On this Christmas Eve night, such a sacred night for so many, I am with my daughter as she recovers from surgery, watching every holiday movie we can get our hands on — and celebrating Love – for life, for each other, for the gifts Life / God / the Universe has given so generously. Yep, White Christmas was on our viewing list — it’s been one of our favorites for years.
The Master Key Master Mind Alliance class is one of those gifts I have been fortunate enough to receive this year. In our class assignment for this month, we are writing index cards, each one a gift, an accomplishment, a moment of joy from our lives, and peppering the pile with affirmations for future gifts and talents that I ask the Infinite to provide. We divide the stack of cards (I’m well over 100 at this point) and at least 2-3 times a day, we read one of the stacks, then shuffle the cards for another read. Each day for the 30 days, we create 3 new cards at the end of each day, recognizing the gifts we’ve observed that came to us during the day. What a great exercise in Gratitude!
Today, I will add a card about the holiday movie time I’m spending with my daughter, one describing the joy I felt today decorating her small apartment, and one for the gratitude I have for her progress in healing, her feeling well enough to want to get up and decorate.
Another class exercise in gratitude involves practicing the Law of Giving and Receiving. “I promise to be a grateful receiver of the gifts that surround me, pausing often and noticing nature, kindnesses, smiles and compliments; which I gladly receive with a thank you.” The cards exercise gives me a very effective method to put this into practice.
I now use this Law to instantly replace a negative thought with a positive one, as a new habit. “I promise I will give something to every person I encounter.” That can include compliments, prayers, hope for joy, affluence, kindness and love in the lives of others. And to give without expectation.
So I tried that at the store yesterday. I could have quickly developed a negative attitude about the crowds, standing in line at the store, but I chose to practice Giving instead. Being around people who are “in the spirit” helps keep things positive too. While I was waiting to get to the cash register, I began looking for behaviors, attributes, anything I could compliment the store clerks on. I let the clerk at the register know that I thought he was very good at keeping good spirits through the heavy crowds. His face relaxed, he smiled and expressed real gratitude for the compliment. The woman who bagged my purchase was wearing a pair of reindeer antlers on her head and a Christmas tree pin on her blouse collar. I could see she was tired and just a little annoyed with the crowds of the day. I told her she got my vote for the best-dressed “elf” of the day. She gave me a huge smile and started to walk my bag toward the door, and probably would have taken it to the car for me if I hadn’t stopped her to thank her, letting her know I could manage the bag fine on my own. Then a security guard was patrolling just outside the store. I thanked him for the service he was providing and saw his serious armor crack a hint of a smile. My heart grew and glowed!
In the book How to Survive Spiritually in our Times, author Harold Klemp points out that a heart full of gratitude is a heart that recognizes a gift of love from the most high (p.171) It was easy to come home from that shopping episode and write many more cards in gratitude for gifts that had buried into my memory, but hadn’t really been appreciated, even those from God.
On a night so sacred and full of spirituality for so many, I am now pulling up the NORAD Santa Tracker so my daughter and I can follow the great Gift-Giver on his journey around the planet. I will drift off to sleep not anticipating the gifts that tomorrow will bring, but being grateful for those I’ve received, counting my blessings. I wish you gratitude — it’s an awesome gift. Merry Christmas!