly reflects how I feel about all there is to give thanks for: The beauty and grace of nature, the magic of light and space, earth and water. The mystery of all that we are given.And the capacity for reverence of the human soul.I had an insight today thinking about reverence. I saw that Reverence is the deeper dimension of Gratitude.

While being grateful for our material and mundane blessings – having enough to eat, a roof over our head, physical health – is a huge step forward in realization of the things we normally take for granted, reverence goes one step further in noticing the mystery that such things exist at all, and noticing that we did nothing to earn our blessings.

Gratitude keeps us from being cavalier about our blessings.

Reverence humbles us before our blessings.

So gratitude is being conscious of our blessings, while reverence is being conscious of the SOURCE of those blessings. It takes us to an even more profound relationship to our life.

May you be blessed and safe this holiday.  And may magic, mystery, and reverence always have a place to live in your heart.