images-1In the midst of concurrent events, some full of renewal and hope (Canada’s recent federal election, the upcoming Climate Conference…), and others of devastation and chaos (ISIS [better known as Daesh] attacks,  the plight of refugees, the Republicans in the States…), my family and friends in the US are about to celebrate Thanksgiving…

Thanksgiving is about Gratitude, right?  To me it always seemed to be.  A kind of upwelling of warm-heartedness, kindness, appreciation.  That’s one kind, for sure.  Not knocking that at all.  This form of Gratitude is transformative, uplifting…

Actually, as I feel into it now, I become a different person.  A lightness emerges around my vision, in my body.  The world is different, luminous, whole.  Wow.  I wasn’t expecting that!  Before you read on, take a moment to feel into what happens for you when you dive into Gratitude…deeply, entirely, sweetly.  Let me know what your soul and spirit respond. 🙂images-2

There are also other manifestations of Gratitude.  A while ago I cited the poet David Whyte.   Taking in to my soul and spirit the recent events, Whyte’s essay on Gratitude resonates even more deeply.  Here two 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.”   Total Being.  Aliveness.

“Gratitude…is the deep, a priori state of attention that shows we understand and are equal to the gifted nature of life.”   Presence and attention.   Regardless of the experience.  Groking the nature of life.  (In case you want more, here is a link to the essay in its entirety. )

Over the last several months I have been bringing attention and awareness to my habitual agitation, my tendency to feel buzzed, driven, push-pulled in many directions, sometimes to the point of franticness.  (I have written about this in Beyond Popcorn, and the inquiry continues to unfold.)

What is sweet about this, and what links to gratitude and thanksgiving, is that I find that am not beating up on myself, not trying to change, fix anything, or creating any “shoulds” around what I’m finding.  I just keep being awake in the presence of my insights and discoveries.  This acceptance is new for me, and feels like a great gift — and I am grateful 🙂  I am softening, opening to new ways of dealing with the habits, seeing the addiction in it, staying curious, experimenting…breathing!  Always good 🙂

imagesI thank my teachers and mentors, I am grateful to Being for nudging me, not judging me, keeping me pushing my edges, deepening my aliveness, my humility, my sense of being lived, rather than being in charge.

A friend and fellow journeyer just wrote a beautiful piece called Connecting with Paris Gently.  I recommend it highly, about staying connected and not overwhelmed.  “I feel people realize ordinary life is quite precious,” she wrote.  What many gifts we are given.  Thanks, Olivia.

Apropos thanksgiving: here a shot of the November bounty of our balcony planters: IMG_6824

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, and growth.  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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