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On Gratitude, Grace and the Meaning of Forgiveness
Written by KiraGrace Warrior Michelle Marchildon
The good folks at KiraGrace asked me to write a few words on gratitude in the wake of the most spiritually devastating and polarizing election our country can recall in recent times. Of course, this seems like the worst of times because human beings have such famously short memories.
There was this other terrible, polarizing and devastating time in our history called the Civil War, after which our country put itself together with the intent that liberty and justice would be for all. Not that we always succeeded. Not that it is perfect today. But the intent was clear.
Yoga and the Five Acts of Shiva teach us that out of concealment comes revelation. There seems to be a lot of places in the world today that are metaphorically, and literally, burning down. When we donât know why things are happening, this is the essence of âconcealment.â The Universe has a plan, but she hasnât let us in on it yet.
Sometimes things need to burn down before they can be built anew. Human beings also famously dislike discomfort. We will do anything to seek out the 700-thread-count sheets and pull them over our heads rather than face our shortcomings. But comfort and clarity is not to be ours just yet. At this moment, the only thing we know for sure are the words of Anne Lamott:
âCertainty, is missing the point entirely.â
Nevertheless, I am quite sure about a few things: I am deeply grateful for the good in my life. I am thankful for my yoga practice because it has kept me sane these past few weeks. I am grateful for my family and friends. Iam so very grateful for the yogis who show up on their mat, and in their life, to make the world a better place. I also love my dog very much.
Grace is a funny thing. Grace is a given and a gift to us all, and yet so few of us feel its bounty. Grace is love and forgiveness rolled into a communal diffuser, and yet we donât inhale its vapors.
Grace is everywhere, and it is especially at the tables where we will gather, in homes where people have different opinions. Try to inhale deeply. Listen intently. Remember what you know for sure, and what you are grateful for, and that there might be a small dog under the table hoping for scraps.
Michelle Marchildon is the Yogi Muse. She is the author of Finding More on the Mat: How I Grew Better, Wiser and Stronger with Yoga. You can find her writing here.
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What do you do to practice thankfulness? We'd love for you to share with us your ideas in the comments below! We are so crazy thankful that you are a part of our community. Each and every one of you have such beautiful stories and spirits that deeply inspire us. Wishing each of you a beautiful, mindful, and rich Thanksgiving.