“Both abundance and lack exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend… when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present — love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature and personal pursuits that bring us pleasure — the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience Heaven on earth.” —Sarah Ban Breathnach, author of “Simple Abundance”
I jumped at the chance to join a poker game. The invitation crossed my inbox one day—a benefit of belonging to so many email communities.
I have played twice now in this game. I think I don’t fit. And I think that’s okay. I am lovingly prying myself away from my tendency to think it’s me. That there’s something wrong with me and the way I roll that makes it so difficult for me to integrate into this game. (And yes, this issue comes up regularly in my life.)
Maybe not though. Maybe it’s a matter of style. I love poker partly because I get to put on the trappings of the game. Order of betting. Cards above the table. Who shuffles. Who cuts the cards. Yes, even though I’m playing nickel-dime-quarter poker, with a maximum risk of about $10, I cherish the whole structure. And I was the oddball at the table in this. Which drove me nuts and made me the bad guy at the table, the rules-y one.
One more thing: I was the only non-drinker. Now, I’ve been clean and sober for 21 years. And I have learned how to socialize with imbibers. You know how I do this? For short periods of time. It’s true, I have a limited ability to hang around social drinking and I hereby release any idea that there’s something wrong with me for that.
All that said, there’s still another lesson in here for me. (Oh, so many lessons!) A beloved teacher of mine, Jen Louden, talks about Savor and Serve. Now I admit I do much much much better serving than I do savoring. I am working this year at my altar with the Goddess Oshun, and she just epitomizes savoring. She’s a sensual Goddess and is all about pleasure. And I am so not. I invite savory-ness into my life. I celebrate every smile, every moment of joyful abandon, every laugh. I acknowledge that I have a long way to go and a lot to let go of in this area, and I am willing.
This is another invitation for self-love and self-acceptance. And today, just for today, here’s what I’m savoring:
- It’s not automatically my fault, my shortcoming, if I don’t fit and if something doesn’t work out
- I can lean into the lesson and the opportunity to let go and let go some more and take care of myself at the same time
- I can have compassion for myself and my limited social skills—I can tenderly cup my cheek with my hand and soften into acceptance
And now, things for which I’m grateful:
- I am grateful for every smile I see on others’ faces and every smile I feel on my own
- I am grateful for windows that close as the weather chills up
- I am grateful for the response to the article I wrote about the Blue Moon; as I open myself, more and more, to my people, it’s just so lovely and wonderful to see how it lands
- I am grateful that this Full Moon window is winding down today. It’s been an intense one for me, lot of emotion
- I am grateful for being alive
- I am grateful, so grateful, that I’m clean and sober
- I am grateful for the last of the peaches and nectarines (for me, anyway—Labor Day weekend is when I stop buying this fruit every year, which means I’m a few days away from beginning the no-fruit experiment)
- I am grateful for wonderful caring (and hopefully extremely skilled) healers in my life
- I am grateful for all the yoga classes and for the thing that happens when I’m on the 2′ x 6′ mat. The loving inner focus. The mindful concentration on just where I am, how far I can stretch. It’s an oasis in my day that is beginning to carry through to the rest of my day in small and significant ways. Hooray for an opening heart!
- I am grateful for being asked to write an astro report for ritual tonight
- I am grateful for Saturday mornings, with no alarm set
- I am grateful for this breath. And the next.
- I am grateful for the smile upon my face
- I am grateful for grilled corn
- I am grateful for my gratitude challenge group
From the inbox:
I am grateful that Wes was really there for me this week. He hung with me, admitting that he too was in a crabby mood. He made cookies while I prepped dinner. It was real.
I’m grateful for this practice of gratitude that I can turn to when I’m feeling low. I’m grateful for deep cleansing breaths.
I’m grateful that I’m not afraid to be friendly to strangers in small ways. Like telling the small boy that he had a terrific wagon; and telling the woman in the car that she had just parked blocking a driveway and she might want to pull forward. And this evening a young man and his girlfriend told me they had just met up again at the place where they had started, each running in opposite directions around the Lake. —They were so pleased about it. It seemed like they wanted to share their enjoyment and I happened to be there.
Wishing you a week full of moments that touch your heart and inspire your gratitude.
Love and light!