On this, the last day of 2013, I sit with my dog enjoying our morning ritual: cup of coffee and a book for me, warm rug and neck rub for him. It's a good way to start the day. There is love and gratitude in it.
As this year comes to a close there are two things that keep coming up again and again for me: love and gratitude. Truth be told, I'm always thinking about these things because my life is permeated, saturated – full to the brim with them both. And because, I've discovered a secret about them...
They are the secrets to life.
I read two things this morning. The first was 10 Things Wives Want to Hear From Their Husbands, and I cried with gratitude because somehow I managed to marry a man who says all those things to me, without prompting, and more. And you know what? I say them too, because my heart is always on fire with gratitude for our life together, because I see with total, searing clarity what I have and it is beautiful, whole and overflowing with love.
You can never say "thank you" too much. Never. Go say it to someone right now. Say it real, and say it deep, from the bottom of your soul where real gratitude lives.
"Thank you" is more than a simple statement of appreciation, it is pure magick...alchemy. It has the power to transform. If you doubt me, try turning to it in a situation where the very last thing you feel for someone or something is gratitude, and see what happens. It will turn your frown upside down.
There is a saying I love...
If the only prayer you ever said was, 'thank you,' it would be enough.
It's true. Thank you is a prayer, an affirmation and an offering on the altar of love. Say it more, and don't forget to say it to yourself.
Here is another one I love...
If not for love, then why?
No, it's not just a bumper sticker on my teacher's car, it's the one and only benchmark we need for everything we do in life. It's what mindfulness is all about. Because if we ask ourselves in every single moment of our lives, 'If not for love, then why?'...what happens? By asking ourselves that simple question we are holding ourselves to a higher standard, and that is the standard that keeps us unwaveringly on our Soul Path.
Try it. See what happens. Then say it more, and don't forget to say it to your children. Imagine what a human life could look like if that were its only measure of success from Day One. Imagine what our planet would look like.
The second thing I read this morning was, 21 Unexpected Ways to Say I Love You. #13 really got me. It says...
The gift of seeing someone. And naming what you see.
Have you ever experienced this? Really, truly being seen in your life? God, I hope you have. If you haven't you need to change the people you have in your life.
When someone sees you, they get you...for real. Hook, line and sinker....balls to bones, and they honor that. They aren't trying to make you into somebody your not, they aren't judging who you are. In a way it goes back to that thank you thing again. They are saying, "I see you, and who you are is glorious. Thank you for being you."
Recently my mum, for no good reason at all, sent me a package. Inside was a beautiful silver ring with the inscription...
Hear my soul speak.
When I asked her about it she said, "I just saw it and it reminded me of you and all the work you do with your art work, and yoga and everything." When I showed it to my good friend Jessica later that day she looked at it and said,
She sees you.
Yes, yes she does. And that makes all the difference in my life.
See someone in your life today– for real– and name what you see to them. Give them that precious gift. It will be a gift to yourself as well, because it will give you clarity and gratitude for how lucky you are to have them in your life. See people more, and name all the beauty that you see. And don't forget to see and name for yourself, because we dream the world around us into being with the words and actions we take towards ourselves. The world is simply a mirror reflection of how we see ourselves, and so as we love ourselves more all the love in the world grows.
Imagine all the people, living life in peace. – John Lennon
This Christmas was a bittersweet one for us. We spent it with my father-in-law who knows a thing or two about love and gratitude. He is mourning the loss of the love of his life who died earlier this year. They were together for 43 years and I know they not only made it that long, but thrived and grew in their life together because they were grateful for each other in every moment, and because they saw each other. They loved, respected and valued each other just the way they were. And even now in his loneliness and grief I know that that love and gratitude sustains him, because Death is a cheat, and cheaters never win. Nothing conquers love.
As usual, he gave us a Christmas card. Inside he wrote...
I feel that I should say something profound —
but my wish for you is simple...
I wish you love.
And that, is my wish for you.
Love and light,
Teal Marie Chimblo Fyrberg
31 December, 2013