Being grateful, acknowledging and naming people and things and conditions that are supportive and enjoyable has been the direction many of us give ourselves for Thanksgiving, but something occurred yesterday that popped that open to a new level for me.
A letter came in the mail. Yes, the kind that's on paper and comes in an envelope with a stamp and my full name and actual house address written on it. ...and not only was it a letter, but a letter folded up in a card, a beautiful card with a painting of a sacred tree with leaves in autumnal color flux and illuminated from behind with the pinks and golds of sunset. ...or maybe it's dawn... Present in the trunk of the tree is a strong and serenely smiling face gazing at the sun which is outside of the frame and there is a red fox gazing there, too, radiating reflected, furry golden light from a perch on the exposed roots. Rocks and boulders slumber peacefully at the base of the roots glowing dark ruddy gold from the light in the sky. It's beautiful and I describe it in some detail here because it moves me still, having such a thing just arrive.
The letter inside this beautiful card moved me still more. It is from a woman who attended one of the 2012 retreats, in June (see the Retreats for Mothers page for more info on those). The retreat she attended being several months ago, the arrival of this card and letter was a surprise and more. She wrote of the ripples of transformation that her experience of me and the retreat has catalyzed in her life and thanked me for the gift and finished by asking me to continue to help others. Her letter is one of those things that clearly confirms that what inspires you and comes from your free heart is important to bring forward and is a blessing to the world. It encourages me to keep listening IN and following THROUGH and keep being the unique being I am in the world even when it feels risky!
With the utmost humility, I'm blogging about this because receiving her Thanks lights me up so much that I want to radiate that encouragement to YOU! These retreats are pure inspiration for me and yet creating them initially was a stretch, a risk for me personally and financially. The encouragement goes like this: "If money, goal accomplishment and acceptance were of no concern, I would _________ for the pure enjoyment and fulfilling experience of it!" Fill in the blank for yourself! Don't we all yearn for that to be our modus operandi? Won't more of us operating from that orientation create greater levels of joy and harmony and well-being in our lives and on the planet? I think you'll agree that's a double 'Yes.'
As I have begun again to stretch and take risks in the planning and creating process for more and expanded retreats for 2013, her letter energized me and up-leveled my commitment and excitement for them and more, supporting me to take those felt risks! I understood the importance of graciously receiving appreciation before and yet with the proximity of receiving that letter to this holiday which we've named 'Thanksgiving,' it occurs to me to open up the holiday--and the rest of the year for that matter--to intend on conscious ThanksRECEIVING as well, really allowing oneself to let in the energy of gratitude to YOU for the unique contribution to Life that YOU ARE because that feels so good and it fuels inspired activity. Now that feels powerfully creative of more good things to come!
I would give Thanks for your company in that practice! ;-)