I have been very involved lately with the idea of abundance. I have heard what different experts have to say, have read passages from books and articles, have spoken with a coach who specializes in money matters. I even have a new great affirmation about it.
Part of what I have learned about abundance I want to share with you here. Firstly, abundance is not at all limited to the first thing that comes to mind when we hear the word – money. Once we open our minds to the word, we see it really has so much to do with everything in our world, and money is only one of the many many items we can ascribe having an abundance of.
Secondly, following the above, abundance is all around you. One need only to increase his awareness of the word, and he begins to see abundance all over the place – an abundance of fresh air, rain as it falls, grass shoots in a field, birds in the sky, tea selections in the market. And so on. In fact, just this weekend I mentioned to my husband a new area of abundance to add to the list of that which I am grateful for: the abundance of demands on my time and our money. Thank G-d we have so much to do, and so many ways we could be spending our money. It is so easy to see that as a burden, as I have in the past. It is life-changing to view it as a true and wonderful blessing.
The focus of today’s blog, however, is the third thing I want to mention here. The one statement that keeps coming up as I have been learning about abundance is having gratitude. People who practice gratitude for what they have in life (yes, it is a practice [“the actual application or use of an idea; repeated exercise in or performance of an activity or skill so as to acquire or maintain proficiency in it” - google search for practice definition]), no matter what their level of abundance, see more abundance in their lives.
This is not a new age idea. In the Chapters of the Fathers in the Jewish Oral Law, a code of conduct and ethics that is read each year between the holidays of Pesach and Succot, which falls out over the summer months, the question is asked, “Who is rich? He who is happy with his lot.”
This idea was role modeled for me by my grandmother, Grandma Annie. For a woman who was materially not wealthy and who “just got by” financially for her whole life, she was the genuinely happiest person I have ever known. Why? Well, that is now obvious – she was always grateful. Whether it was a meal placed before her, a hug from her grandchild, a view of the sky from the car window on a long drive, she was always grateful. And not just “Thank you very much” grateful. She would gush and ooh and ahh over what others wouldn’t even pay notice to. Grandma Annie practiced gratitude ALL THE TIME. It brought her love. It brought her admiration. It brought her abundance in all that is important in life – the devotion of a great husband, the love and caring of wonderful children, children in law, and grand and great-grandchildren. The following of great friends and acquaintances who clung to her words as she regaled a story. Even her dentist who saw her maybe once or twice a year became one of her biggest fans. He and his staff started a ritual of taking Grandma out for her birthday every year. Every life she touched was forever brighter for it.
On this Thanksgiving weekend, I want to give thanks for the abundance in my life. For the wonderful family G-d has given me in the form of my wonderful husband who always knows how to make me laugh, and our ridiculous and stubborn and fun-loving children. For the family I was born into and the constant love and support that I feel from them. From my extended family and in-law family, for knowing they are always there, loving me and mine. For the way I feel carried and cared for by my family of friends, those who live close and those all over the world who I have only met virtually. For the laughter of children in the yards of the community school and nurseries. For the walkers and joggers I meet on the walking path. For the teachers and workers who care for me and my children, who provide us with knowledge and service to make our lives better. For the fresh air, for the trees, for the birds’ song, and for the furry soft cats in my home. For the great outdoors who keeps the backdrop of our lives forever interesting and forever changing. For love. For laughter. For knowledge. For delicious warm baked bread and hot soup. For curiosity and online courses. For the ability to help others and be of service, G-d, to You and those who walk in Your world. For prayer and serenity. For hugs and peace of mind. For strength, and, G-d, for weakness. For mercy. And for each new dawn. For the miracles that are in the laughter and smiles of a child, the brightness of the eyes of the growing, the eagerness in the expression of a learner. For fear, for gratitude, for the freedom to choose. For excitement and love and new things. For death and the passing of the old.
For all this, G-d, I am grateful.
May I continue to see abundance in everything. May I always be able to see the good in Your work. May our family practice of gratitude bring abundance forever to the lives of our children. May You continue to renew our strength and hope each day, that we may always see the greatness that is our lives. Amen.
With serenity and thanks,
To learn about our family's Gratitude Practice, check out Beit Roga's facebook page for details.
Today’s blog is dedicated to Grandma Molly, may she rest in peace, who passed from this world one year ago at the blessed age of 99. She role-modeled strength of character and dedication, wisdom and regal-ness. I am forever grateful for all of her love and all that she has taught me. More of that in blogs to come…
Beit Roga Update:
Thank you to the women of Ramat Eshkol for a wonderful evening talking about SuperWoman Syndrome last week. It was a blast!
To book an event with Devorah, contact her via the website below, or through Beit Roga's facebook page.