What if we were always grateful instead of just one day or one month of the year? We have one day in November where we stop and give thanks. Typically it is a day where we consume too much food, experience the usual uncomfortable family dynamics and for some, a frantic day of shopping.
We eat and consume and buy and consume. What if we stopped for a moment and considered the non-material gifts we have? What if we ate substantially less and shared our over abundance to a local pantry or homeless shelter? What if we did all of this year round and not just one day or one season?
What if we shopped locally year round and supported local businesses? What if we remembered charities and non-profits throughout the year instead of giving only on Giving Tuesday? What if donated monthly to the local food bank or agency supporting children and families involved in child welfare?
I decided to recall what I was thankful for every day this November. I posted on social media the people, places, things, gifts, talents, experiences, etc. for which I was grateful. Some days came easily. Other days required some more reflection and thought.
On one day I expressed gratitude for some individuals who hurt me because without them I would not have learned resilience and independence. Not an easy thing to say or do but on this particular day, I was mindful of how independent I am. I don’t always understand why things happen the way they do and I don’t necessarily believe everything happens for a reason as if somehow preordained by some controlling force outside myself. On this one particular day I was able to express gratitude for this particular painful incident.
Let me share some of things for which I was thankful: trees, wildlife, the owls in our woods, a warm bed at night, people who “get me and my Sheldonness, good health and peace of mind, cataract surgery in 2017 and new eyes to see, no absolutes, no black and white rules which means less judgment and of course, the Big Bang because I’m made of star dust (and so are you!)
I’m also grateful for Francis, Clare, Teilhard de Chardin, Rohr, Starr, Richardson, Oliver, Bourgeault, Delio, Phillips, Pope Francis, Dalai Lama, MLK, Pema Chodron, Buddha, Ghandi, and Jesus. SoulCollage, Enneagram, Myers-Briggs and lectio divina, centering prayer, and zen.
Thankful for eagles and hawks, and for veterans who served in our armed services, for baseball, my peer supervision group for spiritual direction, and my tribe of friends. Profoundly grateful for those with whom I companion on their spiritual journey. Grateful for adventures like backpacking in the Rockies, space camp, zip lines, swimming with dolphins and stingrays, and parasailing. Grateful for the life of Sr. Pat, an Oldenburg sister I only recently got to know, who suddenly left this physical world for the world of spirit. I am grateful I learned to laugh with Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, Roadrunner, Scooby doo and others.
In gratitude for clean sheets, bubble baths, grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup – not all at the same time! The smell of freshly mown hay, summer breezes and starry nights and for firewood to keep us warm on winter nights. Grateful for music and musicians and for our fur babies – Duchess, Duke and Dobby.
I am grateful for you and your support of my musings. Thankful for followers to this blog and for those who follow me on social media. I am grateful for the prayer support and love of brothers and sisters on the spiritual journey. I am most grateful for the love and support of my husband and best friend.
For what and whom are you grateful? How do you express gratitude to the people in your life? Perhaps over the remaining weeks of the year you can begin a gratitude journal. Every day write one thing for which you are grateful.
I’m reminded of the song “All Good Gifts” from the musical Godspell: “We thank thee then O Father, for all things bright and good. For seed time and the harvest, our life our health our food. No gifts have we to offer for all thy love imparts But that which thou desirest, our humble thankful hearts!
All good gifts around us
Are sent from Heaven above.
So thank the Lord, oh thank the Lord for all his love.
I really wanna thank you Lord!
This blog is not intended to serve as individual spiritual direction. Spiritual direction and spiritual companioning is typically done face to face in a confidential setting. If you would like to explore one on one spiritual direction, or to experience group spiritual direction, please contact me. If you, your faith group, your church or your book club would like to know more about spiritual direction, please contact me. In the meantime, my hope is that the photos and this blog serve as a pause in your day, food for thought, or just a reminder to breathe in and breathe out all that is holy and good. The Divine Milieu is all around us. Thank you all for your prayers and support.)