Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Inviting Gratitude In--to Stay

Moss Gardens

The soft overcomes the hard; and the weak, the strong. Lao-Tzu

"God is glorified, not by our groans, but by our Thanksgiving."  Edwin Percy Whipple

In recent weeks and days, I've been carrying around the book Living in Gratitude by Angeles Arrien. It accompanies me from room to room and from house to car in a cloth bag. I've meant to use the book at the beginning of the year to the end, but I have not been consistent in that effort. A new year gives me a fresh opportunity.

Gratitude has been a theme in recent years. Now even more is known about how living with gratitude effects our well being. On Angeles Arrien's website is a quote I have long loved: Walking the mystical path with practical feet.

I was moved to read that a gratitude journal helped allay Deborah Norville's migraine headaches within her daily challenges of anchor, wife, and mother.

Indeed, I have gratitude for Angeles Arrien, meeting her first in her brilliant tarot manual: Tarot Handbook Practical Applications of Ancient Visual Symbols. Her anthropological background is such a rich tapestry in terms of legend, symbols, peoples, and universal shapes. I use her handbook and remain startled at the spiritual depth revealed in the work. It is a marvelous tool for personal growth on every level.

One needs, as the Buddhists say, to lean into a study of gratitude. Arrien offers the learner the forms gratitude can take and the portals through which it enters.

She writes of: blessings, protections, mercies, and learnings as the means we evolve in appreciation--in gratitude.

Blessings are "what we hold as the good in our lives." They are linked to Spirit, and our recognition of the presence of grace through ritual as in "a calling forth."

Protections are the literal and spiritual arms we extend to our loved ones: the elderly, the ill, and others through ritual and prayer.

Mercies are the elements of kindness and compassion, and also forgiveness woven into the lives we live despite human betrayal and dishonour. Haven't we all felt the power of forgiveness within ourselves? And the sweep of compassion and kindness that makes us better human beings?

Learnings are truths we glean from living our lives. Each of us comes to know both the happiness and suffering for which we live the gratitude within.

I know I need keep the book near me to assist in staying present in my year-long commitment to incorporating, appreciating the gifts of God's Hands.

It's in quietude, humility, one acknowledges the goodness received. With gratitude you aren't seeing how much you can hold, but as you learn to let go, how much you have in simplicity in which one draws a quiet strength.

Arrien writes that a sense of gratitude through the portals touched on above, inpact our relationships, health and well being, and even our fianacial world. Moreover, grateful people are happy people.

If you've never picked up a book by Angles Arrien, this may present an opportunity. The book is an indepth look at becoming aware of what we've received and the benefits of that awareness.

I will keep evolving if I open increasingly to gratitude, live it--and keep it.
Indeed I wish to invite gratitude in--to stay.

God's Blessings to you!


  1. So much kindness to be grateful for. Thanks for the reminder, Connie!

  2. Thank you, David!
    (I tried to respond on my iphone, but that didn't work.)
    I appreciate your kindness!

    I need to get assistance or figure out how to add followers to my blog site. I've thought of prayer requests, but I'm not sure if I could keep up. I do pray for everyone as it is. Always more discipline can be applied!

    Blessings, Connie

    1. If you have time to put links to your new blog posts on Facebook, Twitter and Google+, you will probably increase your traffic :)

      See also and You could also add a "join this site" widget to your blog.

      Good luck!