It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Happy Thanks-Giving week!! And, the beginning of our Holiday Season. I have an invitation for you. I am going to practice Thanks-Giving (or flipped around Giving-Thanks) this entire season through January 1st. Yep. This is my commitment to myself. An experiment of epic proportion. No matter what, at the end of the day I will sit and give thanks. (Note: given the pandemic fear and anxiety in the world, this effort/practice seems even more important for the collective).
YOU ARE INVITED TO JOIN ME.
How this works. Gratitude, or Giving Thanks isn’t selective. It is for EVERYTHING. Yep. All of it. It is the guy or gal who flips you off while driving down the street. The experience of being yelled at in the store. The family member who excludes you from the holiday meal. The anxiety you experience. The illness you are experiencing, or someone you love is. ALL OF IT. Let me go deeper into the explanation then give you some examples of what I’m talking about.
The explanation: The spiritual law is called The Law of Impermanence. Basically it means that everything we see is in flux, always changing, transitory. The moment in time when we are offended is just a moment. (Cue Taylor Swift Shake it Off) Then the moment is gone. The practice is to FEEL the offense until it dissipates, and it will. The experience of exclusion is also temporary. Again, don’t miss the step of feeling the exclusion yet allow yourself to leave it once felt. More important the exclusion provides guidance leading you to something better. The experience of loss is one half of the perception. Loss and gain are always together. Give yourself permission to look for both. Experience is temporary. But our Spirit isn’t. The practice, then is coupling or communing with Spirit while experiencing the transitory life.
Our practice: This year my friend Paul died. So did my friend Quinn. So did Phil. If they died during this practice would I be giving thanks for their death? With all of them I grieved. I cried a bit. I said good-bye in my own way. Then I sat down for the gratitude. If it were happening now, I would sit with the experience and ask myself, “what can I be genuinely thankful for?” My list would include:
we walked the planet at the same time together
we found each other on that walk
we talked God together, created together, and prayed together
we loved each other and that love continues through dreams, conversations, tapping into their Souls
they were really cool people who fully expressed themselves as themselves
they died consciously surrounded by people they love
As I make this list, my heart opens wider.
I am currently living in the neighborhood I grew up in. As I take my morning walks I see homes where friends used to live, yet don’t any longer. New families with their own memories are in the same houses. I am giving thanks a lot right now for my past. I see moments which once were and are no longer. As I do my thanks-giving I speak words for those who have been an active part of my past and the families in their former homes who I will never meet.
I also have the traditional list. Thankfulness for:
a friend who calls me during the day saying the perfect right thing
a friend who unexpectedly drops soup by as they had extra and thought of me
uncertainty if I am going to buy a specific coat because the price seems high then the shop owner offers half off
how quickly and easily it was to assemble the furniture in my new place
the ability to learn as I am developing an online course
a friend who invites me to Hawaii to stay in her paid hotel room. Woo. Hoo.
To be thankful activates a giving Spirit. As I am grateful I am easier to be around, happier, the energy has the potential to uplift others, and I can see the ever-givingness of Spirit. I thank, Spirit gives. Or, Spirit is always giving and as I become thankful I line up with It and see It. It gives ideas, relationships, gifts, joy, discounts (I find this funny, yet true), and open heartedness.
I send a blessing to everyone who reads these words.
Happy Holiday Season.