Gratitude for the Work of Loving the World | On Being

The only way to keep a gift alive is to pass it along. So on Thanksgiving Day this year — in a world where so many have been deprived of so much — I’ll give thanks by finding more ways to share the abundance I’ve been given.

I’ll also re-read this Mary Oliver poem. If I could embrace the idea that “My work is loving the world” — and spend my days living more fully into that job description — I’d be giving thanks not just with my words but with my life.

via Gratitude for the Work of Loving the World | On Being.

Parker Palmer was trained as a sociologist (like me), but spends his time educating about mindful teaching, leadership, and democracy. I do view his work as an inspiration for my day job of university teaching, and have given several of my yoga teachers a book of poems inspired by his groundbreaking book, The Courage to Teach.

It can be tempting to follow the herd and assign a theme of “gratitude” to the yoga class one teaches nearest Thanksgiving. Instead, yesterday, at Sangha Yoga Collective, where I teach, I gave a pre-holiday coping restorative class with the theme of balance, between effort and ease, between activity and repose. We’re entering a season in which many of us “show up” for others in very vital, but also potentially draining ways. Can we do the “work of loving the world” in a way that is sustainable by nourishing ourselves?

But I was feeling grateful for the ability to teach last night, to share these practices. I am grateful for Sangha and my colleagues there, too.

Whether you are a regular student of the Collective, or new to it, I hope you are able to connect with my colleagues and me by joining us for our free team–taught class and holiday potluck on December 19. See the Sangha Yoga Collective workshop and event page for more details. This would be a great way to continue the party of our gratitude for our students.



How interesting that this post from Parker Palmer, who informs how I teach both at the university and in yoga studios, addresses abundance, when last night the them of my class was purnatva, Sanskrit for “fullness,” “wholeness,” “not lacking anything,” or my own interpretation “sufficient unto itself.”

What we need is truly inside, for what is universal, containing this property of ultimate fullness, is also a part of us. In his post, linked to below, please enjoy this poem which evokes this quality.

The “scarcity assumption” is a self-fulfilling prophecy; the more I live as if it were true, the truer it becomes for me. Abundance comes as I break free of scarcity thinking and remind myself again and again that “What we need is here.”

via The Abundance Within Us and Between Us Video | On Being.