This past Saturday, five beautiful authentic women gathered in circle to sister one another. Our topic for the evening was “Gratitude as a Spiritual Practice”. What does that mean?
It’s easy to be thankful for the good stuff…. But our growth and honoring of our truths many times comes through the challenges we face – challenges that we have crafted albeit unconsciously, and are the teachers that fuel us and inspire us most deeply.
It’s no coincidence that this campaign season has culminated just as the season of Thanksgiving is upon us. We can be thankful for the simple things…. We can also be thankful for the challenges that help us grow in love. Our individual personal growth is critical to the growth of the community at large – nationally and globally…… as world citizens there is something much larger at play.
So it is very obvious to me that the election results are an indication for us to look at the shadow side of our shared lives together. It has also become obvious to me that it’s just as important to look at the shadow side or the challenges in our personal lives, including our relationships and how our lives look at any given time – because that is always in a state of flux.
Rob Bell, American author, motivational speaker and former pastor, talks about the “sacredness and holiness of our shared lives together” – this can be evaluated on a global scale, a national scale, or a personal scale…..
The intention in circle, was to help us each see our challenges and the things we resist in a different way, so that we can embrace the hardships that are really gifts – if we choose to see them from a different perspective. Remembering that we always have choice, a change in perspective can be all that is needed to create change in the joy we experience and the satisfaction we feel in our lives.
Wise words written 800 years ago can help you gain perspective…
A POEM from RUMI
The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
Some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture,
Still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
Meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
Because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.
This season, I challenge you to look at your spiritual beliefs and see if your actions match or measure up to what you say you believe to be true. I challenge you to find the opportunities present in times of growth. Deep growth truly happens when you dig in and do the work….. working through your challenges. Gratitude is viewing your hardships with the eyes of love. THIS is the great challenge for all of us… to apply love to the situations that most stir up inner fears. To be love when it’s challenging…. love of self, love of others… all the others that are here to help us see that faith is about walking your talk always and in all ways – THIS is the greatest challenge of all and THIS is how we live from our spiritual centers.
Imagine the Possibilities if You Stopped Resisting the Potential for New Growth
Imagine the possibilities if you stopped resisting the potential for new growth. What looks like a cloudy day is actually fertile ground for blossoming more of your divine potential… just waiting to express and beautify your life! Imagine your challenges as seeds waiting to blossom. Water these seeds with gratitude instead of fear, hate or ignorance. Face the beauty of life all around you instead of turning your back on the gifts of your hardships. Resistance keeps you stuck. If and when you are able to face your fears, you will see them as gifts from Spirit. Use your heart to lead the way… you already KNOW how, just allow yourself to remember…..