With gratitude I open this morning’s meditation on Thanksgiving Day 2020. To be able to greet each of you in the morning is a joy. Morning greetings have become a sound byte that resonate respect, warmth and an authentic salutation that I feel in my heart. Sometimes I have fun with it as I say your names; always I feel excitement in its redundancy.
The language of the heart can be challenging to express at times because of the emotions that ride along with it. Daily I witness your heart even if you have never spoken. I know you because I know me.
We are living in challenging times. Thanksgiving Day is a mile marker of sorts. We can grumble for those not heeding the warnings about getting together. We can rejoice to finally have a reason not to go anywhere. Wherever we reside on the spectrum, we are rewriting Thanksgiving Day from start to end. There is not an adult soul on earth anywhere unaware of risk today. Different choices different people. The bottom-line truth today is gratitude, thankfulness and deep appreciation, all emotions residing in the heart.
The truth of Thanksgiving Day has come more to the forefront with the knowledge of the harm and hurt afforded to indigenous people that resulted in the idea of Thanksgiving Day. May all beings find compassion.
Not everyone can afford food on Thanksgiving Day. May all beings find ways and means to feed their hearts and bodies.
I often hit a WAL when I am expressing words from my heart. An acronym W-A-L – Words Are Limiting. The language of the heart is beyond words, beyond utterance of syllables. The language of love is silent yet known by everyone. The language expresses itself through eyes, through our hands, through our actions, through our deeds, our thoughts, our visions, our intentions. Universally we communicate with each other. Our first step is to believe we can. Then the river is open and love travels.
Thank you for your trust. Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for listening and sharing. Thank you for your kindness. Thank you for honoring and respecting yourself. Thank you for being you.
When Giving Is All We Have
One river gives Its journey to the next.
We give because someone gave to us. We give because nobody gave to us.
We give because giving has changed us. We give because giving could have changed us.
We have been better for it, We have been wounded by it—
Giving has many faces: It is loud and quiet, Big, though small, diamond in wood-nails.
Its story is old, the plot worn and the pages too, But we read this book, anyway, over and again:
Giving is, first and every time, hand to hand, Mine to yours, yours to mine.
You gave me blue and I gave you yellow. Together we are simple green. You gave me
What you did not have, and I gave you What I had to give—together, we made
Something greater from the difference.
Thank you so much. That was so powerful. When I lived in Los Angeles, I would go to the Overeaters Anonymous Thanksgiving Day meeting once a year. About 200 people would come to this because Thanksgiving Day is such a hard day around food. For compulsive overeaters, it was an important thing to do. Even the founder of OA attended. It put the focus of the day on gratitude and having a plan. I’m grateful I have had a food abstinence since January. I loved your words and the poem. They will help me get through the day.
Thank you for your beautiful words and thoughts. I especially feel our togetherness today. It’s really special. It’s a wonderful way to start the day, to have a day full of prayer with hope and gratitude.
As we went into meditation, I could see a cornucopia with all your faces on little pumpkins and Thanksgiving fruits. It was quite sweet. One of the phrases you said that I wish you would write a book on was “I know you because I know me.” That really stuck -something I’m going to think about today. There is so much truth in that. As you were reading, I saw one of our men wipe tears from his eyes. That was precious to me because finding gentle men has been unusual in my life. I so appreciate everyone’s honesty, what beauty it is for all of our blues and yellows mix to make green, and blues and reds to make purple. All the colors of us are truly a Thanksgiving gift. Thank you.
Thank you. I loved the first thanksgiving. That first phrase of the poem ‘river gives its journey to the next.’ It makes me think of johnnycake. Johnnycake is a traditional sweet cornbread that was passed down from my grandmother to my mother, and then to me. Now my daughters cannot have Thanksgiving without johnnycake. In looking back, it’s one of those images of the faces of all these women, my ancestors, just giving and coming towards us. As I am eating my johnnycake today, I’ll be thinking of all of you and all the wonderful things I’ve gotten from all of you, and just the joy of this life.
Thank you, as usual. When you ended speaking, I could see you were tearing up. I wanted to reach out and hug you. I’m sending a virtual hug. The words from the poet “I give you what I have to give.” Just that allowance, that lack of force, where everyone comes to the table with what they have to give, rather than trying to tell people what they should give and causing that resistance. The Feast of the Fishes and Loaves, in Italian, it’s abbondanza. Everybody brought what they had and it was a feast.
I feel very present today. I released my pain days ago feeling the changes in this holiday. I know everyone is feeling something today. My tears are tears of joy. I could feel that today.
Group hug! (everyone hugged themselves!)
Yesterday, I couldn’t do the morning meditation. I can feel it when I miss it. To hear people’s voices, even if they aren’t talking, just to feel everyone’s presence and hear what you read to us. I was thinking this morning, I am so glad that every morning we have this to come to. The word that came to me was ‘lifeline.’ Like the button you push. But this is a ‘soul line.’ I am listening to the rain and I love the sound of it, it’s so peaceful. And there are different pitches depending on what the rain is falling on. That’s what this group gives is peace, badly needed peace and love and acceptance. Thank you.
Thank you so much, everybody. I’m in 12-step programs too. November is gratitude month for a lot of us. I want to express my gratitude to you, and to the women and men here for being open gentle souls. I’ve never had mentors in my life that were loving supporters that provide me direction. I always heard ‘you should do this.’ I am so grateful for all of you, your input, your tears. Just everyone here. I never had a lot of women who were good mentors in my life until about ten years ago. It takes what it takes.
As you can tell, I am a friendly person but I’ve never had a lot of deep friends in my life. This group has filled a void for me. I’ve called this group a ‘superorganism’ because it draws from everybody. It’s greater than the sum of its parts. The power that radiates from this group is wonderful and the healing is beyond belief. I tell anyone I meet that they should look for something like this. We need more healers in this world.
I don’t know of anything on a daily basis offering support. I’m grateful we are all here together. There is a healing energy that goes beyond words, something that I don’t understand but I accept and cooperate with.
Good morning everyone. Thank you for being here every day, the gratitude I have. I look forward to this group to ground me for the day. Everyone’s sharing. It’s a special group and I am grateful for your presence.
Thank you. I was touched when your voice cracked. Thank you. That meeting in California reminded me of what you said the other day (see November 23 blog) about learning to draw and your daughter said to look beyond the object. Look at the empty space and draw that. Many people who have addictive tendencies are trying to compensate for a huge soul sense of lack. And when they get into recovery are told that they have to abstain from this or that. It feels lacking for a long time until we learn to look at the space without as something fruitful. Sitting in meditation with all of you reinforces that. Whenever I want all this outside stuff to fix me and make me feel better, what truly does it is when I sit in stillness. I love the concept ‘I bring what I have.’ This is it. It is good, very good. Not only enough, but great. As a child, I read a book ‘Why the Chimes Rang.’ In the book, people brought offerings to this old church. For centuries, the bells never rang. Rich people would bring all these riches. It didn’t work. But this little boy brought all he had, a little trifle. It’s like billionaires donating millions of dollars, it’s nothing to them. When the little boy gave his gift, the chimes rang. Sometimes it’s the simplest things that are the most meaningful.
The Native American author Jamie Sams taught me about responsibility. It means the ability to respond.
Thank you. Whatever you do today to represent gratitude for the day, that mindfulness brings to heart all of the hearts that are part of this group, whether they are here or not. It’s an incredible gathering. We are food for the soul. I honor each of you today. Thank you so much. I hope you have a blessed day.