Volume 9, Issue 2 | February 2020
This month’s newsletter provides much food for thought about gratitude, connection, and acceptance. Whether seeking to connect one person at a time or build bridges between religious traditions, acceptance is key. There is such joy in connection and community, and joy cannot be felt without an attitude of gratitude.
There is always some thing, person, or situation in which to have gratitude. If you’re having trouble thinking of such, you can do so by realizing and accepting that no one, no thing is against you. This is an abundant universe, held together with Love, and nothing can realistically be labeled as “good” or “bad” since from our human perspective we cannot see what is operating at the higher realms. Everything is for our spiritual upliftment. When I’m thinking negatively and not feeling grateful, it means I’ve forgotten who I am (a divine being), what my true nature is, and that I am connected, one with Source – and therefore with all else.
In the morning I journal and sign off “Gratefully, Joyce.” Each evening before "lights out," in my gratitude journal I list 10 instances for which I am grateful. I start each sentence with “I am grateful...” as that is a powerful statement in and of itself. Thus, at the very least, I bookend my day with thoughts of gratitude, ensuring connection to Spirit.
And, it may sound funny to you, but I am always grateful to feel grateful!
Inspiration and Contemplation
Embracing ALL of Life
One of the many meaningful points he made was about how we judge difficulty as bad, but really, out of the struggle comes gifts of growth. For instance, as a baby chick struggles to get out of its shell, the challenge makes her physically stronger; trying to help her would deprive the chick of that strengthening and could actually kill her.
So, once again, the message is we don’t know what is “good” or “bad” (I often go back to the
parable of the Chinese farmer
) and need to accept this as part of life and be grateful.
Rev. Tabor shared the following Rumi poem which beautifully makes the point of embracing all of life, holding an attitude of gratitude along the way.
The Guest House
Translation by Coleman Barks
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
Copyright 1997 by Coleman Barks
From "The Illuminated Rumi"
Brother David Steindl-Rast, Bridge Builder Between Religious Traditions
In my online search to find Rumi’s poem printed in the above article, I located it at
, the website of A Network for Grateful Living. It is a global organization offering educational programs and practices that inspire and guide a commitment to grateful living and catalyze the transformative power of personal and societal responsibility.
A Network for Grateful Living was co-founded by
Brother David Steindl-Rast
, 93 years young, who is a pioneer in multi-faith dialogue. Long before Oprah started millions of women keeping gratitude journals, Brother David Steindl-Rast was writing about gratefulness as the heart of prayer and the most liberating way to live in joy and grace.
Below are quotes by Brother David to give you some more insight about him, provide food for thought, and inspire you.
“The root of joy is gratefulness... It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.”
“Everything is a gift. The degree to which we are awake to this truth is a measure of our gratefulness, and gratefulness is a measure of our aliveness.”
“We are never more than one grateful thought away from peace of heart.”
“There is a wave of gratefulness because people are becoming aware how important this is and how this can change our world. It can change our world in immensely important ways, because if you're grateful, you're not fearful, and if you're not fearful, you're not violent. If you're grateful, you act out of a sense of enough and not of a sense of scarcity, and you are willing to share. If you are grateful, you are enjoying the differences between people, and you are respectful to everybody, and that changes this power pyramid under which we live.”
People Making a Difference
The Sunday Paper Dinner Club
A few months ago, as I was consulting with a client about web design, she pointed me to several sites to discuss what she liked and didn’t like about them. That’s how I came upon Maria Shriver’s website and subsequently signed up for her free Sunday Paper, a “Sunday paper for the soul.”
In one section of the paper, Maria had challenged readers to open their table to strangers and find common ground through conversation. Of course, community is dear to my heart, and the video about the group that turned Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper into a dinner club is extremely heartwarming.
Not only has Maria made a difference in people’s lives, but you’ll see how so many individuals’ lives were impacted by this dinner club, some quite profoundly.
Watch the video.
Then, if you'd like to have a conversation about it, I'd love for you to connect with me. You can reach me via
or phone (928.301.7292).
We are meant to live in community -- conversation is a great first step in connecting!
I trust you have gotten something meaningful out of this edition of my monthly newsletter.
I do hope you will check out the
unday Paper Dinner Club video
. I gratefully welcome hearing from you in the spirit of creating community and connection.
e-newsletter designed, developed, written, and published by Joyce S. Kaye
You, Me, and Spirit
I was a devout atheist until about 30 years ago when I "came to believe" in a Power greater than myself. Thanks to hearing the novel idea (well, at least it was to me!) that one could choose their own concept of God - and name too - and the workings of synchronicity, I embarked on a new way of thinking, a new way of living, a new way of being in the world and with others. It impacted all aspects of my life and relationships.
Since that time of commencing my conscious spiritual journey, I have endeavored to remember The Presence in all that is, all whom I meet, and all that I do -- including working with clients in my own business and in the corporate world. I strive to be of service and to nurture the human spirit in all environments.