From The InnkeepersNovember 2018
“Thankfulness finds its full measure in generosity of presence, both through participation and witness. We sit at the table as part of every other person’s world while making our own world without will or effort, this is what is extraordinary and gifted, this is the essence of gratefulness, seeing to the heart of privilege. Thanksgiving happens when our sense of presence meets all other presences. Being unappreciative might mean we are simply not paying attention.”
– David Whyte
Each day we are surrounded by abundance. Our challenge is to pay attention, to become awake enough to realize it, because that is where true gratefulness resides. But like anything else, heightening our attentiveness and cultivating gratitude takes practice. Brother David Steindl-Rast, a Benedictine monk, has a gratitude exercise that we would do well to incorporate into our lives. He calls this his “ABC’s of Grateful Living”. This exercise is simple yet profound and can be practiced most any time or any place. It goes like this: you go through the alphabet and for each letter note the first word that comes to your mind. Then for each word try to make the connection between that word and your sense of gratitude and how you can show your gratefulness for whatever that word represents in your life. For me this practice provides a readily accessible framework to reflect on the many blessings of our lives. Inevitably, as I perform this practice in my own life, “G is for Gate” because we are grateful for all who come through our gates and share with us the blessing that is their life. We are keenly aware of the multitude of choices available for places and ways in which to spend time. We give a heartfelt “Thank You” to all of our guests for being who you are and sharing the marvelous generosity of spirit that you bring to us by choosing to spend time here.
The journey of our life holds many gifts and blessings. We wish you the attentiveness and expansion of awareness necessary for living life with a truly grateful heart.
May Thanksgiving happen for you, not just this month, but always.