Advertisement

The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

Alchemical Gratitude

 

At the end of awesome weekend filled with spiritual sustenance, I am listening to  folk- rock queen- Lucinda Williams belting out Get Right With God in which she goes through a slew of deprivations and painful practices that some feel are requirements of redemption:
“I would risk the serpent’s bite

I would dance around with seven
I would kiss the diamond back
If I knew it would get me to heaven

(Chorus:)
‘Cause I want to get right with God
Yes, you know you got to get right with God

I would burn the soles of my feet
Burn the palms of both my hands
If I could learn and be complete
If I could walk righteously again

I would sleep on a bed of nails
‘Till my back was torn and bleeding
In the deep darkness of Hell
The Damascus of my meeting

I asked God about his plan
To save us all from Satan’s slaughter
If I give up one of my lambs
Will you take me as one of your daughters?”

 

I happen to have a different take. This God-loving, not God-fearing woman sees gratitude as a doorway to the Divine. Friday night found me in a processional of clergy celebrating the installation of two of my friends, Bill Marchiony and Dave Schpok as Spiritual Directors of New Thought Philadelphia which is a Science of Mind community. It is also affiliated with Agape International Spiritual Center in LA; guided by founding minister Rev. Michael Beckwith. These two men are dedicated to love in action. Music and love wafted through the air, powerful words of inspiration and dedication sunk into my willing-to-hear-heart.

Today, I immersed in what I like to call love soup as my friend Cindy Greb, an artist, photographer, healer, minister and writer (also a Beliefnet Blogger who pens Blessings Abound )   made a return visit from her new home in Crestone, Colorado. She spoke at Pebble Hill which is one of my spiritual homes and where we met back in the mid 198o’s.  Today’s theme was A Celebration of Thanksgiving and wasn’t about the upcoming holiday, but an awareness of our daily gifts and graces.

Rather than speaking about gratitude, she told us what she was grateful for in 5 minutes; squeezing 95 of them in. Things like family, friends, food, animals, the mountains in her new home,  health, work that she enjoys…..I found myself nodding as I rattled off my own list in my mind; many in line with hers. Her visit was on my gratitude list.

Photo: Cindy, speaking her gratitude list. I think there were 92 of them.

The other speaker was Kalie Marino, therapist, teacher of A Course In Miracles, minister and author of  Breaking Free From Critical Addiction- Our #1 Social Disease. She shared that appreciation is a core component of any loving relationship and that full presence with who or whatever is before us, is essential. I see it as alchemical and can transform any negative or painful situation into something meaningful and blessed. Kalie knows that of which she speaks, since her son was shot and killed by a police officer a little more than a year ago. When it occurred, she and her husband were able to say “Thank you, God” even in the face of something so horrific and unthinkable and they KNEW that something good would come of it. It did indeed, as greater awareness of the needs of those with mental health diagnoses,  and reform in the police department occurred.  They were able to find a sense of peace and forgiveness with the officer who certainly hadn’t begun his shift contemplating what would transpire by the end of the day.

She used the example of anticipating eating pumpkin pie. Before you do, you can taste it, smell it, imagine it as if you are indulging in it. When it is actually in front of it, are you really enjoying it as fully as possible, or is your focus elsewhere? If you can re-direct your attention to it, how much more would you appreciate it? Moving on, Kalie spoke of a study that was done, to determine the impact of gratitude on quality of life. Three groups were involved. The first journaled about daily life events. The second complained about what was wrong with their lives. The third kept a gratitude list. At the end of the study, (no surprise), those in the third group were more likely to have higher levels of optimism, alertness, productivity and love and lower incidents of depression.

Photo: An attytood of grattytood!

 

She encouraged us to express appreciation to the people in our lives on a daily basis and I add, to ourselves.  With that energy, what couldn’t we transform?

 

 

Previous Posts

Sara's Smiles- Lift The Cloud, Inspire The Joy
  The Philadelphia Flower Show is an annual event that heralds the coming of Spring. This Winter weary woman who hadn't attended in decades, was eager to immerse in beauty. Little did I know that it would go far beyond the blossoms and butterflies that lent their color and wonder. I was offe

posted 8:01:28am Mar. 26, 2015 | read full post »

We Never Know Who We Will Touch With Our Words
It is no secret that I am addicted to words. As a career writer, I live and breathe their essence. They delight me to no end. They are the beat of my heart and the blood that flows through my veins. They are a source of emotional, spiritual and physical support. They feed my right livelihood work th

posted 2:31:37pm Mar. 24, 2015 | read full post »

Inhaling and Exhaling
Breathing is necessary in order to sustain our corporeal existence. Inhaling and exhaling, over and over. The average human takes 12 breaths per minute which comes out to 17,280 each day. This doesn't factor in times of exercise. It is something that most people do without even thinking about it, un

posted 9:39:37am Mar. 23, 2015 | read full post »

Love Is All I Am
Lately, the Muse has been waking me up long around 4 a.m. Not sure why, but when that happens, I know it is important to take dictation. And so I do. A name came through first- Tyler Goldsmith. He is the lead singer for one of my favorite folk/rock groups called Dawes. Then the words "Love is all I

posted 8:24:27am Mar. 20, 2015 | read full post »

Leap of Faith in the Face of Doubt
In the past few months, I have become increasingly aware of the power of spiritual practice to keep the rudder on my 'ship of dreams' guiding me steady on, so that I don't run it ashore. Just when I think I can be complacent and  refrain from keeping a watchful eye on the direction it is going, an

posted 10:14:29am Mar. 19, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.