I am so grateful to you. For stopping to read this post. For taking the time to read these weekly love notes and hopefully relax a bit because of my words. For living your life in the most conscious, loving, awake way possible. The world needs loving, awake people; it’s the only chance we’ve got.
My offering to you on this snowy day (lights have been blinking but power’s still on!) is a portion of the chapter on gratitude from my book Crazy World, Peaceful Heart.
Because while tomorrow is a day dedicated to gratitude, in truth every day is an opportunity to be grateful for all of the large and small ways we are supported. Even if it’s simply the chair beneath your tush in your worst possible moment, remember that you are always supported. And love truly is all there is.
So here it is; enjoy, and thanks.
Sanctify Daily Life With Gratitude
Mother Theresa is famous for having said, “We may not be able to do great things, but we can do small things with great love.” This may be the wisest hidden-in-plain- sight spiritual truth of all — it is the quality of attention we bring to what we do that brings the juice of holiness to every action.
We hear a lot about gratitude these days, but have you really thought about what gratitude is and why it is so powerful?
On the most basic level it makes us feel better to think about and appreciate all that we have in our lives — a roof over one’s head, enough food to eat, people who love us warts and all, a hot shower to help us start the day — than to focus on what we don’t have, which often just leads to a pity party.
On its deepest level, gratitude is a way of taking our place in the circle of life. It shows that you acknowledge you are here for a reason, a unique and complex piece of All- That-Is. There is a prayer that is said by religiously observant Jews each morning the very moment they become aware of being conscious: “Thank You for mercifully reawakening my soul within me, great is Your trust.”
WOW — Great is Your trust. The life force awakens us with tremendous trust and mercy to do something worthwhile with our allotted time here. We acknowledge being given a fresh chance each day to do more good than harm, to add something positive to the collective consciousness, to offer our time in service to something other than our individual self.
What a privilege…what an honor…what a mantra for giving shape and direction to a day that might otherwise start with thoughts of “oh shit, today I have to…” You may still have those thoughts — worry is as much a part of life as anything — but when you shine the light of awareness on gratitude for the opportunity to be part of a larger energy, the worry thoughts slip further out to the edges where the light is not so bright.
Take a Hint From Moses
One of the most amazing things about the Jewish faith in which I was raised is that there is a blessing for everything…and I mean EVERYTHING!
It starts with the blessing for coming back to life each morning. There are blessings for wine and for bread, for washing hands before a meal, for seeing a rainbow, and for the first fruit of the season. There is even a blessing of gratitude for having a bowel movement, praising the Creator of orifices for their ability to work correctly (now isn’t that something to offer praise and thanks for—imagine if they didn’t?!?). It reminds us that everything is indeed holy, from the loftiest vision to the earthiest bodily function.
I don’t know all of those blessings the way rigorously observant Jews do, but my life is deliciously informed by the fact that they exist. The path of blessing is deep and wide, and we have only to step into its flow and sanctify as many moments of our lives as possible. With attention and gratitude, we remember that we are an integral part of All-That-Is and take responsibility for our impact on the whole.
Happy Thanksgiving…happy life!