December 2021

Spirit Garden Reflections

Hands Full of Gratitude

Our hands hold the secrets of our being.
We are offered the chance to work out the secrets as we make.

-Deanne Fitzpatrick

hand holding a heart

Welcome to the Reflection for December!

At this time of year, our inboxes often fill with emails about setting intentions, creating goals and setting ourselves up for success as the calendar turns to reveal the beginning of a New Year.  We may have barely slowed down for the holidays and we are gearing ourselves back up again.

In this Spirit Garden Reflection, I wanted to offer us a moment to be still and to pause.  I wanted to offer an opportunity to gently reflect upon the year that has passed with a simple gratitude practice.

Often, when we think of expressing our gratitude it is for things that are external to us; we think of the things we are grateful for, the people we are grateful for and the experiences that have filled us with gratitude.  In this Reflection, I wanted to offer you an opportunity to turn the gaze of gratitude upon yourself by inviting you into a guided meditation practice that offers gratitude to your hands.

Our hands and our arms are an extension of our heart centre.  Our hands are the vehicles through which we express our caring and our love in the world.  Gabrielle Roth speaks of the hands as being the messengers of the heart.

So, as we draw 2021 to a close, I would invite us to allow our attention and awareness to drop into our hands and to offer our hands deep appreciation for all the ways that they have conveyed the energy of our hearts into the world this past year.  It is my hope that this meditation practice might be something you do periodically throughout the coming year.

May the New Year quietly open to receive you and the many gifts you have to contribute to weaving our collection tapestry of the year 2022.

With unfolding blessings,

“As I express my gratitude, I become more deeply aware of it.
And the greater my awareness, the greater my need to express it.
What happens here is a spiraling ascent, a process of growth in ever-expanding
circles around a steady center.

-Brother David Steindl-Rast

Hands Full of Gratitude

The audio file below offers a guided meditation of gratitude for all the ways our hands convey the messages of our hearts.  The meditation is followed by a handout with some additional gratitude practices that you may like to incorporate into the New Year.

You are invited to create a comfortable space for yourself, perhaps light a candle and wrap a shawl around you as you take about 10 minutes to listen to the meditation.  May this be a nourishing and replenishing time of some soul tending.

Gateways to Gratitude Practices

There are so many benefits that we receive from practicing gratitude.  The handout below offers 3 simple gateways into gratitude that may support you in the year ahead.  Please click the link below to download and print the handout.

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more.
It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity….
It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing,
and mistakes into important events.

-Melodie Beatty


Spirit Garden Moments

Spirit Garden Moments offer a short pause in your day and an opportunity for reflection.  The Spirit Garden Moment this month invites you into the quiet and stillness of the Winter Solstice.

A Time for Quiet and Stillness


Stars in night sky

As we stand on the threshold of the Winter Solstice here in the Northern Hemisphere, there is a song of quiet and stillness ringing through the cosmos.  This stillness is an invitation for a sacred pause to listen and to ponder what this year has held for us and to consider what the future might hold.

For a few days before and after this longest night of the year, the sun seems to almost stand still in the sky for a few days before and after the Solstice.  Then, it slowly begins to travel once more, brightening the sky bit by bit as we move through the winter months toward the season of spring.

The more I come to know the Winter Solstice, the more I can honour the feeling within that calls me to times of quiet, stillness and inner reflection in these last days of December.  The chorus of the cosmos itself calls us into the rhythm of quiet being.  It is a rhythm that seems counter-cultural as consumerism has turned this time of year into a flurry of activity and outward flowing energy as we prepare for Christmas.

If you, like me, are feeling a call to quiet and stillness these days, you are being called back into harmony with the cycles and rhythms of nature.  Your very being is responding to this ancient cosmic tune singing to you.  So may you have moments of quiet and stillness to simply reflect, listen and sway in harmony with the song of the cosmos in the coming days.

This call to quiet listening and being is a rhythm that is deeply embedded in the Christmas story.  If we return to the ancient texts, we find Joseph listening and pondering night-time visits from angels that offer him guidance in a situation that is deeply troubling him.  We discover shepherds quietly watching over sheep by night, listening and waiting.  During their nighttime watchfulness, they are visited by the light of angels bearing a message of hope that a great light has come into their world.  Finally, we hear of the wise men travelling under the night sky, being guided by the stars as they too respond to the whispers of the heavens beckoning them to come.

This season we have entered is one in which we are invited to pay attention to the light of the sun by day and the light of shimmering stars by night.  These holy days of December are a time to enjoy the light and warmth of visiting with friends and family, as well as time to quietly ponder the night sky, to listen to what new frontiers beckon us and to tend the inner flame of our hearts.

May you honour any need you may have for quiet moments in these coming days.  May you find yourself pausing under the night sky and listening to the stillness.  May you be ever-warmed by the returning light of the sun and may you be receptive to how the Light within all life is calling you forward in the year to come.

These past few weeks, I have been pondering in my heart what small gift I might give each of you during these holy days.  What I was inspired to do was gather some quotes, prayers and poems about being attentive to the light within and around us.  May you enjoy downloading them, cutting them out and using them as inspiration in the days to come.

With quiet blessings,

Learning how to be still, to be really still
and let life happen – that stillness becomes a radiance.

-Morgan Freeman


In Closing

As 2021 draws to a close, I want to thank each of you for participating in these Spirit Garden Reflections.  My hands and heart are so grateful to be the vehicles that offer some small sparks of inspiration to you.  May 2022 be a gentle and generous year of growing wisdom, compassion and fulfilment for you all.

Many blessings,

Kathy by the Ocean

Connect & Share

You are invited to share any of the words or lessons that the element of water has evoked for you, or perhaps what you look forward to each spring. May we help each other welcome the energy of this new season!