11.27.13 Thanks & Links
photos by george billard
Gratitude is one of the many ways we can lift ourselves up. In my quest for greater inner peace, I have come upon this notion of giving thanks regularly and often. As the German theologian and mystic Meister Echkart says, "If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is 'thank you,' it will be enough." So on a daily basis I try to say thanks for all the things I might otherwise take for granted: the clean air I breathe and the lungs that make it possible; the time to write and the hands with which I do it...start anywhere, the list is endless. I used to catalogue everything I had to do in a day first thing every morning. Sometimes it led to excitement, others to panic and despair. But it never brought me the same comfort and joy as when I lie in bed for a few moments upon waking and allow my mind to roam over all the blessings in my life. In this way, every day becomes Thanksgiving, at least for a little while.
I am grateful for my family and friends. They give me suppport, inspiration, laughs, a sense of belonging. Seek out community. We all need genuine connection to feel whole. Online is good, but eye contact and a real hug are essential. Give love and open your heart to receive. Allow yourself to be vulnerable, for in so doing you will reveal your true beauty.
Be willing to dream and never give up on what you really want. I divorced twice and was widowed before I was ready for the relationship I had always dreamed of, but I learned from my mistakes...eventually.
Take pleasure where you find it. Use all your senses. Move and stretch your body and feel the glorious flow of your blood and the beating of your heart. Bury your face in your kitten's sweet tummy fluff. Eat a roasted sweet potato with spicy olive oil and sea salt. Laugh your head off. Listen to your favorite music, and sing along with abandon. Leave irony and cynicism on the shelf, just for a day, as an experiment. (It can be scary but revelatory.)
I am grateful that you are here with me on this adventure that began almost 4 years ago. Through it I have connected with so many wonderful kindred spirits and also with my writing, which is to say with a universe within. I have learned so much, but mostly that there is so much more to learn. I hope you will continue with me on this journey of discovery.
And, on that note, some recent discoveries I'm eager to share with you. I hope you take time to relax over the next few days and are able to follow a few of these uplifting links:
A stunning reminder of the true nature of love & friendship
A new take on traveling (and dating!)
A great opportunity to do good in the world
A mystical confirmation that we are all related
An inspired collection of female role models
Poetic proof of humanity's diverse beauty
A love story
A different look at love
Beards & chocolate
Things of beauty are a joy forever
I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving with minimal family stress and maximum coziness. xoxo