People wonder who they will spend the big dinner with, if not with family…the shattering Native American aspect….the unconscious eating (stuffing is right!) and drinking…the silent feeling often present that we are acting out old scripts, using outdated software, the feeling that surely Thanksgiving should be more….thankful. But thankful for what, beyond family, friends, health and shelter?
It can be challenging to experience the joy of giving thanks when our lives seem beset by problems of all kinds, big and small. Your morning alone might include mini-traumas like the heat not working, traffic, lines at a boiling hot Starbucks, forgetting your wallet, tripping in those nighttime heels, losing your keys and the ever-present threat of bad hair hanging like a literal specter over your head. Every cranium you pass on the street, as you limp along late and possibly hungover, looks like its professionally blown-out daily and you wonder, as you tuck your dirty hair back under the hat you're wearing that's fooling no one, who the heck has the money, let alone the time, to even DO that everyday?! And it continues from there. By the end of the day, especially if you live in a big city, you are I.AM.DONE.FINISHED.KAPUT. Turkey?! Gratitude? Give me a break and get away from me. The FML feeling comes over you.
My Calm Your Crazy retreat this weekend at Kripalu will celebrate the profound power of the Divine Feminine/Nature and the ill-considered risks we take by not being in healthy, mutually-sustaining relationship with her. We will celebrate the fact of our own goodness and compassion. We will celebrate the truth that we are responsible for the well beings of all beings, not just ourselves, just as Nature takes care of all us, without discrimination or favoritism. We will open to the glory that is all around us, but often hard to see in the midst of life's daily disorder. We will discover that the degree to which we are able to be 'open' is the degree to which we are able to be 'connected'.
Participants are taught specific exercises/meditations that connect them to the divine feminine/nature. Once that connection is made, everything changes. It's the movement from the personal to the transpersonal, from 'me' to 'we'. This retreat will make connecting to an awesome, alive power far greater than ours alone an experiential reality for participants.
When our heart opens in gratitude, our heart becomes strong enough to love more than just ourselves. We are lifted out of our habitual alienation into an understanding of where we stand within the great web of creation. We experience ourselves, finally and with great relief, as an integral member of the profound mystery of life. We find ourselves held perfectly within the great matrix of Creation and our joy knows no bounds.
We are no longer unsure of our purpose or place, we are no longer separate from what is alive and teeming with holy life, we are no longer lost. Gratitude doesn't begin to describe the inner joy and tears that flow when this happens; to be returned to ourselves by returning to the greater whole, is a gift unsurpassed by any other.
This Thanksgiving, breathe, relax your body instead of tensing when Mom approaches, allow yourself to expand energetically bigger than the room that holds you, the house that holds you, until you feel clearly and with great peace, that you are all things, including her. Smile with gratitude and start setting the table, as she asked.