Gratitude

 

I occasionally feel the need to do something out of the ordinary to enhance my connection to the Divine.  Sometimes it’s like checking in, but with formality.  Sometimes it’s taking a risk in the hopes of deepening the relationship.  Sometimes it’s putting myself in a situation where Mystery is likely to reveal itself.

Usually this kind of urge can be fulfilled by taking some quiet time on my own.  Sometimes it’s about sharing experience and I’ll set myself up to do a workshop.  Then there’s the fellowship experience where Mystery happens because a group of people get together for a common Spiritual goal.

I have plenty of venues for this shared group experience.  I have my women’s circle where we get together monthly and explore various aspects of the Divine.  I have several groups I visit for holiday celebrations and community gatherings.  I have retreats and festivals that I will visit once or twice a year.

Seeking out the Divine in this way is never a sure thing.  I find that the more expectations I hold the less likely they are to be fulfilled.  I find sometimes it is the quiet small things that have a large impact, and sometimes it is the huge energies of a community 100% committed to an intention.  There are times when it is the music that inspires me and times when it is the silence.

All of that introduction to reference the camping I was doing last week.  Camping is a significant physical challenge for me.  I struggle with the weight of the gear simply loading and unloading.  I find it hard to sleep pain free in my bed at home, much less on a camp bed.  I have asthma and being outside can be glorious, and it can cause serious problems.

Last week the weather was perfect.  Cool evenings and sunny warm days, not too hot.  A full moon on Friday to gently watch over us and light up late nights around the campfire.  The oak grove in which we were camped provided a canopy of shade and a feeling of being held in the arms of the trees.  It was an ideal setting to touch the magic of Mystery.

All of that and there was no earth shattering revelation moment for me.  Instead I was treated to a sense of my own humanity, my own vulnerability.  I had so much support in this camp.  I didn’t set up or take down my tent.  I didn’t pack in a kitchen.  I didn’t have to cook every meal or spend all my time keeping an eye on the kids.  I was given the opportunity to do a workshop and encouragement to continue doing that kind of work for the community.

I was also blessed with the opportunity to watch a community transform itself.  When this camp started most of the people were holding back, unsure of the personal dynamics.  There were a lot of things different than in previous years.  But people also came with a willingness to be willing.  People opened their hearts and shed their hurts and fears.  They came together in support of each other.  I wasn’t the only one who felt truly supported by this camp.

So I am back in my life and filled with gratitude.  I’m grateful for all the physical help I got.  I am grateful for the encouragement.  I am grateful for the time with old friends and the new friends I’ve made.  I am grateful for the weather.  I am grateful for the sharing.

I think that gratitude is one of the most nearly Divine of human emotions.   It may be more gentle than earth shattering, but I find that gratitude opens me up like nothing else.   Perhaps it is in gratitude that we truly allow the light of the Divine to shine through us.  I’d like that.

Blessings

 

 

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About lisaspiral

I've been writing and speaking about spirituality to small groups for years and am looking to expand my horizons. Hopefully this blog will inspire you to expand yours as well.

Posted on August 15, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I agree….gratitude and its companion joy

  2. I loved reading your post and feel the same in so many ways. Much like you do, I hold a lot together on a daily basis and sometimes it is just humbling and nice to allow community to support me and learn that I can enjoy life and just be. I appreciate what you wrote here and it is so incredibly well said. Thank you for illustrating it with such grace… today and every day.

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