Dear Why Team member,
I hope this week’s message finds you in a spirit of thanks-giving. This week we explore this timely topic:
One of the most impactful discoveries of my life was the mental application of the opposite of a thought or perception. I found that there was much to be discovered if I explored the opposites of what I had come to believe was true. And while going through the exercise, I was reminded of teachings I had heard that previously made little to no sense to me. For example, we are told in the ancient text that we are to love our enemies. Well, that certainly sounds like the opposite of what we would normally do, but when we come to understand that our supposed enemies are really more of an enemy to themselves, hurting and lashing out from their pain, we come to see that what they need most is our love and compassion, not more of what they expect. But if we do not explore these opposites, we may not come to discover more amazing and empowering ways to live and be of service to the ones around us.
Another ancient teaching is that to gain your life, you must lose it.
Wow, now that’s a challenging one, but when we consider how attachment breeds fear, we can see that when we no longer fear the loss of our physical life, we can more freely live in the abundance of being alive now.
Relative to this week’s theme, let’s consider another ancient teaching that most everyone knows:
“It’s better to give than to receive.”
Hmm, that sure doesn’t seem right, especially since all we experience in the first part of our life is receiving. How many times have you heard parents defend their self-centered youngsters: “We’re still learning how to share”? But if we’re fortunate, in time, we will come to learn another powerful opposite- that we only keep what we give away. What? That doesn’t sound right. Well, consider this, that which piles up in the basement or in the barn serves no one, including the one who piles it up. Any security we may feel from our piles of possessions can do more to entrap us than to set us free; one may come to travel and explore less as they seek to stay home and protect more.
My experience has been that the more I give the more I receive. Here we go again with another opposite. This is not to say that we give to the point of destitution and end up dependent on others. One of our greatest gifts to others is to not become financially dependent on others. Gifts, of course, don’t have to be material. Think about all you can give. How many times all was given to you was a smile and a kind word? A warm hand and a shoulder to cry on? Did those not matter more than a pot of gold?
Of course, there is a “Why” behind all giving. Some give to gain an identity: look at me and how I give, aren’t I such a good person to give and give?! This kind of giving is more a creative way to get and comes more from a place of lack than abundance; they may be materially rich but spiritually poor. Those who give from a place of abundance, even if all they give is a smile, seek no response to their giving, even giving anomalously. Consider, if this isn’t already a practice of yours, giving anonymously and exploring that experience for yourself. Even the ancient text suggests not to let the left hand know what the right hand is doing. Hmm, another strange teaching when compared to the world in which we live.
Tomorrow is my favorite holiday:
I have such fond memories of Thanksgiving. As a kid I remember the huge family get-togethers, hugs and laughter, a celebration of life - and now with my own family, enjoying the Fall season, smelling the food and watching the parade with my kids. It’s a holiday that just celebrates being; being present, being with family and being grateful.
Notice the challenge to commercialize Thanksgiving. Not a whole lot of products being sold when we are coming from a place of thanks. Notice how the Christmas displays come out right after Halloween- now Christmas is a Holiday for selling stuff. I do love Christmas; the music, the spirit and the giving of gifts, but notice the difference in giving gifts versus giving thanks. Gratitude can be expressed in words and thoughts alone.
How much thanks do you give?
How much thanks can you give?
Do you live in a spirit of Thanksgiving? If not, why not? Consider waking up more intentionally, your most powerful tool for living an abundant life, the recognition of how rich you are right NOW. We are all rich beyond belief, so where are our riches? They are often beyond our current beliefs.
Ben Stein once said that the only true get-rich-quick scheme is to be thankful.
I often speak and write on the importance of a gratitude list. It is a discipline of mine to begin every day in a spirit of Thanksgiving. I add to my gratitude list every morning, and I am now endeavoring to do-so every evening as well before bed. Steeping in gratitude overnight can only be a good thing; likely to improve my sleep as well. Consider your list and all that it can help you notice and appreciate.
Maybe this year’s celebration of Thanksgiving could flood over into all the days that follow and fuel your absolute best year ever;
2019 - The Year of GRATITUDE.
Wow, what could be possible from a lasting spirit of Thanksgiving?
I hope this week’s message has provided perspective that will help enhance for you this wonderful holiday. I give thanks for you - and wish you and yours a very...
Let’s make it our best ever!