This might feel like a familiar theme. Thanks. Gratitude. Transitions. Where are we focused?
Thanksgiving was this past week. Advent begins next week. This is a week of quiet transition. It’s a moment to breathe between one active time and the upcoming activity of preparing for the coming of the Light. Jesus.
We live in a tangible world of the senses and actions. Senses: the things we see and smell and hear and feel and taste. The actions of living: speaking, walking, touching. These are the things that keep us grounded in the tangible world of stuff and doing. These are the gifts of humanity, embodiment. These are not the things of divinity. These are things that we use to witness, and express appreciation for, divine moments.
These are more often the things that keep us rooted in this world a grasping and aversion. The things we want and the things we do not want.
The bridge between the tangible world and the divine is the heart and the mind (not the intellect brain, but more the heart-mind connection/space). Therefore, your heart is your connection to God. When the eyes lift up to God, the heart lifts. When the heart lifts, the soul lifts. We feel our own divinity or our…connection to God.
It’s easy to get caught up in the stuff and doing and activity this time of year. We are made of mud and earth, the stuff of stuff. It is our gift to enjoy things through our senses and activities.
It is when we are hyper focused in the tangible world that we find ourselves stuck. Stuck evaluating our selves and our worth by, well, stuff. What we have. Stuff, things we can touch and feel and see and smell and taste. The things we want and the things we don’t want. We can get stuck in our actions. What we do, or want to do, or should be doing.
We get stuck in the pendulum of what we want to do and what we feel we have to do. We get, stuck, or maybe lost in the busy.
We can begin to compare ourselves to what others seem to have and others seem to do. And time…we grasp after time. This hyper focus on stuff and doing sometimes feed what we can call a Deficit Mentality.
I do not have enough. I am not enough.
When we find ourselves stuck in the tangible world, it is hard to take ourselves away from it. It seems everyone is stuck in stuff, money, and doing. It seems like what we do. What everyone does. The normal. But stuck here, we can continue to feed these feelings of lack: the Deficit Mentality.
What happens when we feel this deficit? We begin to feel empty and we we want to fill this feeling of emptiness. This void. How do we fill this void? Busyness. Keeping busy keeps us feeling important…and distracted. Maybe with food, more stuff, noise, more stuff, more distractions….
To varying extremes these are symptoms of the Void. Hoarder: deficit being filled. Workaholics: deficit being filled. Overeating: deficit being filled.
What is the void and how is it being filled?
All of these keep us examining WHY we feel lacking.
These ideas may sound familiar. Like we’ve been here before. There is a natural cycle that happens over and over and over again if you take the time to see it. Beginnings, Doing, then resetting and resting. It’s a basic cycle of humanity and life. We wake in the morning. We go through our day. We end our day with sleep to rest and reset. It happens all the time in so many different ways: day, season, work. Beginnings. Middles. Ends.
When we continue to fill the void we avoid the resting and resetting. The place where we examine. We just focus on doing, doing, and more doing. We keep ourselves so busy that there is no space for reflection and evaluation of what were are doing and where we are going and what we are accumulating. This is why TRANISITION times are so hard. There are meant to have space to end one thing, rest, and then begin a new thing. Rarely do we allow for this space. Think about how hard it can be sometimes to make that transition from work to home. Think about how hard it is sometimes to transition from summer to the fall schedule. More to the time: if you are frantically thinking about what you have to do and buy and make and do and get for Christmas right now, you may not be allowing for that moment of pause; the space between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Without a rest and new beginnings, we become stuck in habitual patterns that may, or may not, be serving. Do we do this to ourselves…every…single…year…?
I love this weekend. A moment between Thanksgiving coming to a close, but Advent has not yet begun. It’s a moment to breath and plan—a natural pause to rest and reset. This is a time to reflect on the abundance of our lives and the blessings in our lives. We reflect on family and friends and love. These are not the tangible things of the senses and actions. They are things of true blessing that draw us back to our center and our heart…and God.
Think about the Children’s Moment. Notice how I got them all wired up on what they love about Thanksgiving and what they want most in December. We got things like pie, and turkey, and skeeball. Advent calendars with Legos and Harry Potter. Notice what happened when they closed their eyes, rested their hands in prayer position at the heart, and took a moment to think about what they were most grateful for RIGHT NOW? We got family, friends, community, and church. The stuff at the heart.
Your turn. Close your eyes. Rest your hands in prayer or at the heart. How has God, the Divine, helped you or supported you this past week? Use this moment to ground you in Gratitude and witness, pay attention to, the miracles in our own lives.
All of these things bring us back to our own heart. When we bring our attention to our heart, we naturally lift our hearts and our eyes up to God. When we lift our eyes up to God, we draw ourselves from the tangibles of stuff and busyness. We pull ourselves from finding meaning and self worth in stuff and instead find true abundance and gratitude.
We have enough and we are enough.
What a blessing to reconnect to our hearts and eyes before we begin the waiting season of Advent and then Christmas.
When we are content. We give to contentment. We receive with contentment. We share with contentment.
We have enough and we are enough. We live in Grace.