Thanksgiving is such a great holiday. Not because of turkey and trimmings or family and football, although these may add to the enjoyment of the day for many of us. No other holiday places such a priority on gratitude. On Thanksgiving day, we give thanks for all of the gifts that continue to stream into our lives on a daily and yearly basis.
Thanksgiving reminds us to be grateful and graceful. These two terms are related. They both have to do with receptivity. Everything in our lives is a gift, starting with life itself. A gift comes to us, ultimately, from a mysterious source and without us having to earn it. Why were we born in the first place? The chance to experience the richness of this life is a gift. We may not know where we came from or how we got here. Chances are we did nothing to earn the privilege of life. Neither did we have to earn the affection of those who have loved us from the beginning. Love is a gift that keeps enriching us from moment to moment.
To be graceful means to receive the gifts that come our way fully, completely--with open arms and an open heart. No struggle. No questioning. No wondering if we got dealt a good enough hand or why we didn't get more. It would be wise to begin any meditation or visualization regarding abundance by acknowledging the fact that we have already attained it. Whether we know it or not, abundant gifts have already been bestowed upon us. For one, we have made it this far. If we have food, clothing, and shelter, we are gifted. If we have talents that we know how to use in the world, we are gifted. If we have people whom we love and who love us in return, we are gifted. And if we have the use of our faculties and relatively good health, we are especially gifted.
We admire those who are graceful. These exceptional people move through the world artfully, creating beauty and warmth wherever they land. At the heart of such grace is gratitude. Let's give thanks for every gift that comes into our lives, even those that may be disguised as challenge or hardship. In retrospect, some of the greatest obstacles that we encounter turn out to be our greatest opportunities. That is why one of the nine intentions in The Pledge, which many of us recite on a daily basis, states:
On this Thanksgiving, I want to express my gratitude for the extraordinary grace that has been bestowed upon me. Every day, I wake up thinking, "Wow! How can it get any better than this?" And then somehow, it does! Last year, I thought my life had reached its pinnacle: Deep Creativity was about to be published, 30 years after its conception. This was the culmination of my life's work, and I felt complete. Global Chant, which I started in 1996, had built its own momentum, with several groups running themselves happily and independently of my efforts. People were contacting me on a regular basis to report the benefits of Repose, which I consider to be one of the most remarkable gifts to come into my life and that I have been able to share with others. My life was not just good; it was wonderful!
And then, out of the blue, I met the woman of my dreams. A year later, I am engaged to be married to my beloved Maria Mendola , who is my match in every regard. If I had asked the universe to find me a partner that is perfect for me--my equal and my complement in every regard--it would have been her, without a doubt. But I didn't ask, I didn't pray, I didn't visualize. Maria found her way into my life and my heart with no effort on my part. She is a true gift for whom I give thanks on a daily basis--sometimes many times a day. I am grateful for this blessed life I lead, which includes the presence of supportive individuals like you. So, on this Thanksgiving holiday, all I can say is: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!
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