A few months ago, someone shared with me a daily email published by author Richard Rohr entitled, “A Joyful Mind”. The title alone attracted me. And as we look toward celebrating Thanksgiving Day soon, I come back to it now, I guess because this feast of giving thanks remains the one national holiday that maintains its singular purpose. We give one day to knowing that all that we have and all that we are to one another, is essentially God’s gift to us. And joy is the fruit of that realization.
In Rohr’s book, the Naked Now, (and how’s that for a title?) he suggests ways to practice the way of a joyful mind. So I want to share some of those ways here in the hope that they might be a spiritual preparation for celebrating Thanksgiving in a way that increases the joy of our families and friends in whatever way we gather.
A joyful mind is:
- When your mind does not need to be right.
- When you no longer need to compare yourself with others.
- When your mind can be creative, but without needing anyone to know.
- When you can live in contentment with whatever the moment offers.
- When your mind does not need to be in charge but can serve the moment with gracious and affirming information.
- When your mind follows the intelligent lead of your heart.
- When your mind is curious and interested, not suspicious and interrogating.
- When your mind does not “brood over injuries.”
- When your mind does not need the future to be better than today.
- When your mind can accept yourself as you are, warts and all.
- When your mind does not divide and always condemn one side or group.
- When your mind can critique and also detach from critique.
- When your mind can wait, listen, and learn.
- When your mind can live satisfied without resolution or closure.
- When your mind can forgive and actually “forget.”
- When your mind does not need to complain or worry to get motivated.
- When your mind can find God in all things.
Help us to begin this season of Thanksgiving as a season of joy. Help us to observe this season as a respite from tension, from worry, from excessive control. Help us to be satisfied with the light we have and learn to trust that you guide our footsteps. Help us embrace the ways of a joyful mind and enjoy each other’s company.