“At times, our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” ~Albert Schweitzer
This week’s quote reminds us to recognize the positive contributions of others. In last week’s blog, we concluded that real gratitude is experienced when you are grateful for life itself. While this is true to a certain extent, it doesn’t quite capture the essence of gratitude. It leaves out perhaps the most important aspect: being grateful for other people. While it is important to be thankful for the journey of life, real gratitude is experienced when you have a deep appreciation for those who contribute to your journey.
To better appreciate the value of others, image how unsatisfactory your life would be if nobody else existed except you. Besides being really difficult, life would be devoid of any connection, humor or meaning. It is the presence of other people that makes life worth living.
Let’s face it, life isn’t easy. It’s hard work to always carry the light inside your heart. Inevitably, there will be times when your light flickers and goes out. That’s why it is important to be grateful for the people that make your existence more bearable- for anyone who rekindles your inner flame.
Remember that keeping the collective flame alight is a reciprocal process. As such, there will be times when you are the one who provides the necessary spark for others. How will you know when it’s your time to shine? As the poet Rumi once wrote, “If everything around seems dark, look again, you may be the light.”
"Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into."
~ Wayne Dyer
The scene depicted in this week’s photo is our unique take on the Horn of Plenty, an ancient symbol of abundance and prosperity. Also known as a Cornucopia, it is typically shown overflowing with fruits, grains, root vegetables and flowers. Its curved form represents an endless flow of abundance, a visual representation of a bountiful harvest. We often see the Cornucopia this time of year, to the point that it has become synonymous with the Thanksgiving holiday. But what exactly does a display of abundance have to do with giving thanks?
A feeling of gratitude is the natural response that most people have when experiencing abundance. Simply put, when you look upon an abundant scene like the one above, you can’t help but feel a sense of richness and plenitude. Witnessing such abundance gives you a whole new appreciation for life and for the unlimited gifts that are freely given to us by the Earth. By acknowledging the generous nature of existence, you become grateful just to be alive. As Wayne Dyer once said, “Gratitude is the complete and full response of the heart to everything in the universe.”
What can you do to foster an abundant mindset this Thanksgiving? It starts by becoming aware of the times when the scarcity mindset takes over. Whenever you feel like there isn’t enough, chances are you have fallen victim to scarcity. When you only concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never feel like you have enough. Switching from a scarcity mindset to an abundant mindset is relatively straight forward. Instead of fixating on what you don’t have, appreciate what you do have. In other words, to experience abundance right now, tune into the richness and blessings that are already in your life. Remember that true gratitude is not just being thankful for the good things in life, it is being thankful for life itself.
"Change is inevitable, but transformation is by conscious choice."
~Heather Ash Amara
This week’s quote is a helpful reminder of what transformation is all about. The process of transformation is often misunderstood by those on the spiritual path. We see the way that caterpillars transform themselves into butterflies and we falsely believe that one day, we will undergo a similar process. However, try as you might, you will never spontaneously sprout colorful wings and flutter away.
This is not due to some failure on your part, it’s simply because you are not a caterpillar, you are a human being. There is really no escaping from yourself. You will always be you, no matter what you do. Regardless of how much transformation you experience in your lifetime, you will still be a human being in the end.
So, what exactly are you supposed to transform into? The real question is, what kind of human being do you want to become? As Heather Ash Amara points out, change is going to happen anyway, whether or not you put any effort in. In fact, you could take no action at all and still undergo a transformation of sorts. The only difference is you might not like what you transform into. Real transformation, therefore, involves taking conscious control over the process of change. If change is going to happen anyway, then transformation means purposely changing for the better.
Of course, transformation doesn’t happen overnight. It’s the result of a sustained, intentional effort to evolve and grow and become the best possible version of yourself. There are no shortcuts. There’s no magic pill you can take or button you can push to transform yourself. Instead, transformation is the direct result of your daily actions. So, instead of waiting passively for change to happen to you, take steps today towards becoming the person you’ve always wanted to be.
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About The Author
Nick Hughes is a massage therapist, yoga instructor and co-owner of Well Being. Influenced by the ideas of Alan Watts, Eckhart Tolle, Ram Dass, and Deepak Chopra, Nick presents his unique take on human existence with the goal of helping others live a happier life.