Simple, just not easy…

“‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free. ‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be; and when we find ourselves in the place just right, ’twill be in the valley of love and delight. (Chorus:) When true simplicity is gain’d, to bow and to bend we shan’t be asham’d, to turn, turn will be our delight; till by turning, turning we come ’round right.”

You’re humming it now, aren’t you?  Penned by Elder Joseph Brackett (1848) while he lived in the Shaker community of Alfred, Maine, these original lyrics were a one-verse song with chorus.  Multiple versions, from Sydney Carter’s hymn entitled “Lord of the Dance” in 1963 (also used in Michael Flatley’s dance musical of the same name) to Aaron Copeland’s adaption of the melody in the music for the ballet Appalachian Spring, have popularized the tune and lyrics through generations.  Many songwriters, recording artists, instrumentalists, and poets share versions and interpretations as well.  But to me, this piece powerfully speaks to the gift of gratefulness…helping to grow our soul, become less trivial and more loving, kind, fearless, peaceful, gracious, and hopeful.  Living with an open, grateful heart creates a spirit of JOYfilled expectation in everyday life because gratefulness is a stunningly simple gift…

Simple, just not easy!  It’s NEVER easy!  What I do know from brain research is how gratefulness creates positive feelings and emotions.  Gratefulness gives birth to the positive around and within us.  Negativity simply cannot occur in the brain at the same time as gratefulness.  I test this theory daily with daddy; my research is overwhelmingly positive (even if my statistics are not).  So…

What are ways we can help each other practice and cultivate gratefulness in simple ways each day?

Simple, just not easy!  My sincere hope in sharing personal reflections is for us to help each other continue seeking real, meaningful inspiration in the practice of living from a simple, grateful heart.  Yes…simple, just not easy, my friends! 🙂

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