Thank you, I love you (and a few gifts for you on this Thanksgiving season)

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There is a Goddess I love who embodies beauty and bliss. Radiant and overflowing, she reminds us of what is possible when we live in harmony with ourselves and the world around us. She is a great Goddess to hold in high regard in these trying times of mourning and dis-ease, when many of us feel the impulse to collapse and contract from the pain of it all.

This Goddess’s name is Lakshmi. Beautiful. Bountiful. Blissful Lakshmi.

In working with different Goddesses, we learn to “tune into” different vibrations or, as my teacher Chameli Ardagh would say, radio stations.

The way to tune into Lakshmi’s radio station is to appreciate beauty and to live from a place of gratitude and generosity. As humans, we have a propensity to focus on what’s negative: on what’s wrong, ugly, or missing. Scientists have coined this propensity as the negativity bias. Simply put, negative experiences tend to exert greater psychological impact on us than positive experiences of the same magnitude. In order to combat this propensity (that tends to increase when the going gets tough), we scan for the positive and instead, take in the good, the pleasurable, and, yes…the beautiful. Lakshmi shows us the way.



Gratitude Practice

Lakshmi teaches us to re-member and celebrate the miracle of this body we inhabit and the beauty that surrounds us. For the next 21 days, right before bedtime, make a list of 8 things you are grateful for. Think of moments during your day when you felt pleasure, love, or contentment. Then take a moment to breathe into your womb-space (if you do not have a physical womb, you still have a powerful energy center). Feel her stirrings, feel your heart beating and the way the exhalation relaxes your entire system. Notice the miracle of your body and how it is orchestrating for you to be alive in this very moment.


Generosity Practice

The act of being generous feeds us. In the movie Amelie, the main character portrays this beautifully when she consciously commits to bringing joyous support to other people’s lives. 

Feel into a generous act that you can do for someone else and do it. Maybe it’s giving out flowers in the street (I did this a few weeks ago and it was wonderful), or giving a heartfelt compliment, or offering to support someone who has their hands full (with groceries or a child). Try it. Honor the impulse and follow it. Notice how it feels in your body and heart to spontaneously give. Risk being vulnerable. See what the Goddess shows you.