I have published this prayer for the past two years during Thanksgiving week. It is timeless and appropriate at any time of year, but particularly now.
Thanksgiving prayers are common to most religious groups. Native Americans had entire ceremonies just for the purpose of expressing thanks – sometimes the ceremonies lasted for days.
This Thanksgiving Prayer comes from the Seneca Nation and is at least 500 years old.
It is traditionally done around a fire, with spiritual food on the altar. I have adapted it to be used as a Thanksgiving Prayer on our national holiday:
Seneca Thanksgiving Prayer
And now we are gathered together to remember the Great Mystery’s first instruction to us: to love one another always, we who move about on this earth.
And the Great Mystery said that when even just two people meet, they should first greet each other by saying: “Nyah Weh Skenno” which translates to “thank you for being” and then they may take up the matter with which they are concerned.
[Nyah Weh Skenno more literally means: “thank you for being alive in the here and now and not adding to the confusion of the world.”]
The Great Mystery gave us our lives and requires in return only that we be grateful and love one another. The purpose of this prayer is to pass on those instructions and give us the opportunity to express our gratitude.
So the first thing we will do is give thanks for our lives.
“What to do when life hands you lemons” is not the post I had planned for this week.
But I got handed a bunch of lemons – figuratively – by being stranded for three days [going on four] just three hours from home due to a blizzard.
When life throws us curves [the proverbial lemons] we have choices: to fret and moan and sulk, or make the best of it.
Hence the analogy to the classic piece of advice: when life hands you lemons, make lemonade.
My lemonade story
This past weekend, I taught a healing seminar in upper Wisconsin in the U.S.
My seven-hour drive home entailed driving south through Wisconsin and Illinois, through the great city of Chicago, and around the bottom of Lake Michigan to return to my home in Southwest Michigan.
Monday morning as I was en route, I received a call from the friend taking care of my animals that there were blizzard conditions in Michigan and I shouldn’t even think about trying to make it home.
My first thought was, “Holy $%^&#”
Well, I’m embarrassed to report that, after posting three weeks ago about my great start, I now get to report on lessons learned failing the “30-day no sugar challenge.”
Technically, I wrote about a 10-day no sugar challenge proposed by the documentary Fed Up, but I was undertaking 30 days of no sugar.
But whether 10 days, or 30, I failed.
However, I did learn a lot [about myself and sugar] which I felt was worth sharing.
The goal, set by my friend Gary, was to avoid anything with sugar in it for 30 days.
Here’s why I failed
1. SUGAR IS IN EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!! Even if it doesn’t say “sugar,” there are 56 other terms for it – see the chart in my original post.
2. I didn’t read all the nutrition labels I should have. Such as my organic hemp protein powder. I don’t know why there’s sugar in it, but there was, and I didn’t read the nutrition label until 10 days in.
That was just one of many sugar surprises.
Like many people, I’ve always been uncomfortable with anger.
I don’t like to get angry, and I don’t like to be around angry people.
I’m also very slow to anger but, true to my Irish heritage, when I do, watch out!
And over the years as I’ve meditated more, and done more self-healing, I’ve been rather pleased with how calm I usually am.
So imagine my surprise at finding myself angry quite frequently over the past month.
Mind you, there have been things going on in my life that many people would say justify anger.
But that is not an excuse for someone like me who is trying to live her life at the highest vibration possible.
Healing from our anger can be one of the most powerful ways to move our lives forward.
Walls built of anger
Best-selling author Wayne Dyer, Ph.D., tells the story of holding onto anger toward the alcoholic, abusive father who abandoned him and his family when Dyer was just an infant.
A couple of weeks ago my friend Gary posted on Facebook that he was going to do 30 days of yoga and no sugar and asked who would join him.
I was the only taker! And neither Gary nor I had even watched the documentary “Fed Up” yet.
“Fed Up” proposes a 10-day no sugar challenge. If you go to the website www.fedupmovie.com you can sign up to join the challenge and get helpful reminder emails for 10 days.
You can watch the “Fed Up” trailer at the end of this post.
I am now on day 11 and feeling great. But I’m surprised no one else wanted to join us so I thought a blog post on why we should be avoiding sugar was in order.
Because sugar is slowly killing us as a nation.
The Fat Fallacy
In the mid-1970s, a misconception swept the U.S that the fat in dairy and meat made us fat, birthing the “non-fat,” “fat-free,” and “reduced fat” movement.
Food was engineered to reduce or eliminate the fat, which made it taste terrible, so sugar was added to make the food palatable.
Scientists have since learned that it’s the added sugar that makes us fat, not the natural fat found in food.
The 30+ years that Americans have been eating non-fat, sugar-pumped foods have given rise to an unparalleled obesity epidemic.
In the history of mistakes, replacing relatively harmless fat with harmful sugar was a pretty big one!