During my childhood, Christmas was my favorite holiday, followed closely by Halloween. Thanksgiving didn't really register as much of a holiday until I was a bit older. By then my family was spread out over a larger geographic region, and it was usually the only time when we were really together. So it actually became my favorite. There was no rush to buy presents and put out decorations, just cooking, eating and spending time in good company.
It has been widely publicized in the last decade that gratitude is one of the strongest ways to promote happiness and manifestation. As I was told by a guide of mine, the best way to navigate change is with gratitude and thankfulness. It really helps transform the energy even when we are afraid or uncertain. I am sure that I fall very short of the mark on gratitude. It is a practice just like tai chi or yoga, and so I am not going to beat myself up about it. I will simply work on my practice of being thankful.
My exposure to other practitioners in different disciplines this year has had a very beneficial impact on my own path. I see similarities beyond the superficiality of ceremonies and rituals to the pure energy of the intent. It has changed my own practice bringing it deeper in alignment with the purpose behind it. In no other practice is this more apparent than my Friday prayer ceremony.
To those of you who don't know, I pray using my mesa and a rattle every Friday. Rain or shine, sick or well, tired or energized, the prayers go out. It was originally inspired by the Blessing Way of the Navajo (thanks Malinda). It is not the Blessing Way, it is the Mooneagle's Rite. I wanted to make a commitment with Spirit and help others as well. So I began a few years ago each Friday and it is a commitment I have honored and never missed. My list of those I pray for has grown to about 70 people and their families. This past year I changed how I began my prayers. Now before I send out the prayer focus I begin with thanking all the spirits that help me. I start with the Creator and work down. That alone can take 15 minutes or more. I have a lot of help. This has really deepened the ceremony and added to its power.
When we give thanks to those that help us we complete a circuit of energy. We allow the gift to be fully expressed. We in some ways mirror the giver. This can be forgotten amidst turkey, football games, and old family grudges. The importance of honoring all those that are part of our journey cannot be overstated. Each week I dive into that, and it is empowering. Now the challenge is to in some smaller way make that part of my everyday practice.
How about you? Are you honoring the good around you? Are you placing your thoughts in a loving way on those who have helped you? Do you count your blessings or your misfortunes? I'll tell you a secret. The more you count one the more that tally increases. Choose wisely the list you wish to enumerate.
Peace and Blessings,