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Posts Tagged ‘Gratitude’

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In contrast to the bitter cold and snow across other areas of the United States this week, we, here in the Pacific Northwest are enjoying a different weather pattern; and, this is the inspiration for today’s blessing:

Blessings Day 317: praise for this slender day sandwiched between a Wednesday and a Friday.

Praise for the sun blazing down a few more precious hours.

Praise for the singing chickadees, the humming flies and the errant bee who have stumbled on spring time in January.

Praise for the me who flings open the door to an emerald paradise and joins you.

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“Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.”  ~ Frederick Buechner

I believe, in between the pages of all of our lives, is invisible Grace.  Undeniable grace is at work always.  It doesn’t need our belief or faith in it to be made visible … but be made visible, it surely will be, if you are willing to see it.  

There was a morning I was shook awake by a loud bang.  I eventually made my way downstairs, opened the front door, and found a car on my porch.  I would come to see there were three cars spilled out like so many colored dice across my lawn.  As dawn broke, I would hear the songbirds herald the day – that was Grace.  

One day just before I started this blog, my son was in an ambulance racing to the hospital.  I hurriedly followed along in my car, rounded a bend, and saw Mt. Rainier in all her rapturous glory.  I wept with true gratitude in that moment.  That was undeniable Grace.

Look back on your life and see how it’s always held you, guided you, and somehow … against all odds … picked you up and set you down on the shores of calm water.  This is life’s golden promise and gift to you.  

Grace, simply is and always will be.

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My dear friend, Amy-rainflower, made this video of the Jeff Foster quote that I include below.  The video is only a couple of minutes long.  I have cried deep tears of knowing from both the video and reading the quote.  It is one of the most profoundly poetic pieces I have ever come across.

Your deepest longing has already been fulfilled, and you were the last to know.

Everything you have ever longed for is already present, here and now –

which is the last place you’d ever look. The miracle to end all miracles is happening,

and it is this moment exactly as it is. Yes – this, this is the grace.

Every breath. Each sensation. Every sound. That which has already been allowed in.

That which cannot be blocked out. Even pain, even boredom, even despair,

all those unwanted and unloved waves of human experience,

are finally allowed to flood into the space where ‘you’ are not, and have never been.

And the paradox is this: none of it can touch you anymore, not even the greatest pain.

And yet, and yet, you experience all of it, you feel it all more intensely than ever before,

unable to block it out anymore, unable to turn away. Who would turn away, and from what?

This is life in its fullness, no holds barred. So what is left but simple gratitude?

Gratitude for the fact that anything has ever happened at all. And if nothing ever happens again,

know this, dear friend – you have been here to witness the miracle of life.

You have known it. Tasted it. Felt it. Seen it.

The reflection of a waning moon in a car window.

The taste of still water.

The fragrance of cotton.

The silent depths of meditation.

The fierce intensity of fear.

Your grandmother’s bones.

It has been enough.

Oh, it has been more than enough. It has been too much, in fact.

Too much grace. And so the separate self turned away from it,

and looked for more, seeking a future that never came, and cannot come.

You’ve only been seeking yourself.

Awe and wonder, my friend.

Awe and wonder.

~Jeff Foster~

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Here’s a question from the weekly powerful question:

“How can I demonstrate my gratitude for a part of my body that I have judged as unattractive?”

Now before you even answer it, read this too:

“You may choose, of course, to work with the Question as you see fit. However, you might want to consider reflecting upon the Question without seeking a specific answer too quickly. If an answer is arrived at too soon, the answer is more likely to be based upon what you already know rather than what you might be able to discover over time.

Often times a Question itself can prepare you for something that is larger than you can now imagine or do. It can draw you more deeply into possibilities and the unknown rather than to an answer, particularly if the question is approached from the perspective of “what if” rather than “how.” You might, for example, ask yourself the Question at times when you are feeling emotions, such as fear, joy or sadness, and simply notice what you feel in your body or in your heart when you ask the Question. Then simply move on without attempting to come to an answer.

If you allow a question to maintain its creative tension, you might be surprised at what you discover!”

I love that on two levels, the powerful question and the asking to suspend a propensity to get in there and do something about it, adopt an easy fix, instead to be open to something beyond that first impulse.

If you watched the film What the Bleep Do We Know?!, you saw the main character write love notes on her body in the pivotal bathroom scene.  She wrote on the parts of her she previously saw as revolting.  Then she lay in the tub to soak these messages in.  I did that, too.  My kids, when they were younger, would exclaim to any body who’d listen: Mommy writes on her body. :)

There are parts of my body I’ve looked at and said yuk.  I’ve joked and said in my next life, I’ll come back with no cellulite.  But you know what — in this life all joking aside, I’m done with looking at myself physically, emotionally or otherwise and naming any part of me as bad, wrong, inadequate or not good enough.

These days, I walk a singular path and that’s the path of the heart.  This path only knows how to say yes.  Yes to life, yes to me, yes to love.  It doesn’t matter what word I write on my body or the sky for that matter, what matters most is a kiss of yes on my lips.  Yes to this precious physical vessel I have the privilege of inhabiting.  Yes to all of me.

A single put-down is a tiny insult to the framework of who we are.  Are you done with insults big and small to yourself?  I sure am.  I’m ready to embrace the many ways I now say yes to myself.

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Image by Bethie

I am taking this 30 day challenge and naming it a period of scattering seeds of blessings.  Who wants to do it with me?

Accept the 30-day “Blessing Way Challenge”

To accept this challenge, make a commitment to following these four steps for a period of not less than 30 days:

1. I will suspend all judgment and will, instead, bless every person and situation I encounter, both those I physically meet and those that simply come to mind.

2. I will actively search for the blessing in every circumstance and in those times when none can be found, I will trust that the blessing will be revealed when the time is right.

3. I will daily express an attitude of gratitude, for all the blessings in my life, even those I cannot see.

4. Whenever I feel stressed, pressed or confused, I will take a Blessing Breather, quieting my mind for a moment and focusing only on my breath, breathing deeply and slowly. With each inhalation, I will mentally affirm “I am so blessed” and with each exhalation, I will mentally affirm “I am a blessing to the world,” repeating the process at least three times and allowing my body to relax completely before returning to the task at hand.

I understand that in accepting this challenge, there is a distinct possibility that my life will be forever changed for the better.

I am willing to take the risk.

http://bettertobless.com/

I love all of this.  No. 2 is a good opportunity to practice the principle of “who knows what’s good, what’s bad”.  For those of you who have read the blog post here of the same name, this is the message behind an ancient Taoist parable.  Also, as my teacher says: sometimes the Field goes left to go right.  Who knows what the Field/Universe/God/Source/Spirit is up to — what surprises, blessings or hidden gifts await us that are clothed in the costume of a challenge or difficulty.  And at the end of this 30 days who knows what’s in store, who knows how we may be transformed by scattering seeds of blessings.

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shiva-aum

When you come before me, rejoice, because rejoicing implies that something
has happened which you desired. Come before me singing, giving praise, and
giving thanks, for these states of mind imply acceptance of the state sought.
Put yourself in the proper mood and your own consciousness will embody it.

If I could define prayer for anyone and put it just as clearly as I could, I would
simply say, “It is the feeling of the wish fulfilled.” If you ask, “What do you mean
by that?” I would say, “I would feel myself into the situation of the answered
prayer and then I would live and act upon that conviction.” I would try to sustain
it without effort, that is, I would live and act as though it were already a fact,
knowing that as I walk in this fixed attitude my assumption will harden into fact.

~Neville Goddard~

I love that – come before me singing, giving praise, and giving thanks.  This is the
essence of gratitude.  And what it lays witness to is the you that has embodied the desire.  No more lingering doubts now, it’s so much a part of you.  This is more than faith and greater than hope, it’s embodying the wish, the desire fulfilled.

Giving yourself to it as if it’s your one true love, fully and without reservation. So much so, that the dream fulfilled is no longer at arm’s length somewhere in the future.  Your internal landscape reflects the you that is living it now.  You feel it in
how you breathe and how you walk, there’s a lightness about you and an ease.
What is left now but to rise up singing and giving thanks!

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sunrise_apollo

It is possible that God says every morning, ‘Do it again’ to the sun; and every evening, ‘Do it again’ to the moon.
~G. K. Chesterton

And who was it who said: either everything is a miracle or nothing at all is?  I favor everything is a miracle.  What if we approached everything with that sense of wide eyed wonder, with a sense of openness and curiosity?

Imagine a possession of yours that you take for granted, it’s always there, you don’t give it much thought.  Now imagine that it was lost.  Years and years have gone by and suddenly you find it again.  You approach it now with that sense of reverence.  It’s a treasure now, isn’t it?  Something to be thankful for.  Once taken for granted, now a sense of gratitude washes over you.

Imagine if we lived seeing with those new eyes of reverence, wonder and gratitude everyday.  Imagine, indeed.

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