Shine the Divine:

Creativity IS a Spiritual Practice

When we see through our hearts, we recognize that every single one of us is infused with creativity. Divine Sparks are embedded in everyone and everything. It's up to us to be courageous, to look and listen deeply, to find the sparks, gather and release them back into the universe, transformed into something new. Join me as we wake up to the sacred-ordinary blessings waiting to greet us each and every day.

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Mega Moebius Gratitude Quilt: Woven and Stitched with Loving Words


Happy American Thanksgiving!
Today's blog is extra-ordinary! I decided because it is hard for me to write I would ask a wide sampling of friends, family, colleagues, teachers, coaches, former students...Not everyone I know....that be too enormous...so if I did not ask you it's because I want this to be a random selection, not because I don't love and respect you. Please forgive me. So anyway...this is a Gratitude Quilt, patched and stitched with words of thanks. So be prepared for a very long blog entry...filled with wisdom, light, love. I feel complete Yirah (AWE) at all that these beautiful earth angels I have known some of you for a long time, some I barely know at all, some I have never ever met or had any contact with before this blog post...and still, you all offer words from your hearts and souls. I am honored to be able to share your thoughts with people around the world on this blog. I am thrilled that we are part of a world community that is generous and kind. I am grateful to have you all in my life in small ways and big ways. I am grateful to be the wife of Gordon, the mother of Belin and Rosewillow, the sister of Owen, Amy and Pam, daughter of Sally and Bill...I love you all so much. I am grateful for this crazy disease that strips away the myelin on my nerves so my energy flows more freely around my body and extends outward into the universe so that I am more compassionate than I ever imagined possible. Thank you HaShem, Creator, Sustainor, haMakom (the place) for this amazing gift of MS...My-Self...pure and lovely as the day you breathed life into my soul when I was born 44 years ago into this lifetime.*Because I wanted this to be random, like a crazy quilt...I did not include last names...the only identifiers I offer are for the young people (and my husband-he childlike in his own way-JUST KIDDING)....I think it's important that as adults we know what the next generation is thinking...they are the future and I want you to hear their lovely voices. I know my daughter's, nieces , nephews, and former students have been great teachers in my life so I want to offer them special recognition....I hope I am not embarrassing anyone...that is not my intention...I just want to show you how much I respect you dear ones! Ok, now it gets even better...my co-con-Spirit-or...Deb, and blogging buddy, wanted to join in and create the same thing on her blog...so I'm like "AWESOME" and decided to send messages out to all the bloggers I have listed on my site asking everyone to do the same on their blogs and ask their blog buddies to join in too. (Sadly Deb has had some tragic events this week and cannot participate. I send her, her family and family friends deep love and complete healing (Refuah Shelema). Stop by her blog anyway it is well worth reading anytime, she is a courageous and inspiring woman!)...I know my friend Sue (AKA Purple Pixie in the UK is participating) I don't know what will happen today. Maybe I will be the only one. Or it could be an explosion of gratitude, I encourage you to blog hop down my list of favorite blog hangouts on the right side of this page today or later this weekend...I'm imagining Horton Hears a Who....and every tiny Who in Whoville (Youville) around the world saying "I Am HERE...and I AM GRATEFUL FOR..." So now this isn't just a quilt it's a moebius quilt...it will wrap around the world continuously creating a blanket of gratitude, joy, love, appreciation for all the many blessings abundant in our lives! A small but sacred stitch toward Tikkun Olam (Repairing the World)...I think. There are over 100 messages here from the US, UK, Canada, South Africa, Australia, Iceland & Israel! So even if no other bloggers join in...right here several continents are represented! One more last little bitty comment from me...for my friends around the world who do not celebrate American ThanksGivng...thank you for what might seem like Ameri-Centric request to do this, not even your holiday...but I believe everyday is an opportunity to give thanks...so you guys especially rock...for joining in! (I know as a Jewish person living in a very Christian society everyone says Merry Christmas and it's kind of awkward for me all my life...but I always just say Merry Christmas or have a lovely holiday back, because I know the intention is about love, kind of a little bit the same thing.) Perhaps you will choose to print this (to do that I recommend copying and pasting this into a word document first, you might lose the colors, but then the words will flow together even more, like a stream of blessings instead of a quilt...just as awesome) and read it with your family at the table, going round and round; each person read a sentence then pass it to next person...could take a while...In Jewish religion we say a blessing for food before we eat, but a much longer one Birkhat HaMazon (Grace) after we finish our meal as thanks for the abundance we have just received. This might be the longest version of that prayer yet! I invite you to consider doing this this year with your family either before or after eating...as a way to truly feel the blessings in your life and in the whole world. Here we go... Stream of conscience is a very cool thing. I am sure there is no certain subject you would like in your blog, but if you don't mind, I would just like to say a few things about you. The awesome girl we fondly called "Bouncy Bubbly" came to our gigs when we performed and made a difference in how we felt and acted while playing in clubs and casino lounges. To the best of my recollection, there was never a trouble with language or communication. Always a smile and a greater understanding about living life and being happy. Friends like this stay in our heart of memories and give us hope and take away pain. I would just like to take a second to express my gratitude to you, Laura, for being someone special like that. I know I am not the only one who shares these feelings. Thank you." ~ Lonny Well, after watching the Today show and seeing Charla again (the poor woman attacked by a monkey) I'm just grateful to be ...to be whole, be healthy even if I have aches and pains. I'm grateful for people like her who are brave enough and loving enough to share their horrific stories to show the rest of us how blessed we truly are and that we need to realize it and appreciate it more often. I'm grateful for so much more, but this was my first 'in the moment' thought. ~Darla I am grateful for tears. Happy or sad ones, because when I have them, I know that I am experiencing a real truth. Reading your message brought me to tears. Your words settled me and brought me back to myself from the headiness of everyday busy-ness. So, I am thankful for real friends who know each other's souls, who keep us real and bring soul meaning to life."~Cheri I am grateful first for my family especially my wonderful husband and, of course, for my community of friends. I am doubly grateful that we figured out that being together is more important than to continue to build material wealth. We could have kept working at our business, but we chose to take the retirement path and have never looked back. ~Elaine What am I thankful for? I am thankful that I have been able to make a difference in peoples lives, even if they don't remember me in the grand scheme of life, I know I made a difference for the 1 hour or so that I spent with them. I am thankful that I can help people when they most need it. ~My Niece Rachel (college student and started working in EMS at age 15! she is now 18) When I look back over the last few years, I find myself overwhelmed with gratitude. We have survived illness that threatened to rob me of my soul mate, job loss that forced us to give up the life we had and begin again, the illnesses and death of dearly loved friends including the recent death of a woman who was a second mother to me growing up. While each event was excruciatingly painful to endure and called upon every fiber of strength, hope and resiliency inside me -- I am here, sitting in a new, albeit smaller home, looking into the wooded backyard where deer, wild turkeys and an occasional fox pass through on their way to somewhere. Therefore: I am grateful to be with my dear husband and not alone. I am grateful to be here and not homeless. I am grateful for the multitude of life lessons learned. I am grateful for the eyes that can see the beauty in trees. I am grateful for the ears that hear the laughter of children, the words of another in pain and the lyrical sounds of the forest. I am grateful for a mouth that can speak and can taste. I am grateful for my voice used in teaching, praying and singing. I am grateful to Norm Katz (alova shalom) who never missed an opportunity to tell me how my voice on the High Holidays touched his soul. I was equally touched when Norm's wife, Sharon requested I sing the 23 Psalm at their home after his passing. The gratitude felt inside knowing that one has touched another in this life -- is truly Divine. And so, my dear friend Laura -- please know that you touch me every day and I am grateful, as well, for you. ~Sharon Thanks for asking all of us to take a moment and realize what we have in our life to be grateful about. I am grateful for the journeys in my life that have introduced me to people that have become important friends and voices in my life; when difficult times strike it is so important to have support in whatever way it can be offered. I will forever be grateful to my friends when my mother passed away in the Fall of 2000 and they flocked to my side is so many ways-visits, cards, calls, emails, flowers; friends from every stage in my journey were there to lend support when I needed it most. I have been so fortunate in my life to have always had wonderful family support but I have also been fortunate in so many friendships that I will always treasure. ~Melanie I am grateful for my re-awakening and the empowerment I feel to recreate who I will be in the second 1/2 of my life.(and to you, Laura, for asking!) ~Lisa I am deeply grateful for my own health and well-being, as well as that of those closest to me. I think back on all the factors that lined up exactly right to bring me to this point and can’t help feel anything but thankful and awestruck. Had I been of another generation… I probably wouldn’t have ever been born (my mother was a cancer survivor who was told she’d never have another child) and had I made it past birth, probably wouldn’t have lived through any number of challenges that might seem small in the world of contemporary medicine but would have been insurmountable even fifty years earlier. I think a lot about the path my life has taken, and the ways in which individual decisions and moments may have brought me here and wonder if what I feel is coincidence, the hand of fate, or the face of God. (You caught me at a rare moment of earnestness – that doesn’t often happen!) Keeping you in my thoughts ~ David Sit quietly, do nothing and simply observe your surroundings. Begin to name the scores of known and anonymous beings who have made it possible for you to be here, doing nothing, sitting quietly. For example, "the ones who designed, made and delivered the chair I sit upon; the ones who paved the road to this place; the winged ones who sing outside the window where I sit; the ones who came to a strange land and made it home; etc, etc." Once you feel you have named as many beings as possible, make a gesture of gratitude, say a word of gratitude to them, and make a promise to remember them. Love to you, Laura.XXXOOO May you discover the joy available in this moment ~ Marti I am thankful for... "home" - having a home with a Presence that greets me and loves me unconditionally. The feeling of home - It embraces me..and I'm sure it feels my love for it. I'm thankful I'm a homebody. i'm thankful that "home" ...for me is also another word for "love, family". Home is: loving parents, loving family, friends, beauty, appreciation, my soul singing when I'm feeling my connection with It - and even when I don't feel it, the connection is still there...and therefore connected to All. I am thankful for that. My heart is at home when I'm in the flow of creativity..in the flow and glow of love..all of the above.. and more. I am thankful for this awareness. Home, indeed is - where the heart is. heartful blessings to you, Laura... ~Cheryl I am grateful for the ability to channel music from the universe through some mystical process that I don't fully understand. It allows me to hear melodies & lyrics and combine them through the alchemy of songwriting to offer back to the universe in the form of my songs. I am also grateful for the opportunity to share these songs through live performances and recordings - it brings the process full circle for me. ~Jill With MS it is easy to get depressed. So you're right...I should count my blessings: I'm glad for a wonderful supportive husband who comes with me to the drs and helps me get my shoes on. I"m grateful for my children, even as they become adults, and realize that although they will make the same mistakes I did (and my mother did) it will not be MY mistake but their own...don't we all make our mistakes in our own way? and never listen to our parents?! So I'm grateful that they are alive and can learn lessons. I'm grateful for the rain that never stops (OMG, Is Seattle rusting away?) but graces the salmon with cold rushing rivers. I'm glad I can still walk. And see. To paint and write. I feel the powerful force of my friends, buoying me up when I'm down, especially Sharon who urges me to create my way out of sadness. I am glad for Anna who showed me a clever way of painting fall leaves. I'm glad I can make cards out of them and send to friends and family to show my love for them. I'm glad I can still teach occasionally and help children when they are sick or in trouble. I'm teaching a girl now whose parents are both in prison and she is in foster group home. I'm glad I am computer savvy and not afraid to learn new techno things and can reach out to the world via the internet. I'm glad the tumor I have isn't cancerous.I'm thankful for my cats, even Mocha who has passed on but came to me for several days by meowing to me from Beyond. He was 18 1/2 when he died last year. koko is a bright little spirit who keeps me company all day.i'm thanful for the marigold flowers that bloom from seeds my father in law gave to me from his garden in Denmark three years ago. He died 2 years ago but I keep harvesting the seeds every year. Maybe that's what we need to do: harvest each seed of beauty and plant them in our lives. ~Anita Let me see.... I'm thankful that I can finally walk somewhat normally again and that my family is always there for me. ~Sarah (My niece Sarah, age 20, has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome-her 2 sisters, Rachel and Becca have it as well...we are so happy that you are walking too my love-crappy genes in our family when it comes to illness...but we look good! LOL) I am grateful for my family and friends, and the ability to communicate and connect with others. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow. I am grateful to look in my daughter's eyes and at her face, and feel the pure innocence, joyful spirit, and positive energy that she radiates. And from this, I am grateful that I am now able to see those qualities in others, where I might not have noticed it before. I'm grateful for my wife who understands me and has accompanied me on most of my life's journey so far. I'm grateful for having had the opportunity to see the world and benefit from broad experiences. I'm also grateful for simpler things---freedom, safety, food, shelter, the trees, the seas, and the ability to laugh and find humor in things. I'm grateful for technology that improves the quality of our lives and allows us to communicate more, and for medical advances and the people who enable them. Mostly, I'm grateful for the ability and the humility to be grateful. ~Jerry Dear Laura, thanks for this opportunity to stop a while and meditate about all the blessing we receive of life. You are one of my blessing, your blog sometimes becomes a mirror of my soul too. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to see myself in that mirror. I thanks God for life, goods moments and bads moments the goods ones because they show me how to smile and feel a plenty of joyces in my soul. The bads ones because they made me the person i am now. they teached me to feel compation, strenght, charity, and turn my eyes completely to GOD and accept all He wants me to go thru. I thanks MS, because i am learning not to concentrate in me but in the whole world of illness people who live without hope, because their suffer is double. I think in all the grandpas and grandmas who live in nursing home without someone visit or remember they are still alive. I think in those sick or lonely people that have no body to pray for them. Yes, definitively, i thanks God for my MS, because it everyday teach me to be a sensible person of the world suffering. And I thanks for all the support i have from families, friends and specially from my FB MSers family. And Laura, i thanks that you and me are going to start Tysabri and everything is going to be ok for both. Love, and sorry my spelling, not my first language plus MS, so many mistakes. God bless you always" ~Tamara I am grateful for the fact that I am finally relatively healthy again. For almost two years I struggled to get over a bad case of mono that left me constantly physically exhausted, sleeping with a C-PAP machine and eventually getting a tonsilectomy. Though my life is far from perfect now, I no longer have my bad health constantly hanging over my head preventing me from living the life I want to be living." ~Lauren (former student of mine at Hebrew High & Rosh Hodesh: It's a Girl Thing! Now in college) What a beautiful idea. i am thankful for you and for your teachings. ~Becky (my girls first babysitter, my art assistant/student, dear family friend, first of all my students to now be married!!!!!) What am i grateful for? immediately without hesitation.... it is for you & people like you... the circle of friends & love that expands outwards, from each & every one of you... those who are compassionate, aware, 'tuned in'... who spread the love & hope & oneness.... who share, who believe, who 'know'.... who connect... in an ever widening circle. For this love, I am truly thankful. xx ~Suzi I am grateful for the moments, quiet moments, or milestone or rite of passage moments, sheheheyanu moments, when I PAUSE from the rush of daily life and put things in perspective, realize anew what blessings I have in my family, my friends, and the natural beauty of the world around us. ~Robin I am grateful for my good fortune. I have a family that I love, work that I enjoy, and live in a place that constantly keeps my feet on the ground. I revel in the technology that keeps us connected no matter what obstacles time and distance place in our path. Then I think of Swinburne (which I would paraphrase, but which technology allows me to easily look up) "From too much love of living,/From hope and fear set free,/We thank with brief thanksgiving/Whatever gods may be/That no man lives forever,/That dead men rise up never;/That even the weariest river/Winds somewhere safe to sea." ~David When I get past my hubris of self-sufficiency, I am so grateful that help can be found, with persistence and patience, and how much of it is in words of shared experience and consolation. And that there are so many sources to consult. What a blessing to see the shape of the experience from others who've dealt with it before me. ~Diana I'm grateful for the rebirth of pop music! Seems trivial, I know, but Lady Gaga has really brought the genre to a whole new level, and I just can't get enough of her style! She makes me smile; she makes me move; she makes me excited to be alive! ~My nephew Joe (23 living wild and free in Savannah...I love that you are just enjoying your life Joey!) I am grateful for a caring heart, beautiful loving children, a husband that is graceful and loving, the time that we know together as a family (like when we play charades by candlelight when the electricity goes off) I am grateful for loving family & friends that go out of their way to show thanks or just to help me and one another in whatever way they can. People that recognize that this is a journey and do not judge, condemn and are kind hearted, free spirited souls. I am so grateful to just BE. For so long I felt compelled to DO constantly, but with limitations that have been placed on my body I have come to the realization that being is a form of art in itself and that I am so fortunate to for that. My environment, where I live on the tree farm is one more reason to be grateful. The leaves are now carpet on the forest floor and the trees await winters snow, but beauty surrounds us, engulfs us, fills us. ~Janet I am thankful for that tickley feeling of joy I get when everything in the universe seems to be going right. Even if it only lasts for a few moments, the memory is enough to get me through my darkest times. ~Katie (my niece Becca's friend adopted me on facebook an extra niece...can't have too much love, age 15) I am grateful for the fact that even though my body seems to have betrayed me in so many ways, it was strong and healthy enough to bring forth four healthy, vibrant daughters. I am grateful for a husband who isn't afraid to act like a man, and who has provided, in so many ways, for our beautiful family. I am grateful for the love and the joy that our ten furry and feathery family members bring. I am grateful for my computer which has enabled me to connect with some very special friends whom I would never had the opportunity to meet, otherwise. I am grateful for Laura, whose thoughts and words bring me peace and comfort. And mostly, I am grateful to God for creating my perfectly imperfect life! Well, I guess that is more than one or two sentences but I could have continued on and on. Life can be so wonderful. Even with all of the heartache and negativity that I sometimes have to endure, I choose to be grateful. That is something which always leaves my heart full. ~Deb I am grateful for time- even though I take advantage of it many times. Mollie (One of my Rosh Hodesh Girls-a shining star in college now) I am grateful for the work I am privileged to do as a medical social worker for hospice, especially on days like today when a patient or family member welcomes me into their life and shares their innermost soul with me. It puts us together on holy ground. So amazing! ~Dot I am grateful for laughter, music, and randomness. And for you Laura! <3> (Eve also fabulous babysitter-Becky's younger sister-my student in yoga, art and Rosh Hodesh for 4 years...my beloved Evie 20 I know her since she 10!) Laura -- thanks for making me take some time out to do this. Often I spend too much time complaining (to myself) when life is really quite good to me. I am grateful for my loving family -- my two spunky boys who are playing in relative peace at the moment and for my two oldest who will return from Hebrew school soon boiling over with things to tell me. For my husband who works so hard each day to support us and still makes time to be with the kids whenever he is free and even gives me a Mom's night out a few times a month. I am grateful for our good health. I am really grateful for flowers . . I just cleaned up the rest of my garden today and I am already anticipating a beautiful Spring. I am grateful for a rich spiritual community that we have found in Nashua -- for all the things that are available to us to do with our temple friends. And finally I am grateful to be traveling to New York for Thanksgiving for a fun-filled weekend with the cousins and in-laws -- and I don't even have to cook! I hope you are doing as well as possible. I am grateful for your inspiration. ~Jane I am thankful for the ability to enjoy my happiness and the things I love ~Allisa (another blessed student for 4 years/roho girl also in college now) I will try to put into words how I feel and experience gratitude. There are always specific things I can find, for which I feel blessed, from the home I live in and the good food we eat, to the success my husband has in his career to provide us with comfort and security - as an artist, I can't come close! I am grateful also for the love I experience from and for my husband, family members, friends and even near strangers via my blog. I am grateful for nature, the playfulness and beauty of it surrounding me in our yard - the birds, trees, chipmunks, squirrels... These are all things I feel a deep gratitude for, but even deeper than those things I feel a sense of gratitude for the parts of my life that are more essence than concrete.For my creativity and imagination, constant companions and saviors throughout my life time. I am grateful for my strength and capacity to face all the challenges that I have encountered. For knowing my life is connected to your life, to all I know and those I don't, to the good and even the harmful in this world - and I am grateful for knowing we can heal with one another, through our connectedness, compassion, forgiveness, and by living in truth.Thank you for bringing me the opportunity to tune into what makes me feel grateful - it's exactly what I needed in this moment.~Love, Karin I am grateful for family and kids, friendships and love... for glimpses of awareness, both in my life and as evidenced in the lives of others. And I am grateful to know this beautiful person named Laura, who inspires and amazes me and often leaves me speechless with gratitude for her journey and her courage and willingness to share it with the world :) ~Bev I am thankful for your courage and inspiration. I am thankful for: the giggles my girls make when playing together, chocolate, cute little baby tushies, the sweet smell of my children, a warm home, friends I can lean on, my marriage - as challenging as it is, my teachers, being a woman, freedom, breath, music, dance, love, sex, good sex, resilience, trust, healing, mystery.~love Heather I am always and forever grateful for the unending love and of parents. Their nurturing presence grounds me and lets me fly.Thanks for asking in such a sweet way.~Love, Sandra I am grateful for my husband and all his support and love.I am grateful for my two sons and their wives and how much love each marriage demonstrates.I am grateful for a the good medical treatment I have been getting since I was diagnosed with cancer. I am grateful for the health insurance I have from my husband's employment. ~ Priscilla You know, we met while cultivating the ability to "be present". And I loose my grip on all that pretty frequently. Now happens to be one of those times. And suddenly, there's a face book computer thing and a blog computer thing and e mail computer things, and I'm reading your name and remembering our excellent "partnership". I'm not good at computer things. But then we send some messages, and I've gotta say, when I slip to some dumb, dark place and I read something from you, it's like a golden flash of light. All sharp and brilliant. I wake up. I come to attention. and we're plugged in again. Thank Goodness. There; you have it!!~Joan i am thankful for hope~Ben I am so thankful for my family that is with me in good times and bad, that listens when I ramble or have important things to say, that allows me to listen to them when they are happy or sad or just plain mad. ~Amy I am thankful that health as with every other part of life can be shared and for the time being it's here for us. ~Barbara Here I am, 9 in the morning, sitting at Hampshire College, just trying to catch my breath. For too long now, I have been running frantically, trying to fulfill too many deadlines, and for what? I try not to think about that. But here I am, thinking about it, because you, Laura, inspire me to slow down and situate myself amidst everything good and bad. Reading others' posts, I remember that we all have hardships and it is much to easy to get absorbed in our personal problems. You, Laura, are my inspiration, amidst such struggle, you are graceful, genuine and beautiful. You bring so much art into the world and that is something I admire full-heartedly. Art is one of those things I don't really understand. I hate it at times and I love it at times, I never know why or how it exists, even though I am "majoring" in it. You are someone who shows me what art means, what it can do for people, really, with out all of the infiltrations that usually come with it, like money, power, competition, acceptance. You remind me to love what is real about the world, not it's imitation. Thank you for that. ~Sarah (age, 20, another one of my darling students turned friends...all the girls have become that for me and and she happens to be an incredible artist...since I met her at age 14!) I am most grateful for living to be a grandmother. Any day my daughter -God willing- will give birth to my second grandchild. I consider this the greatest gift of God. ~Sheila I am thankful for an online network of friends to cheer, inspire and encourage me along the way. I am thankful for the circle of returns when I am also able to cheer, inspire and encourage them. I see it as healing (repairing) the world, one person at a time. Connections are important. For them, I am thankful.~Kel I am thankful that my mommy is still alive. I remember those 12 excruciating hours waiting at home while mommy was in the E.R. where doctors were trying to find out if she had brain tumor or an aneurism. Even though she is still very sick, she is not going to die yet. Yesterday she said to me, "Everyday we live a little bit; everyday we die a little bit. Its just part of life." ~Rosewillow (my amazing daughter going to be 13 on December 10th) OK, here's what I'm thankful for today: Soft gloves on cold morning, sharing juicy pear with husband who will thankfully recover from bike accident, close talks with my daughters and son in law, wise and caring friends who add meaning to life.~Love, Viv I am grateful for the loving Beings that surround and lift and support me every day, even though I cannot see them. Their loving energy sustains and gathers me into the Wild Love of Spirit.~Anne Marie In this present moment, I am grateful for: the work I have teaching and the students I get to share art with. The appreciation of my clients for the artwork I do for them. I come away feeling so good. My most wonderful husband which should have been first on the list :-) Family and sharing so many wonderful times with them. My hands and the power of creativity. My spiritual practice, my sacred space. My yoga students and sharing our growth together. The online community of creative and spiritual friends.. thank you for being there and for sharing your art and your thoughts, feelings.. you all are a treasured gift. I am so deeply grateful for my life and the opportunity to be here having this amazing experience... such blessings!! Namaste'~Doreen I am thankful for being supported by Divine hands every day of my life. I am thankful for every day I wake up and am given the gift of being able to observe the beauty of the world around me. Stay strong! L'hit,~Barb I am grateful for you, Laura, that you dare to reach out and call others into a moment of gratitude. Every moment we spend praising moves us back from the edge, and individually and collectively towards a new humanity~Seena I am grateful for the good hours and the good days and I pray for the wisdom to recognize them.~Lisa I am so grateful for love and support from so many friends and family. I know that cultivating relationships takes hard work and I only hope I give as much as I get. I work on that...and know I fall short or miss the mark often, but these people are still there. And for that I am grateful.~Naomi I am grateful for a beautiful day, the first in a while, where i felt in touch with other people in healthy ways, where my skills at being a listener and teacher showed signs of growth and i was able to be there for others while still being there for myself. love you (soul) sister~Alyson I am grateful that my family and loved ones are safe right now. Living in South Africa this is not always the case. I am also deeply thankful for the way the yearning and song in my heart has gently unfolded itself to me, bringing me closer and closer to a direct experience of the mystery hidden in all. Since I was a little girl I have longed to hear the voices behind the slightly common place reality surrounding me. Now at the age of 37 I am finally starting to hear whispers. I am deeply grateful for all the decisions I have made and for all the prayers that have brought me to this place where I realize that magic might just really exist and that I might be deemed worthy to dance with it. Lastly I feel honored to wake up every morning to be surrounded by plants, animals, rocks. Grass so green, big white clouds, all the space above and all the earth below. A tree dancing with the wind, a wolf dog leaping up to catch the sun, a raindrop giggling as it hits the roof.~Helena The list is incredibly long, but in light of sad news within my family, I am thankful for the unquestionable love and support we share~Andrea I'm grateful to have taken the plunge at the beginning of 2009 and be doing my purpose, creating excellence in exercise. I've had the opportunity to meet so many amazing people on the path of self healing, awareness, and joy! ~Lisa Gratitude, if you choose that path, is like a wild card. You can use it any time. When played, every thing becomes better. Enough becomes more, denial turns into clarity, problems into gifts and failures into success.~Karen I am thankful that I woke up in an incredibly happy mood today!~Dara (yup, another one of my amazing students!!!!!now in college 20) I am grateful for rocks and Harry Potter and poodles wearing "the cone of shame" and trees with no leaves, spiderwebs. And I'm grateful for mashed potatoes. (Belin's random thoughts in the moment...that was my question...what are you grateful for in THIS MOMENT?-Belin is my poetic almost 16 year old daughter, it's wonderful that she just let it rip in a steam of gratitude consciousness!)Well here goes. The one thing that now makes me happiest is to hear your voice. Also I'm very grateful for such a beautiful and caring family. I suppose your father and I did something right, and that family includes our children as well as those they brought home to us.~Love Mom I'm thankful that I still have your Mom by my side despite all her illnesses that she handholds up well despite this. I'm hoping that Gordon will be as lucky and that you will recover and be active again at his side. At times situations seem bleak and a black cloud seems to hover above, but often we survive these times and grow stronger from them. As Mom said we are thankful when we just hear your voice.~Dad I am first and foremost grateful to you for the model you set for being with physical challenges in the most beautiful loving, spiritual and faith centered way. It influenced me deeply as I was caring for my husband when he broke his elbow two days ago. I thought of you often and I felt some of the love you speak up that emerges in times of trial. So please see this as a big gratitude I have for you and your courage and your light and all your sharings. What I am very grateful for the past few days is that when my husband fell off his bike he did not get hurt worse than he did. And I am so grateful that there are people who know how to fix broken elbows and give him the right medicine so that it doesn't hurt while they are fixing the elbow. I so don't know how to do surgery to fix an elbow. And I was very grateful that I felt so deeply calm and loving and capable of doing what needed to be done to take care of him. And I am always and continually grateful that I am Jewish and live in Jerusalem. Much love~Diane Thank you lord...For sunlit hours and visions clear...And all remembered faces dear...For hours that levy's a heavy tole...But brought us nearer to our goal...For insights won through toil and tears...We thank the keeper of the years...Blessings~Karen Right now, I am grateful for my hands! and that I was able to fix my toilet :-)~Doe Even if our mouths were full of song as the ocean is full of waves... we could not fully thank you for the many, many kindnesses which you have shown to our ancestors and to us." (Siddur) I am grateful beyond expression for the gift of this precious human life, for the opportunity to connect to all of creation through eyes and ears and most of all heart, and for the invitation to continually grow in wisdom. HalleluYah!~Nancy I am grateful for opportunities to connect and reconnect with other human beings, to be known and to know. I am grateful for my senses, the taste of lemon meringue pie, the smell of the rain on the pavement, the feel of my sister's babies kicking in her belly against my hand, the sound of the chickadees, and seeing my husband at the end of a long day.I'm grateful for having the skill and talent to create the jewelry I see in my mind's eye. I'm grateful for this life that I have.With love and appreciation~Susan This year I am thankful for technology. Because without it, there would be so many things I would not be able to have or do... too many to list, in fact. But the one that is the most important, is that through technology, I can stay in touch with my family and friends, who are all so far very away from me. I know the common thought is usually to revile technology as losing us our innocence, but trust me, we'd lost our innocence as humans long before we had computers and cars. So, my thanks to all the geniuses and inventors who were often laughed at and ignored; past, present and future. I love you Laura, you know you are the only person I would blog for :P.~Pam I am grateful for life, breath, sadness, joy, and hope.~Brooks So you want to know what I am grateful for …besides having you as a friend? Well, I am blessed by the love of my family and friends for sure but even beyond that or maybe sustaining that kind of personal love is the love that comes to me from the universe, from God. I feel grateful to tears in the early morning when the sun has risen and it’s powerful light pokes at the tree tops as it begins to illuminate the sky. I am ever grateful that each day no matter what happened the day before the sun rises to shine in our world. Even when the clouds seem to tell us otherwise, I know that the sun is still there and its energy of light is ready to permeate my daily life. It’s something I can count on no matter what kind of darkness threatens me.~Noreen I guess the bottom line is that if everyday is a gift, what part am I not thankful for?~Bill I am thankful for many many things such as coffee in the mornings, cats to cuddle with at night, family to take care of me and to love me, music and novels which help me express my thoughts and feelings and to the wonderful people who have and will help me get where I'm going~Becca (my bubbly niece, 15.5 thanks BEX!) I am thankful for lovely friends like YOU.~Eve I am grateful for the warmth of the sun, the blue of the sky, the ocean breeze caressing my skin. I am grateful for the constancy of the waves, breathing in and out from the shore, reminding me of the constancy of the Divine in my life.~Rose I am grateful for the wonders permeating my life – my golden retrievers Liza Jolie and Zydeco Ardoin, my friends, my coaching practice, and so many other things. I am grateful for literature, music, theatre, and dance. I am grateful for the ability to learn and the amazing educational opportunities I have had over the years. I am grateful for colors, sunlight, cloud formations in the sky, and beautiful sunsets. I am grateful for mountains and oceans. I am grateful for rivers and the sound of running water from the fountains throughout my house. I am grateful for the wonderful experiences I have had and even more grateful for the difficult experiences. It is the difficult experiences that have made me stronger and given me the most occasion for growth. I am grateful that I can choose how I perceive circumstances, that I can find the gift in adversity. I am grateful for Buddhism, God, and my spiritual practice. I am grateful that I have been given this precious human life. ~Laurie The essence of our thanks giving is best measured not only by our gratitude for our blessings themselves but by the way in which we use them for the wellbeing of those we touch in life. This has deepened my thinking on the purpose of a life... I think we are here to add to the beauty and goodness of humanity in whatever way resonates most with us in the moment. Whether it be caring for a loved one, for our planet, or for ourselves we ultimately rise and heal and find our peace as we give. We humans have a profound capacity for beauty untold... and I believe we are here to realize this in ever deeper ways while supporting one another in doing the same. ~Art I also found a nice quote on the transformative power of gratitude (from Art): "Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow." ~ Melody Beattie I am grateful for every human expression of God's Love and Beauty, large and small, long term and fleeting, purposeful and accidental. I am so thankful to everyone who takes a moment to care. ~Sandy “Bless every person I have met, every face I have seen, every voice I have heard, especially those most dear; bless every city, town, and street that I have known, bless every sight I have seen, every sound I have heard, every object I have touched. In some mysterious way these have all fashioned my life; all that I am, I have received.” John J. Morris, SJ ~Jan "There's a sun in every person.... the you we call companion"~ Rumi Thank you Laura for being so sunny, and helping others to bring out the sun within!! Your language is universal! And it is full of light and love!!!!My gratitude meter was a little dusty this morning, always nearby, but a little dusty. Not anymore, thanks to your message!!!!!~Laura I am thankful for my family as my comfort, my home as my refuge, my friends as my support and my work as my passion. I am thankful for the many blessings that I experience each day. Some are as simple as waking in the morning and seeing another day stretched out in front of me. More than anything, it is opportunity to be with family and to connect with friends that I am so thankful for. My blessings are more than I can count and for that I am truly grateful.~Melite As we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday here in the United States, this is a good time for me to stop and all that I have. I am deeply thankful for the love that I experience in my daily journey. Love is such a sweet, sweet feeling. I think back to moments where I have not felt that love, and how empty that can feel. And it all makes me connect even more with the spirit of love and the deep inner beauty it represents. It's there in all of us...in everyone throughout the world! And when I think about that, I'm even more deeply touched at how expansive and real this very personal love is. May we all experience love's boundless beauty!~Lance I am grateful for the dog sleeping by my side twitching his feet as he dreams...the clock ticking behind me...the gentle lights of late night lamps glowing above. I am grateful for breath, for my children, yoga, spines and gingerbread cookies with raisin buttons and marshmellow hats...I am grateful for color, and fall yellow gingko leaves on green grass..and for friends to talk with through thin air via this silver thing atop my lap, under my fingers...i am supremely grateful for this life, and for the smile on my son's face for a moment when we connect...~Myriam From my heart . . . right now what I feel grateful for is the open window into Laura's beautiful and creative mind, soul, heart. I feel moved, horrified, helpless and at the same time so grateful to be part of the community Laura has created, this sacred circle who is rooting for Laura and her family--all wanting and hoping and loving and supporting them in any way we possibly can. Wishing you all blessings small and large, through and through.With much love~Audrey I am grateful for every opportunity that comes knocking at my door. For my friends and my family. For knowledge and learning (for myself and for everyone around me.) And I am grateful for community, in the many forms it takes, and for the fact that it can take years to find/create and it can be created almost instantaneously. And, finally, I am thankful for health and happiness.~Mara I am grateful for all of our friends who have helped us out. Thanks for Showin' up ~ Gordon (my husband, soulmate and best friend for 21 wonderful, adventure-filled hilarious, loving, crazy, fantastic years. He is the only adult I feel compelled to identify...notice he didn't mention me or the kids in his gratitude statement! LoL)Gratitude I practice everyday so it's not hard to think of something... really the list is endless. Today I am grateful for huge crashing waves and the smell of the grand mother ocean so close by. Love ~Batya I have deep appreciation for my inner growth, expansion and transformation. I have deep appreciation for my connection to Mother Earth and all of her creatures. I have deep appreciation for all of the wonderful people in my life and the fun and laughter we share! I am thankful for new opportunities, surprises, and the magical way that Spirit moves through my life! Happy Thanksgiving!~Lisa I am grateful that RIGHT NOW my life speaks the truth of who I am meant to be!~Judi I am grateful for the stars, for the sky, for eyes that let me touch souls, for all the hands that have offered me help, for all the tears shed when someone was really present. I am grateful for a tongue that tastes, feet that walk, fresh water, rest, the bird that made a nest in the magnolia tree out my window, for my imperfect parents. I am grateful for breath, yummy gluten free tortillas, water that washes clean, those who remind me how good and how loved I am. Modah Ani L'fanecha....~Judi I am thankful for heart and lungs and muscles and bones and arteries and veins and a brain that makes it all work together somehow.~Anne I am so grateful for the presence of grace in my life -- the unpredictable but real sense of unconditional acceptance and love that visits me and clears the clouds from my soul.~Marc Holy One of Being thank you for the ability to join in making these lists, to engage in these preparations, to delight in anticipation of gathering with loved ones, and to experience these with an awareness of the amazing abundance of the life you have given me. Kol tuv~Julie I'm thankful for friends and family~Reggie (yet another of my many effervescent nieces, almost 17) I am grateful for this moment to stop and see what I am grateful for. And in this moment, I find myself welling up with gratitude (and tears) for being able to watch my children grow up and move into the world. Even as my daughters, 15 and 18 years old, present such interesting challenges, I am beyond grateful they are in my life. The feeling is as strong as the day they were born and first placed in my arms. ~Audrey (I am thankful) For the ability to be of service, for for the reality of forgiveness, for the trust of children, for the fact that we don't know what's next, for the gift of forgetting and the promise of maybe.~Amy I am thankful for thankfulness! It turns everything around~Vivie In my heart, Moments Of you, And you And you. All those who I have met along The way Cherishing the Experiences Joy, Laughter, Tears, Fears, Anger, Love, Patience, Impatience, Dancing, Singing,Praying, And more My heart Cherishes this Journey In glee, Thankful For each Lesson they May bring What else May I say, I walk This path Grateful for Each day~Dechen I know you wanted me to close my eyes first but when I read your note, I could not. I just have to blurt out all that I feel about gratitude. First, I am so thankful for you who and your uniqueness. You are such an inspiration to us all. To have the challenges you face right now and still find all that you are grateful for in your life. You are amazing and I wish you so much healing and positive energy and hope that your family and friends continue to be the blessing that they are to you in your life at this time and always. As you may remember I was in Europe last month and had the opportunity to visit Dakau while outside of Munich. Although I felt completely numb for the two or three hours of the tour, I had a moment to myself away from the tour. I proceeded into the chapel where I could absorb all that I learned and all that I felt. Believe it or not I felt so utterly grateful for finally being able to stand in the place of the suffering of our people. I could finally cry for them and say kaddish for them and hope that I could merit their souls so that we could all be elevated together not just in this world, but in their world too. It was the essence of a true oneness of both worlds and a feeling of being together (B'yachad) that I will never forget. ~Marjie I'm thankful for the little things, even if they only last a few minutes. I'm thankful for my health because, unfortunately, there is always someone worse off than I. I'm thankful for my family, my wife and kids. I'm thankful my parents taught me to be a good parent. I'm thankful I'm able to travel and see the world. I'm thankful that I can do things to help others.~Eric I'm thankful for family and wrestling.~Willie (my handsome nephew age 14, the only boy among 6 female cousins on my side of the family!)I am most grateful for the people in my life....my children and grandchildren, my mom, my brothers and their families and my good friends. I love being able to share good times with them and I know that they will always be there for me when I need support. To me joys are more special and troubles lighter when they are shared.~Carol I am grateful beyond words and even beyond song to be able to sing my heart and spirit out from the depths of my being knowing that the sound coming through me allows others to soar a little closer to God's heaven.~Rita What I'm grateful for: My 20 year marriage with a kind, loving husband The boys we raised together who continue to make me laugh.The wisdom I am developing to accept uncertainty. The network of friends I have who I can count on. Love and Hugs ~Sheryl I am thankful that I have a really good teacher.~Alex (a bright and kind boy from my synagogue community, such mensch already at age 10!) I am thankful for my family and friends.~Lela (age 6, Alex's younger sister, sweet, shy and beautiuful like her mother) My new book! ~Sarinah (Alex and Lela's baby sister, too cute for words age 2) Good health, more than ever, and my family.~Sue and Larry I am so thankful for our whole family, that we are healthy and able to be together on Thanksgiving with my parents here as well. I feel very fortunate to have found a special community to live and work in.~Jon I'm thankful for many things, but most of all my family, especially for my parents, who with warmth, love and a lot hard work built a strong foundation for my sisters and me, for my husband, my best friend and rock, and for my kids, who bring so much light and joy to every day.~Laurie I am grateful for Health-Lover-Friends-Daughter-Family-Laughter-Good Food~Laura When all is said and done, I am thankful, for the gift of health and for the family who sticks around for each other somehow. No matter how mad we may feel toward each other, at the end of the day, we will still be there when things are difficult. Having a family you can depend on remains a part of life that can be full of grace when you can keep that in focus.~anonymous While many of us sit and enjoy freedom along with the abundance of food and drink at our tables with friends and family today, let us not forget our Sisters, Brothers and Children around the world who are hungry, humiliated and struggling to simply stay alive. Click on the blue link below to read a special blog entry from my friend Karin Bartimole; an inspiration for all of us to take action to create a safer world of prosperity and dignity for all people. The focus of this entry is women in Darfur. Please take a moment to stop by Karin's blog A View Beyond Words. There are many other countries in the world as well as here in the United States where our help is needed, Karin's blog is just one place to start. On the right side column of my blog page there are many links listed under YOU can Heal the World that offer much needed aid to people in many lands around the globe as well as organizations doing medical research that requires funding to better understand, treat and eradicate life altering and sometimes deadly illnesses such as Crohn's Disease, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis and Breast Cancer, AIDS to name a few. Every small donation gets scientists closer to cures for these devastating illnesses. Now, how can I end something endless...this quilt is like the ocean, the sky, an eternity of gratitude for being alive. I offer now one more time my gratitude to all of YOU beings of light; this too (my gratitude) is eternal. All the days of my life I will remember all of you and how WE created a community here in cyberspace. Thank you for stepping into your own hearts to listen to your truth, your wisdom, the voice of your soul, and sharing your thoughts, feelings and pure love with all of us and the Holy Blessed One within, around, between us all. May all beings be blessed with Shalom Shanti Salam Amaní Paz FoisScots Friður ekki Frisur Hedd Nirudho Pingan Rangima'arie Shîte Vrede Duala Pace Yatanpa Kuthula Ukuthula Mire Pas Wo’okeyeh Fred Nimuhore Sula Wolakota Hasiti Rój Sióchain Heiwa Béke Friede Irini Pau He Ping

Peace ~Laura

Feel free to expand this quilt and spread the love by adding your gratitude statements at any time. Simply click on post a comment below, love to hear from everyone who stops by!

19 comments:

  1. Absolutly blown away....Well done Laura.... you are amazing! And I am so glad that I know you! Words cannot express how much I admire your love and courage and selflessly think of everyone else. I love you sweetie xxx

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  2. I am grateful for - my health, my close friends and family: the people I love, my studio, the freedom to move around and do in the world, my body, the ability and desire to communicate, the place I live in.
    ~TIRTZA, ISRAEL

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  3. Yowza!! An Abundance Galore of gratitude Laura!! Thanks for bringing us all together to share in this outwardly conscious day of thanks - may we carry the messages with us far and beyond! Blessings for a happy, healthy, love filled, and peaceful day with your family! hugs and love, Karin

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  4. Dear Laura;

    Well done sweetie pie. The first thing I did when I sprung from my bed, was turn on the computer to check out today's blog. La La La...

    I feel like I just participated in a very large continent hug. May this energy quilt you've created, blanket the world with more love, light and laughter than there was five seconds ago. You raised a little bit of the earth's vibration today.

    Mosel Tov,

    Karen

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  5. I am including some messages people send me in the comments. Pretty awesome!

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  6. Beautiful, beautiful words and I am blessed to be able to read them.

    I am grateful for every sunrise and sunset for I have had 24 hours to live and choose who and what I spend my minutes on.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

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  7. Hi Laura,

    I am blown away by all that was written. My eyes are tearing up because of how beautiful this post is and to see the gratitude of so many people.

    God bless you for doing this and for being you. I am grateful and thankful to have you in my life. I think it is kind of funny how we both are from the Philly area and how both of our fathers are hematologists. How cool is that?

    Sending you lots of love and hugs,
    Nadia - Tha Happy Lotus

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  8. what a huge job you've had collating so many gratefulness comments from around the world

    thankyou for taking the time to weave such a global quilt

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  9. WOW, Laura, just WOW!!! Look at what you have done, dear heart. I am in awe of all of the beautiful words that everyone has shared. Have a fantastic day! You must be GLOWING after creating such an incredible post. This is MARVELOUS!!!

    Sending big hugs and lots of love,
    Deb

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  10. this is so incredibly heartwarming Laura.. my eyes are wet and lips upturned as my soul smiles :)
    many blessings, love and hugs to you.. and a world of gratitude too......... xxx

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  11. what that was an amazing post.

    beautiful :)

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  12. What an amazing feat you have accomplished Laura. The Gratitude Quilt on your blog is absolutely beautiful. I am deeply moved by everyone's comments. They serve as a powerful reminder of all the wonderful things we have in our lives for which we can be grateful. Thank you so much taking the time and effort to do this!

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  13. wish i'd had a few moments earlier in the week to respond here, Laura..this is beautiful..

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  14. arghh..i pushed Return before I was done..wanted to say that I am very grateful for internet friends like YOU..for the folks who've followed my ramblings for years now on square-peg people..for LOVE, for home and finding a home in myself...for the way joy sneaks up on you sometimes and you could about fall down with how beautiful life is..and for humor..thanks for doing this..it's soooo lovely!

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  15. Laura wow! They say, "A rising tide raises all ships." Well you raised the tide quite a bit with this remarkable act of giving. Just the act of people contributing (let alone reading the touching messages of others) at the very least got 100 people to reflect on what they're thankful for and maybe do a little soul searching. And the impact of that can touch everyone they come into contact with as well.

    Laura, even with your illness, you are making a dent in the world, and I hope this is only the beginning! What a valuable lesson to others who are struggling---physically, financially, or otherwise---that there's a tremendous healing and sense of purpose that can be gained by taking a little time to contribute something to the world despite one's personal challenges.

    You're an inspiration to us all, Laura.

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  16. What an amazing and wonderful compilation you've brought together. It is so moving to read these pieces offered by so many. What a beautiful gift of you to give, Laura!!

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  17. Oh this is beautiful. What a lovely idea and how nice all the words. So special. Reading bits and pieces from your blog and I just love it. Congratulations on a stunning blog.
    Barbiboo
    http://barbiboo-bea.blogspot.com/

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  18. I'm thankful for the sun and moon, and for seasons - not only those of nature, but those of life. Some of life's seasons are darker than others, but always - always - God gives you back your sunshine. You just have to be patient! Mary Hicks

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  19. I live a life of gratitude...thank you for a beautiful blog site, Laura. Your presence gives much inspiration for this world of chaos and order, love and conflict, light and dark...

    In this mix of paradoxes, there exists the Divine who embraces the disfigured, the torn-apart, the messy and the weak.

    It is indeed heartfelt joy to know you are here and that you do mirror the Divine...

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