I hope I’m not alone (and I don’t think I am), but how on earth can it be almost Thanksgiving already? (Canadian Thanksgiving that is, for our international friends.) Here in Kelowna, the skies are still blue and the temperatures are much more like late August than October! (Hallelujah from me!)
And speaking of Thanksgiving, I’m excited that we have something a little bit different to offer next Sunday to help us celebrate this season of gratitude: a Taize service.
A Taize service takes its name from “Taize” – a monastic community located in Taize, France, dedicated to simplicity, service and community. This form of meditative prayer involves sung and read prayers along with readings, music, meditation, and silence. It’s truly an experience rather than an objective time of teaching or preaching. Our hope in offering it is to give our community the opportunity to “feel into” a deep-felt sense of gratitude for all things, including our lives, our experiences, our relationships and our community, rather than just thinking about thanksgiving or having it be simply an intellectual understanding.
Gratitude is such a powerful causative force and sometimes I don’t think we realize how impactful it is for both creating and maybe even more importantly for consciously RECOGNIZING the good in our lives. We are immersed in goodness and wrapping that good with our mindful awareness of it, invites more and more good into our experiences.
I love that Rev. Melody Bailey wrote about gratitude here in “Happy Monday” last week in her reflections on World Gratitude Day. I just wanted to thank her for recognizing my long time, daily practice of writing five things I’m grateful for in my gratitude journal. It’s actually been 28 years now that I’ve held steadily to that practice. I started it when the Centre was about one year old and writing in my journal each night right before bed has kept my mind focussed on the good throughout the years, (I’m grateful someone helped set up the chairs this Sunday, I’m grateful for our coffee urn, I’m grateful someone brought fresh flowers to the service, etc.). I’m eternally grateful for this practice! (See? It multiplies!)
I really encourage you, if you can and are comfortable, to try to join us in person next week. I think being in the room to hear the music, to experience the readings and to be together, will create a warmth in our hearts and a sense of togetherness that will continue to bind this community together in love. Of course, if you’re out of town or not yet ready, we will love to have you energetically with us on Facebook Live or YouTube.
I’d love for us all to spend the upcoming week, culminating in Thanksgiving Monday, October 10th, grounded in gratitude. To help you do that, here’s just a few ideas to get you going.
Start your own gratitude journal – write down 5 things you’re thankful for each day.
Take some time to recognize and honour yourself and for your personal growth so far this year.
Give thanks for the flow of financial abundance in your life.
Find the teeniest of things to be greatly grateful for: I can see, I can breathe, I have a home, I am safe.
Take some time this week to send an email or a text message of thanksgiving to someone who might not expect it.
Actually write a card or a letter of gratitude on old-fashioned paper and mail it to someone.
Write yourself a letter or card or a post-it note of gratitude. Leave it somewhere where you’ll see it often.
In great gratitude for you!
“I am happy because I'm grateful. I choose to be grateful. That gratitude allows me to be happy.”
— Will Arnett
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