Gratitude and Appreciation ~ portals to feelings of Love, Joy, Belonging, Generosity, Kindness and more. It’s also the topic of increasing focus lately ~ up to, and including, discussions and lessons on how to feel Gratitude and Appreciation in our lives in spite of all we have going on.
Putting aside the sadness that society has gotten itself to this point, where qualities like Gratitude, Happiness, Presence and Connection have to be so actively cultivated and worked on rather than existing naturally in our lives, I am a firm believer that Gratitude and Appreciation are powerful methods of perspective shifting and mood altering. Finding something to be grateful for, appreciating the little things in life ~ creating time and space for the Awareness necessary to pull ourselves out of the stories of our past and the worries of our future to see the wonder and beauty that exists right here, right now ~ well, that’s a gift that more than the enlightened deserve to enjoy.
To take this a step further, in this age of personal branding and community and tribe building for personal/professional gain – I do believe that we have a responsibility as citizens of this planet to not only acknowledge and immerse in moments of Gratitude and Appreciation for ourselves ~ but to also create environments, services and opportunities for Gratitude and Appreciation to be experienced by others. Remembering that we are all connected somehow – and that the happiness or joy or appreciation experienced by one lifts the energy of everyone around them, positively impacting moods, productivity, dynamics and more; well, THIS is magic in motion.
I have great admiration and respect for people who identify their inner gifts and qualities in ways that bring service and meaningful contribution to the lives of others. When possible, I support these people as best I can. Often, with encouragement, support and cheering. And every now and then, financially – through the purchase of a product or service that I feel will benefit me and, as a result, others all around me.
A friend I met on Twitter recently put her Heart and Soul on the line in the material creation of Gratitude and Beauty in the form of Gratitude Tarot Cards. This was intriguing to me on a few levels.
First, as mentioned above, I admire and try to support risk-taking and courage when the end goal is directed to the betterment of others lives in some way.
Second, as mentioned in a previous post, I’m a fan of Oracle Cards. While I’ve never felt drawn to Tarot ~ this deck appealed to me because of the infusion of beauty and creativity employed. The Four Elements spoke to Qualities dear to my heart: Thankfulness, Awareness, Community and Kindness.
And finally, the illustrations are beautiful photographs taken by the Cards’ creator (Teresa Deak) with a view to jump starting the hearts and emotions of users with colour, vibrance, nature, beauty and everyday wonder that often gets missed. The impetus was driven by Love ~ a real life event in her community involving Duchess the Swan that captivated her heart and moved her to create something significant in honour of her life. The venture involved creative collaboration with friends close to Teresa – and something new and wonderful emerged as a result. And finally ~ on a Hope and a Prayer – Teresa put this ‘out there’ in the belief that those who would benefit most from this portal to Gratitude, would find it ~ and feel moved to purchase it, and bring it into their lives.
I received my deck last Wednesday. Equally as lovely as the cards themselves – was this: the fact that it had been lovingly placed in a beautiful handmade bag (by another of Teresa’s friends) with a Tigers Eye bead, a Thank You card – and a special surprise that was very meaningful to me. I feel Teresa’s presence in the room with me when I use these cards – and the energy of the women, Teresa’s personal community, is palpable too.
I did a reading for those of you reading this post. There are as many ways to work with Oracle Cards as there are people who work with them. I shuffle the deck while asking, inside my head, for a message that will benefit those visiting me here; something we perhaps need to know, or look at, right now. It is possible for the same cards to be meaningful to everyone who happens to see them in the moment they’re shared. For in addition to the message provided in the booklet that identifies each card and what it represents – we can also use our intuitive abilities to see information in the colours, the images, the numbers, the symbols. Notice thoughts that come up for you when you look at the card – memories that may arise, songs that may start to play in your head. It’s all information. Maybe the card reminds you of something else – that ‘something else’ will bear relevance too. For now, I will simply share the meaning as depicted in the Gratitude Tarot Booklet ~ but please, apply your own meaning to this reading, because for you – it will be exactly right.
Six of Awareness: The path to satisfaction requires courage and persistence. This determined progress needs the fluidity of your flexibility and the openness of your heart to see its many possible paths.
The Tower: A sudden change is erupting, bringing with it chaos and upheaval. Grounded in Thankfulness, you will see the inspiration of these moving forces and feel the freedom of old structures removed.
The Hermit: You hear the call to go within, to seek connection to the Divine through your most intimate details. Your retreat opens the doorway to your soul.
Queen of Kindness: Allow grace to accompany confidence. Discernment flows within honesty and respect. Humour shines through intensity.
At the end of the day ~ we’re all on this planet, at this time, together. An effective way to bring Gratitude and Appreciation into our own lives – is to say or do something that allows another to feel thankful or grateful. Not in an ‘if I do this for them then’ I’LL feel good’ kind of way – the icky energy attached to THAT kind of giving serves no one. Simply seek to live your life in a way that when others think of you, Kindness and Generosity come to mind.
And may you also find many an opportunity to sing this song in your heart when thinking of others …