Many years ago, I lived in a yoga and meditation community. Teachings about life and spirituality were often delivered in a “Fire Course“. We all sat around multiple blazing fire pits, and as we stared into the flames, our teacher attempted to impart the most meaningful life lessons. One beautiful summer night, she asked “What is the highest emotion one can embody?” Someone said “love”, she said “no”, another said “joy”, “no”.  There were several other attempts at a correct answer, I can’t remember them all. I summoned up my courage (I was in my 20’s) and speaking into a microphone, before hundreds of people, I said “gratitude” and she said “YES!”

I got the “right answer”, but had limited understanding of the many dimensions and benefits to living in a state of gratitude.

We speak so often of generosity in the form of giving. Only in recent years have I begun to experience, that living in gratitude also has a lot to do with our capacity to generously receive. Our ability to receive, is a barometer, providing valuable feedback regarding our sense of enough, sufficiency, and our beliefs around what we deserve and what is possible for us to create, have and achieve.  A state of receptivity can also require a deeper level of vulnerability than giving. In giving we have a fair amount of control, whereas receiving asks us to allow someone or something else in, to pause our doing, to allow something to fill us.

In my own life, this Thanksgiving, I’m experiencing the dance between giving and receiving. I’m noticing that the deepest, warmest, most natural experience of gratitude arises right in the heart of the magical balance of both.

Sending a bigger thank you than words could ever express, to my amazing clients, and to everyone in my network and their loved ones.