thanksgiving2012_500x375Gratitude and appreciation have not been front and center for me these last few weeks… whether it was the surge in the polls of the Conservative party; friends ill and dying, and the unmistakeable signs of aging at home; just a general settling in to the Core Condition: the humbling, challenging human paradox of being infinite — total peace, ease, space, love; while at the same time being bound in the body, structured, partial, stuck, imperfect.  (Oh, I have so wanted and tried to be perfect! 🙂  Just kidding.  Not!)

Anyway, for whatever reason, Thanksgiving, celebrated here in Canada the second weekend in October, kind of crept up on me… and found me a bit unprepared, or rather not really abounding in gratitude.  Still, here, now, on this Thanksgiving day, I want to articulate and share some musings on the season and sentiments.

At my NIA dance class on Saturday, the inspired and inspiring leader, Judy Unknown
, read a selection by the poet David Whyte, on Gratitude.  Thanksgiving is about Gratitude, right.  I’m supposed to feel this positive, upwelling of appreciation and maybe joy.  Well, I’m not!  So Whyte’s essay really landed with me.  Here a few excerpts:

“Gratitude is not a response to something given to us, gratitude is being awake in the presence of everything that lives within and without us.”   Not all brightness and light? Wow!

“Gratitude…is the deep, a priori state of attention that shows we understand and are equal to the gifted nature of life.”   Gratitude is something shown, but a state of presence and attention?  “Seeing to the heart of privilege” of being alive, he says elsewhere. Wow!

“Thanksgiving happens when our sense of presence meets all other presences. Being unappreciative means we are simply not paying attention.”  Well, that really fits.  I have been ducking out of being present in the last while.  So Wow, again. 

Here is a link to the entire selection.  Sit with it, let it soak in; see if it fits for you.

You might also enjoy an earlier post on the occasion of Thanksgiving that bubbles over with the upwelling kind of gratitude; full, glorious, heart-opening offerings.  It’s called “Gratitude and Joy In Spite of It All.”   You’re gonna really like some of the links 🙂

Many blessings, greetings, love and hugs to you all.  Happy Thanksgiving, and deep gratitude.

Jill Schroder is the author of BECOMING: Journeying Toward Authenticity.  BECOMING is an invitation for self-reflection, and to mine our memorable moments for insights, meaning, andgrowth.  Check the website for a sample chapter, or see the reviews to get a flavor for the volume.  Follow me on Twitter, let’s be friends on Facebook :-)


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