There is so much to be grateful for.

Hello to the wonderful Open Heart Project community.

As we in the U.S. enter into our annual Thanksgiving, it is a great time to ponder the notion of gratitude. My friend, writer and teacher Patti Digh, has had ample opportunity in 2012 to contemplate gratitude and giving.

In the last year, her younger daughter was diagnosed with Aspergers and Patti realized she needed to shift her entire professional and creative world from one of teaching and traveling to one of teaching and staying home. She recreated her business as an online entity.

Some months ago, her husband was diagnosed with cancer and they came face to face with the fact that they had no health insurance–and all the anger, shame, and confusion that came along with admitting that. Friends started an Indiegogo campaign that promptly raised over a hundred thousand dollars and along with it, a cheering squad of thousands of loving folks.

If anyone has come face to face with need, generosity, the joy and complexity of gratitude, and the goodness of our fellow humans, it is she. In this conversation, we visit all of this.

Of course your meditation practice is custom-made to help you:

  • connect with your own neediness without shame (by learning how to allow it without telling yourself stories about what it means)
  • cultivate deeper reserves of generosity (which occurs naturally when you realize you know exactly how to return to inner balance and therefore there is no need to grasp onto anything)
  • enter and traverse the land of gratitude with grace (which, as you will hear in our conversation, is an interesting place–part delight and part discomfort)
  • acknowledge the goodness of your fellow humans (by repeatedly coming into contact with your own goodness which is unfailingly revealed every time you let go of a thought to return to the open space of the breath. Trust me on this.)

Enjoy your practice!

I’m grateful for our connection. Thank you, thank you for joining the Open Heart Project community. May it riddle your world with joy.

Love, Susan

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  1. Jill Salahub { 11.21.12 at 2:25 pm }

    This was such a gift. I am just gobsmacked that I live in a world where I can be part of the Open Heart Project with so many other amazing, open-hearted warriors, AND a member of Team Brilliant, in a world where women like you give the gift every day you exist and do your work of being who you are, so that I might be braver, more confident and be who I am. My heart is filled with so much gratitude for the both of you.

  2. Kim Mailhot { 11.21.12 at 2:28 pm }

    Thank you for this wonderful conversation, Susan.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.
    Love and light !

  3. Amy McCracken { 11.21.12 at 8:05 pm }

    Yay! Love! Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. Carol Hess { 11.24.12 at 9:02 am }

    What an amazing interview this was, Susan — what an incredible dialogue you and Patti entered into regarding the challenges of receiving as freely as we give. I have personallly experienced this challenge in a profound way twice. The first time was when I was laid up for months from an operation that was less than successful and had to rely on the care of relatives. How I hated my vulnerability and dependence and how I wanted those taking care of me to do it in such a way that it removed my discomfort and vulnerability (which, of course, was impossible).

    The second time was very recently when I received a large and very needed gift of cash from a friend. My pride and fear for our friendship made her gift very difficult to receive. My wonderful friend made it just a little bit easier when she said, “Carol, I believe in you. I know you will do the same for someone else someday.”

    I have felt guilty and ashamed and less than for accepting my friend’s gift. But that’s all about me. Perhaps it would be more appropriate if I focused on the bigger message she is sending me — a belief in me and my work and her desire to contribute to that work. Her way of passing on the baton.

    • susan { 11.24.12 at 9:17 am }

      So glad you enjoyed the interview (I did too) and I really relate to the struggle you describe–

  5. nancy { 11.25.12 at 10:49 am }

    Wow…. Fabulous conversation; love the baton image. Just great…wonderful new way to think about gifts I’ve been given in the past, and how completely inadequate I felt at acknowledging them (am particularly thinking of my community feeding me and my kids–for months!–when my husband was sick five years ago…. And again how a couple of friends took care of us when we were without power post-Sandy. Having been through the first piece five years ago, I was pretty content just to keep saying Thank You and basking in it this time around, knowing that I would do the same if I had the ability–and that I will, when I do, next time (and did, in a heartbeat, for Team Brilliant–which felt fabulous!–)…. Happy Thanksgiving, and thanks so much.

    • susan { 11.26.12 at 6:50 pm }

      There is so much generosity in the world. And thank you for being part of Team Brilliant and Team Humanity! xo S

  6. Mike { 11.26.12 at 2:14 pm }

    I too, liked the baton image… nope can’t send it backward…
    the phrase used a lot is “pay it forward”… or should it be give it forward.? much to think about… thank you for sharing your work.

    • susan { 11.26.12 at 3:01 pm }

      You are welcome!

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