Thursday, November 22, 2012

Are You Truly Thankful?

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”
~ Thornton Wilder

What is it to be thankful? Really.

I mean, we all say we are thankful for the people, things, opportunities, successes, loves, etc. in our lives, but there's a difference between "playing the role" of being thankful — listing all the things in our lives in a very ego-driven way — and truly feeling the deep seated peace complete and genuine gratitude brings.

An exercise that might help you understand what I'm talking about is one I did the other night during Yoga class. My teacher asked us to sit quietly and feel our energy sources (shakras). Without getting into all of that, in simple terms, feel the energy in our bodies, our fingers, toes, the crown of our heads and the spot right between the eyes (as some might be familiar with, the "third eye") ... our intuition.

She then asked us to think of three things we are most thankful for, but to not just think of them in terms of words or images ... but to FEEL them inside. 

So, today, find a spot, even for two to five minutes, close your eyes, feel your breath moving in and out and the energy inside you ... then begin to expand on that feeling to highlight all the things you are truly grateful for. For me, it was my health, my family and my friends.

When I felt my health, I actually felt my body alive, breathing, existing, being. And I imagined filling myself up with a white light of love and gratefulness for my body, heart, soul.

When I switched gears to my family, I felt them inside, my parents, brother, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins. I felt them as energy, connections, love ... extensions of myself. And I sent out more gratitude. Same with my friends ... I thought about the old connections I had, the ones who will stay with me always, even if they're not physically present. I thought of the new connections in my life, what they bring, how they nourish it in different ways. And then offered that affection and thankfulness to the universe.

There was never an ego thought about what I'm lacking, what I wish was different, etc. It's a acknowledgment, a "knowing" that everything I truly need is with me right here and now. Is inside me.

The best way for me to describe what thankfulness means to me is ... it's a feeling, almost overwhelming, of love, peace and appreciation that almost hurts, it's so strong. I try now not to infiltrate it with negative self talk such as "I don't deserve any of this," "I'm too lucky," etc. and try to leave my mind out of it.

The result is humility itself, pure and untainted, without the mind involved whatsoever.

So, as I help my mom prepare our meal today, staying ever present and offering appreciation to every piece of food from the earth that will, in turn, nourish my body, which will, in turn, keep me healthy and alive to emanate a different kind of nourishment, I will continue to not only feel thankfulness ... but be gratitude itself.

Imagine what the world would be like if we all were, every single day of our lives.

Happy Thanksgiving my friends <3


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