Happy Thanksgiving Week! I don't know about you but I've been noticing an improvement in my mood since I've been practicing my own gratitude medicine this month - it really works! I'm enjoying every little thing - the way the light falls on the remaining fall foliage, the smiles on the faces of the checkout clerks even though there's an endless stream of holiday shoppers, the tasty crunch of a freshly picked apple, and especially the warm shower at the end of the day. How fortunate we are to have such things - and so much more! Last week we talked about dropping judgment of our bodies, and this week we're going to explore dropping judgment in general. What does judgment have to do with gratitude? Quite a lot! If you listen to the wonderful talk we had with Susan Solovay last Wednesday, you'll understand. (Listen to the 1-hour replay here) Susan demonstrated how to "flip" a mindset from judgment to gratitude in order to shift to a lighter perspective and experience. She acknowledged that this isn't always easy to do but if we want to live healthier, happier lives, it's kinda necessary. You see, when we judge someone or something, it automatically puts them at arm's length and into separation, which is not where we want to be going, right? Aren't we aiming for nothing less than Oneness? So, we need to step up and start shifting ourselves pronto! Just to be clear - judgment isn't the same as discernment. You'll recognize judgment when there's a critical voice attached to it. Susan gave a great example when she shared that she used to walk by the unkempt room of her daughter and thought, "This mess makes me sick!" As she healed from stage 3 ovarian cancer, she caught that little phrase and switched it up to a more humorous one so she wouldn't invite illness back into her life through her unconscious critical habit. Discernment, on the other hand, is a knowing within about what people or experiences are in our highest good or not. For instance, we can discern that we feel better being with a kind, balanced person rather than someone who walks around in an angry state without going the extra step of criticizing that person. Instead we can have compassion for them while taking care of ourselves at a distance. There's no superiority or condemnation in discernment, whereas that's what judgment is all about. Gratitude is the magical emotion that can switch us from judgement to happiness in a nano-second. Since we can't be in judgment and gratitude at the same time, it's up to us to pay close attention to how our minds are habitually working and to catch ourselves in the moment with any thoughts that have that critical tone. Over time, we can learn to "flip" our words, actions and inner dialogues in a way that will take us where we want to be: living the truth of our connectivity as compassionate, loving beings. This is an ongoing practice for as long as we are embodied. As we gather this week to be with family or friends, let's drop the judgment and shift into gratitude for the little things, and the warm moments that are precious beyond words. Let's stay present, alive and loving in all we do.
And remember, when you gaze upon the abundant table...
"Giving thanks for abundance is greater than abundance itself."
Have a beautiful, grateful week! Infinite blessings, Hope