A Gratitude Pause
When you appreciate something you want to cherish it, you want to serve it,
you want to keep it, and improve it even.
So gratefulness makes you aware of all gifts.
-Br. David Steindl-Rast
Welcome to the Reflection for December!
This year has taken us on an adventure that none of us had anticipated. It has been a year of new frontiers in almost every way imaginable.
I have heard many people say that they will be happy when this year is over. I have heard myself say that on more than a few occasions too! It has been a year that has been hard on our bodies, minds and spirits.
Yet, it has also been a year that has held many blessings and surprising moments of grace. Even in the midst of all of the chaos of living in a time of a pandemic, there have been those moments where grace shines through in unexpected people and places.
I know for myself, there are a number of very simple moments this year that glow with a special light that energizes my heart and restores my hope. In a year of so much disruption, when we can pause and connect to these grace-filled moments, they can fill us up with the reserves we need to keep going.
So, in this Spirit Garden Reflection, I would like to invite each of us into a Gratitude Pause for those moments of grace and blessing that have also been a significant part of this year. I would invite you to light a candle as you listen to the recorded Reflection and to have something to journal with as we take this time to allow our moments of gratitude to arise within us.
As I did my Gratitude Pause, each of you were a part of my reflection time. Thank you so much for being founding members of Spirit Garden Reflections. Your participation in these Reflections has kept me motivated to create a Spirit Garden website and on-line learning portal for Spirit Garden. For this, I am truly grateful.
As we stand at the threshold of 2021, may we honour the trials, hardships and disruption we have experienced in 2020 AND may we honour the gifts we have received.
With love and blessings,
The highest prayer is the loving prayer of
-Julian of Norwich
The Gratitude Pause
The audio file below offers a short reflection on creating a space for gratitude as we bring this year to a close. The audio is followed by a handout with some questions that are intended to help you journal your own thoughts and experiences around this theme.
Please print these out before you listen to the audio file. You are invited to light a candle and take about 20 minutes to listen to the reflection and then answer the questions. May this be a nourishing and replenishing time of some soul tending.
Please click on the button below to download the reflection questions to go along with the reflection on Practicing Gratitude for 2020.
The practice of gratitude and appreciation
is medicine for the soul.
Spirit Garden Moments
Spirit Garden Moments offer a short pause in your day and an opportunity for reflection. Below is a Spirit Garden Moment to Welcome the Season of Light as well as a Spirit Garden Moment that offers an invitation to enter the season of winter with practices for self-care. Enjoy!
Welcoming the Season of Light
With the arrival of December, we have entered the season of welcoming the Light into our lives. In Indigenous spirituality, we celebrate the return of the sun and lengthening of days with the Winter Solstice. In Christian spirituality, we welcome the light with the celebration of Christmas and in the Jewish tradition, the light is welcomed with the celebration of Hanukkah.
This year, with all of the ups and downs of living through a pandemic, I wanted to share some quotes about the gift of light. Below, you will find a PDF file that you can print out and hang somewhere for inspiration.
May we each, in our own way, radiate the warm glow of light into the world around us.
With peace-full blessings,
The Changing Season
I awakened this morning to a winter wonderland. Overnight, the landscape has shifted and changed. The edges have been softened with drifts of white snow.
We are days away from the Winter Solstice and I feel the season of winter calling to me. Do you feel it to? It is the call to turn inward, to snuggle up by a fire and curl up in a blanket with a journal or a book and be reflective.
This time of year invites us to light candles, drink warm and soothing teas, and be attentive to our inner life. In the natural world around us, it is a time for rest, and restoration. This season holds an invitation for self-care and nurturing. It is a time to exhale.
With our first major snowstorm of the year, I am feeling that pull strongly. For many of us, the stress of living through a worldwide pandemic has made us tired and weary.
I know that my whole being is yearning for a period of rest and nurturing. And so I offer you this Spirit Garden Moment as we approach the Winter Solstice. What is calling to you as we enter this season of winter? How are you feeling invited into a season of hibernation? What would most support you in finding rest and restoration?
As we live into this season of winter, I offer you these quotes about self-care, may they be gentle reminders to tend your inner flame of light and well-being during these winter months.
In the days ahead, may you embrace the stillness of winter. May you find cozy nooks in your home to curl up in. May rest replenish your vitality.
Connect & Share
Please share any comments about this Reflection in the comments below. Make sure to check out what others are posting and encourage each other!