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Beginner's Heart

via wikipedia

via wikipedia

Today is the last day of Thanksgiving month, although I’ll continue to keep my gratitude journal. While this past month has been public, I’ve kept a gratitude journal for years now.  It’s too rewarding a habit to give up now!

What I’ve discovered this month — even though I’ve been journaling everyday gratitudes for years — is that all my everyday gratitudes stem from big things: the help from my family over a big Thanksgiving, the technology my beloved has to help me maintain, the birds that come to the feeders we’re able to keep filled, even the waddling fat possum that cleans up the spilled seed nightly!

One thing leads to another. And if you put out good — in so far as each flawed & fallible one of us is able — it will come back to you. I promise. Not, perhaps, in a way you expected or anticipated. It may be that a passionate discussion of a book you love ends up, two years later, getting you a keynote speaker position for a conference. Or a kind word to a Starbucks’ barista may get you a free shot. Who knows? But if you put it out there? It’s gonna come back to you.

Each of the many gifts manifesting in my life this past month leads to another, kind of like reverse dominoes. When I began to untangle the web of my life, gently tugging at this thread and that, what I see is what I knew all along, but needed to be reminded of: everything (and everyone) is connected. It’s good Buddhism, but sometimes a reminder is in order. 🙂

via google

via google

So here’s what I’m grateful for today, as well as what I’ve learned this month: it’s all a web, folks. Life, causality, impact. What we do goes out, and comes back. Who we are is what we do is what we receive. Is that true for the negative? NO. I refuse to believe that the victims of horrible people doing horrible things are somehow complicit in their grief and pain. But those of us who stand by, refusing to become engaged? We are complicit.

It’s a hard lesson, and one I need to relearn periodically. But it’s a good one. Like the air I breathe — inhaled and exhaled by leaves and birds and the ocean and the long long dead — we are all part of a whole, connected by those very breaths. It’s a good month that reminds me to remember.

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