Bring on the Bless-ed Beginnings!

I begin anew with gratitude as the Thanksgiving month ends in Canada and the Thanksgiving month is about to begin in America.  I’ve always felt fortunate that my fall, my favourite season of the year, finds a way to immerse me in extended enthusiasm towards being grateful.  The benefit of blending our Canadian/American family life doesn’t simply mean two turkey dinners to indulge in; it means I mindfully reflect on all that surrounds me, all that generously creates the beautiful life I enjoy.

I admit that I somehow slipped before this October began, and I fell into fear and worry instead of framing my perspective with my new way of approaching each day: Bring on the Bless-ed Beginnings!!  Despite trying to rise above all the anxiety and frustration in my life (like blowing fall leaves) I let it dump on me and pile up in a choking, nasty, gonna-get-you bunch of garden clean-up.  How did that happen?

All righty, the slump ends today.  I just stared into the eyes of Dusty for my recharging moment of oxytocin—just read that the other day, locking eyes with your dog generates a certain amount of oxytocin flowing through your system— and since I definitely want the “feel-good” hormone to swiftly sweep away my slumpiness, I begin with a prayer and a stare!!

Ha!! The spell checker would like me to replace slumpiness with sliminess, perhaps that describes the reluctant motivation that slithered through my core for the past month: a sticky, paralyzing goo that threatened to blur my focus from literally spinning out of this vertigo.  It’s time to shift the paradigm as those motivational books all declare, it’s time to thankfully begin each day connecting with the words I feel so compelled to share.

Let’s Bring on the Bless-ed Beginnings!!

Brad and I restarted our volunteer commitment to the Calgary Food Bank this fall.  He takes on a role on the distribution line bringing the food hampers to the clients and helping them pack up the grocery carts they can use to take the food to their cars.  I serve as a greeter, someone who attempts to lighten the atmosphere of the situation.  More importantly as families and individuals leave the Food Bank, carts crammed with generous donations, I serve as someone who can receive the simple word, “Thank you.”

I never realized how powerful and meaningful that word could be when offered with a sincere and heartfelt locking of the eyes.  But in that moment, when I receive it, I feel like I am opening a gift that rebuilds my spirit of generosity.  I share a moment of intense humility with families who struggle with too many bills, as they try to make their way through tough economic times.  I listen with empathy to the individual describing his medical ordeal that led to his reliance on the food bank.  I offer silent prayers as each story unravels in the quiet space when a “thank you” is given with meaningful intent and purpose.

Yes I know how to adapt an attitude of gratitude, to note and list all that I am thankful for, but I never knew how to honestly accept a beautiful “Thank you” until I served as a greeter at the Food Bank.

In those quiet moments when my eyes lock with the person sometimes smiling, sometimes aching, sometimes determined… in those moments I am rejuvenated by a gratitude connection, a prayer and a stare wrapped in Thanksgiving.

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