By Sara Schley
I’m presently writing a book titled “1,000 Thank You’s”. To warm up for this project I chose to write one thank you note to someone every day for 60 days. The good ol’ fashion long hand kind of note. I suppose, unknowingly, I “signed up” to do a deep inquiry about the nature of gratitude. What did my 60-day Thank You note practice teach me? What did I learn? These Ten Truths of Thank You.
1) Offering gratitude is a BIG gift to those on the receiving end. They are re-minded of the Glory of their true nature. Their absolute pitch perfect brilliance is mirrored back with crystal clarity.
2) This blessing is contagious. You see your glory, you mirror that glory to the next person. And this glory cascades to the next person like a holy waterfall, creating a generous, limitless flow of abundance and love. (Perhaps this is the original River Story. “And a river flows from Eden to water the garden.” Now and now and now.)
3) Instant Karma! The blessing comes right back to me. I’m tuned into the love channel, the good dream, the abundance stream, and this is one “graced place” to hang out for the day.
4) I become a fountain of blessing. A blessing queen. All of us are this, and it is a most excellent way to serve the Holy One with Joy!
5) I am increasingly aware of the radical gift of life. Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel’s * teaching becomes palpable: I begin to live in embodied awareness of the “mystery, wonder, and awe of creation.”
6) A gratitude practice, increasing our awareness of the generosity and vulnerability of life, reveals this: NOW is always the right time to speak the truth about love.
7) It’s a radical, even subversive act, this simple practice of thanks-giving, not just one day,** but each and every day of the year. In our BDD – blessing deficit disorder – culture we bring a deep, fundamental and life-transforming message. Our true birthright? Original Blessing.***
Let’s implement Plan “B”.
8) It’s a subversive act because in spreading this contagious gift of blessing, we create a culture of inter-dependency, connectivity, safety and satiation. It fills our true hungers, our cups to overflowing. This keeps us out of the Mall and free of the false gods of compulsion and addiction that might otherwise take us down.
9) And as we go, so goes the Earth with us: we destroy her through our addictions. Or we heal her through our blessing. It’s that simple!
10) Simple, courageous, paradigm-busting, life-giving, honey in the heart sweet!****This attitude of gratitude. This orientation to appreciation. This practice of Thank you.
*Thanks to Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel for the poetry that life is about, “Radical Amazement at the Mystery, Wonder and Awe of Creation.”
** Thanks to Jewish tradition for the morning prayers that begin each and every day with thank you. “Modah Ani L’fanecha.” I bow in gratitude before You.
*** Thanks to Matthew Fox for the term “Original Blessing”
**** Thanks to Martin Prechtel for sharing the Mayan teaching of “honey in the heart.”
***** Thanks to R’ Shefa Gold for teaching “spiritual practice” and for modeling this in so many ways including her Song of Songs works.