Dear Viriditas Community,
In this month of Thanksgiving I would like to return to the theme of gratitude. Here is a little story about gratitude I recently came across in one of my daily meditation books. It warmed my heart and reminded me of the transformative power of gratitude.
“I started telling my children I was grateful for little things they said or did. I reminded myself to be grateful for finishing a task and doing it well. The more I spoke about gratitude, the more I became aware of things to be grateful for. I prayed about it, and my eyes started to open. I would lie in bed at night and say the alphabet, counting all the things I had to be grateful for, starting with the letter A. My attitude began to change. I started learning that I had a lot to be grateful for, and I began to feel grateful.
This made a great change in my life. I started to have a sense of well-being. I began reaching out to others to share my abundance. I let go of my need to please others and to meet their expectations. I started saying a little prayer and following my heart. This new attitude of gratitude is now a part of me. It is not just a burst of emotion, untamed and sporadic. It is a quiet, daily reality that goes with me into every situation.”
I invite you to try the practice saying the alphabet, counting all the things you are grateful for, starting with the letter A. Every time I do this practice, I end up feeling so full of love and wonder. Give it a try!
On the theme of gratitude, I would like to tell you about two people I am especially grateful for these days. First I am especially grateful for my husband David Sharp! I know that many of you know David and are familiar with the joy, strength and amazing creativity that he brings to those he comes into contact with. This month we started our third year of Tap Into Transformation, and I am delighted to share the promotional video that David created for this event.
It was David who told me about Psalm 91 many years ago. I was about to have heart surgery, I was getting divorced, and I had quit a 25 year-long career as a foreign language teacher to start Viriditas Productions. David had sent me an email mentioning the spiritual texts that have especially given him strength in times of need. Little did I dream the day I read David’s email and took in the words of this powerful Psalm, that so many blessings would follow! Blessings like being given a melody for the words of the Psalm or David agreeing to arrange the Psalm for Feathers On The Breath of God and helping me create the choreography (some of which you see on the video). My love of this Psalm then became the door that led me to discover the work of David Hawkins…and…and…and. My heart was full of gratitude for David Sharp on November 7th at Tap Into Transformation as I experienced him teaching the steps we had danced so many times to the wonderful tap dancers that came that night.
And the blessings that David brings into my life continue today. He is immersed in the creation of a new song His Name Is Holy. As I listen to him create this song, my Spirit soars, and I am in awe. This is the second song we are creating for our Joy Collaborative website. This song has been inspired by the choral music of Africa and the explosive power and joy of this music is transformative.
David is in the midst of putting together the final mix, and I will be sending you an email once the song is available for listening on our Joy Collaborative website some time in the next week or so! What I really recommend though is that you hear the song performed live by the Mosaic Gospel Choir. The choir will be singing His Name is Holy (David is singing the solo!) and in addition you will get to hear David perform his poem I’m Still Here with a choral background written by Gary Grundei. It will be a powerful concert so mark your calendars:
Date: Sunday, December 7th
Time: 5:00 pm
Location: The Wesley Foundation at Wesley Chapel
Address: 1290 Folsom Street, Boulder, CO 80302
The second person I am especially grateful for these days is Mother Theresa. In my yearly phone consultation with my meditation teacher Russill Paul, he mentioned how Mother Theresa always took time away from all the work with “the poorest of the poor” to nourish herself and her connection with the Divine. This got me curious and I went searching for recordings of talks by Mother Theresa, only to discover this amazing audio book called Mother Teresa: In Her Own Words. To listen to Mother Teresa’s voice is to walk into the eternal Peace that surpasses all understanding. Like St. Hildegard, Mother Theresa was totally connected to God. For Mother Theresa it was especially Jesus and Mary who guided and inspired her. She had such faith and such love in her heart. I knew this…but listening to her, I felt the faith and love pour into my being. Suddenly the challenging situations in my life disappeared, and I saw them differently. They were manifestations of the Divine in my life… I wept… awe struck, my soul shaking with the beauty and power of God’s love for me. Mother Theresa talks about the horrible loneliness she sensed in so many human beings, and I realized that I was being called to love those who feel totally alone no matter how ugly their behavior or appearance might seem on the outside. I am reminded listening to Mother Theresa that truly with God, all things are possible. Such a blessing, and I am grateful!
I will close with the words of a beautiful poem by Kent Keith which Mother Theresa revised and made famous. May it uplift you in these days of THANKSGIVING.
Do it Anyway — Mother Teresa
People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind,
people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful,
you will win some false friends and some true enemies.
If you are honest and frank,
people may cheat you.
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building,
someone could destroy overnight.
If you find serenity and happiness,
they may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today,
people will often forget tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have,
and it may never be enough.
Give the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis it is between you and God; it was never between you and them anyway.