Thank you for being willing to read this, the first blog post from Designs for Peace. You are receiving this post because you have touched my life.
November is my favorite month because it emphasizes the giving of thanks, a practice that my beloved mother, June Purcell Beddoe, excelled at. When I was growing up, I confess it annoyed me to hear her constant mantras, “Count your blessings” and “Aren’t you lucky?” To my childish mind, this sounded like nagging.
It wasn’t until my twenties when I was living and working in the west side of Chicago that I saw the profound truth of my mother’s words. Probably it was one night, while I sat amidst a sea of human misery in the Emergency Room of Cook County Hospital. Repeated bouts of pneumonia took me there for help during my first Chicago winter. As the hours dragged on, I witnessed just how was lucky I was and how many blessings I had.
The ER nurse explains triage protocol to me: “Priority goes to gunshot or stab wounds, especially like those you just saw, to the face or the gut. Next come the burn cases due to when your building burns to the ground. Then there are the kids and the moms who just took a beating. And then there's the homeless folk whose toes just froze off… and so on. We'll treat all these worse off cases ahead of your pneumonia, okay? So sorry, but do you understand me, girlfriend?”
Yes, even in my fever haze, I surely did understand her. And every day since then I try my best to understand the immense privilege of my many blessings. Being thankful and practicing gratitude humbles me and brings me great joy. (Isn’t it funny how our parents get smarter the older we become! Thank you, oh wise Mom!)
Here are two Gratefulness Practices for you. Gifts of Surprise, Synchronicities and the Sacred await!
Okagesamade Meditation Practice is useful to help connect us to the Web of Life and to remember all the beings who make a specific moment possible.
Gratefulness Practice is something you could share with your family at a special gathering when you’d like to offer gratitude for a particular person. My grandchildren have enjoyed this ritual at Thanksgiving.
Thank you for the blessing of your presence in my life!