An Invitation to an Evening of Gratitude in Action
In spite of the title, this blog is really a further unfolding of the courage to receive theme, since gratitude–genuine, full-bodied gratitude–can only be born through having fully received the gifts placed before us.
Leslie Young is the owner and president of Cliff Young Ltd, an interior design showroom in the New York Design Center. She is also one of my former clients–a woman who taught me more about the power of commitment and the power of gratitude– than I could’ve learned from a thousand self-help books. Now, Leslie is challenging my own courage to receive.
This post intends to be among other things an invitation to Meeeting a Miracle Halfway, a Workshop/Fundraiser for the Turn It Around Project. sponsored by Cliff Young Ltd, on February 1st, in New York City. The sponsorship is an expression of Leslie’s appreciation for the work we’ve done together that contributed to the birth of Isabella Grace, Leslie’s beautiful little girl.
Before I invite you to the workshop, I’d like to share some thoughts on gratitude as medicine and agent of healing.
As some of you know, part of my 9/11 Bowing Project is a commitment to bow in public place on the 11th of each month, which I have honored since September of 2007. The recent Arizona murders made my bowing particularly healing this past Tuesday. Still, the faces of the six people who died continue to haunt me. As sages of wisdom traditions remind us, when it comes to societal trends: Some are guilty but all are responsible.
So the question as always remains: What do I do in response to my grief and this idea of collective responsibility?
And in my ongoing Fertile Heart Ovum Birthing Practice I wake up to the same question each day: What do I do in response to any feeling that rises up in me?
For me, the overwhelming feeling weaved into pretty much every second of my day, is gratitude. Perhaps because I was born into a devastation of a post-world-war-II-environment,the idea that being alive is in itself an astounding gift, is a constant for me.
But unless I act on this feeling of gratitude, I can cry a river of thank-you-tears and it’s not going to make a hell of a lot of difference to anyone, is it?
As I see it, gratitude is an ingredient that can powerfully alter the Holy Human Loaf And yes, even alter it in the direction of conception. I’ve seen it happen.
The problem is you can’t require people to be grateful.
You can’t teach gratitude. True gratitude can only be conceived by a heart that’s opened. You can’t make gratitude a requirement in the classroom of life or any other school. You can only, if you’re a teacher worth your salt, create a structure that will gently move the student toward feelings of generosity. And life is a tireless master teacher. Over and over it attempts to soften the stubborn spine of our pride in order to open our eyes to the bounty before us.
But gratitude is not enough. What good are the 10,000 affirmations of our appreciation without a follow up action?
One of my CEO’s (Chief Executive Orphans) is the child that says: You’re on your own kid, so you better fend for yourself! As we prepare for the February 1st, event, and I see Leslie and her brilliant assistant Iliada work hard at pulling things together, my CEO is getting really uncomfortable.
The good news is, she doesn’t run my life anymore. As I do my Fertile Heart Guided Iimagery practice, and Body Truth, giving her more breathing room, I am able to see and receive the astonishingly generous acts of support from the many women and men I’ve been privileged to meet.
Leslie Young is one of those gorgeous mamas and I”m blessed to have been part of her journey. And there are many, many others.
Funny isn’t it? The scariest part is not that we won’t get what we want; the scariest part for the Orphan is that she gets exactly what she’s been starving for.
That’s why we have to keep practicing giving and receiving. To strengthen our Visionary receiver muscles for all the unfathomable gifts of the human experience. To fully receive them, and be so filled with appreciation that we HAVE NO CHOICE but acting on such feelings.
So, fear and all, I’m also getting pretty excited about this next step. Take a look at the wonderful flyer for this event created by Leslie and Iliada, come to the Fundraiser, and bring your friends. Don’t worry about the “funds” part, just come if you can. More than anything the evening is meant to move the project forward a few more inches. The Turn It Around Project feels more and more important and right to me. And I do need help with it. Thank you!!! for all the support I’ve already received from many of you. You can RSVP to me or to Iliada.
Perhaps this could also be a follow up on the beautiful gratitude thread started by Suzanne L. on the message board. What do we feel grateful for and how to we act our appreciation?