Pagan Blog Project - Week 13; G
I spent the better part of the week mulling over what I should blog about for the Letter G. Gods? Goddesses? Gaia? Grounding? Ganesh? Green Man? Really there are SO many possibilities with each letter. I decided that something would come to me, and just to wait.
Yesterday in meditation it hit me;
When it comes down to it, Gratitude is a huge part of my spiritual path. Without Gratitude, I would not be who I am or have come to this point in life. Or more accurately, I may be me and be here, but I wouldn't even be aware of who or where that is without Gratitude.
Years ago in a book store, I bought my first Oracle Card deck. I had been a student of tarot for a few years, but had never owned or used an oracle card deck before. I found the "Trust Your Vibes" oracle Card Deck by Sonia Choquette and the Trust Your Vibes book that goes with it.
When I got home, I of course opened the deck and looked through it, one card at a time, taking it all in. I noticed something funny when I got to the last card... Card 52, "Be Grateful". There were two of them. Two identical cards. Surely this was a packaging mistake, and it has always made me wonder if someone out there who also bought this deck is missing card number 52 from their set. But I also strongly felt that in some way, this was a message just for me. "Be Grateful". I removed the duplicate from the deck and it has been out in plain view ever since. Some years it simply stays on my altar. Some years it is taped to the refrigerator. Right now it is taped to the bulletin board above my meditation altar, just to the right of my computer desk.
That deck was indeed a turning point in my spirituality. I read the book and used the cards often, I began listening to Sonia Choquette's radio show on HayHouseRadio.com (also called Trust Your Vibes) and learned so much about what it means to really listen to your spirit and be a six-sensory being. My life and spirituality have never been the same since I bought that deck and book, but the underlying current behind it all has been the lesson of Gratitude. Without understanding the importance of Gratitude in all things, I don't think I would have come as far in my life.
When you teach yourself to live in Gratitude, you teach yourself awareness, mindfulness, acceptance, and grace. You can't be grateful for your experiences and gifts without being aware of them and mindful about them. You can't be grateful for something without fully accepting it... and accepting things teaches you to live gracefully.
Having this duplicate card in the deck that I randomly picked up from the bookstore shelf that day made me pay more attention to it than the other cards, and ever since then I think I have tried to focus on Gratitude as part of my daily life. Of course sometimes I stray and need a reminder, and Spirit certainly finds ways to remind me of that!
As some of you know, I work as a waitress. It's not always the most gratifying job, and it can be hard to be grateful when the tips are poor. But after yesterday's meditation, the word Gratitude kept popping in my head, and I thought, I really can't blog about something that I'm not actively practicing in my daily life right now. Before bed I wrote a list of 5 things I was grateful for yesterday. This morning before work I wrote another list of 5 things I am grateful for, then I went to work, determined to practice gratitude... no matter what.
Spirit decided to test me. My first table only left a two dollar tip. I took a deep breath, pushed away the feeling of disappointment, and said a prayer of gratitude. I said "Goddess, thank you for this gift!" My ego was trying to complain that two dollars was not anything to be grateful for, but I mindfully and purposefully silenced that voice and just said "Thank you" and thought about the gallon of milk that the money would help me buy. Spirit decided to test me again. My second table... a tip of $2.50. Ego was raging, but once again I took a deep breath, pushed away the hurt feelings and disappointment and again said a prayer of thankfulness and joyfully envisioned another item that I would be able to buy for my family with that $2.50. The day pretty much continued like this, and I think the universe just wanted to see how determined I was to continue living in gratitude while at work. I mean, tips were just lousy all day. But with every 8% and 10% tip that I got, I said that prayer of gratitude and just smiled and thanked the Universe for the gifts I was receiving. Then, at the end of my shift, something amazing happened. I had a table of 7 that left me a $25 tip. I once again said this prayer of gratitude but still noticed that voice nagging in the back of my head, saying that now at least maybe I will break even and this helps make up for the previous poor tips. I was surprised at my negative inner narrative... seems I haven't been paying attention to my thoughts nearly enough and this ego has gotten a bit out of control. Hmmm. No matter, I pushed that voice aside and just felt the gratitude. After my shift, I counted all my tips for the day, and I somehow had over $75 for my 5 hour shift. I thought back over my tables and it wasn't that busy today... it was a normal Wednesday lunch shift. I hadn't had that many tables through the day, and with the nature of the tips I had received, I just couldn't quite figure out how it added up to over $75, even with that $25 tip...
Somehow though, the universe provided for me. My gratitude in some way helped multiply what I was receiving, and attracted more. And it taught me that I need to continue practicing this awareness because my negative thoughts are just a bit out of control and really blocking my flow of gratitude right now. I'm going to continue writing a short gratitude list every evening and morning just to keep my mind centered on Gratitude as I should.... and I suggest that you do the same!
As for that oracle card number 52, "Be Grateful" that hangs on the wall to my right, I looked up the message that goes with that card again and wanted to share it with you, because we all need a reminder now and then;
"Make a list of all that you've been given so that you can fully absorb how much abundance you truly enjoy in your life. Think of this as your gratitude list. Add to it daily as you notice the little things in your life that you truly appreciate. Rather than worrying about what you don't have, look at all that you do have. As you understand how thankful you should be, you send a signal to the Universe to give you more. . . and it will."