Grace and Gratitude

If grace is a moment of awareness, gratitude is a spontaneous gesture of reverence and heart opening that arises with grace. It may be an everyday, ordinary moment or perhaps a big event you’ll remember always. Here are a couple questions for you to consider, and what’s happened with me….

When have you felt gratitude?
What comes to mind right now is a memory of my 40th birthday surprise party. Caught entirely off guard, I was carried into a huge wave of laughter and love that split me open and rearranged my molecules. Yes, I was wearing my crappiest outfit when I experienced molecular gratitude. (I really had no idea that 30 happy people were lying in wait.) I felt completely… here. Knowing the love and feeling the love, I burst into tears and nothing has been the same ever since.

What’s it like for you to receive gratitude from others?
I’ve been volunteering with a community of yoga and meditation teachers, at Spirit Rock. I have a fairly visible role, and after the first retreat… about 90 people thanked me. They thanked me repeatedly: they thanked me in groups; they thanked me individually. They thanked me volubly and unreservedly, after 10 days of silence. After the silence and meditation, my heart was wide open. It bowled me over to receive thanks. I’d been going along with the work, sometimes cranky and sometimes with ease and joy. Allowing gratitude to enter me profoundly shifted my understanding of what it means to be in service with sangha, or community.

What opens your heart with appreciation?
So much more than I can say… here’s to: singing, playing with my nieces, the ocean, spooning, restorative backbends, being with friends, walking outside, birth, breath, my sweetheart, laughing, a meal of squash soup…. How about for you?

Happy Thanksgiving! Buen provecho.

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