As I sat in my basement studio last night with eleven women ranging in age from 13 to 50 I felt all of life’s worries melt away. After an hour of practicing restorative yoga, meditation and journaling, we sat in a circle to discuss how we had observed ourselves being mindful the prior week and how we found ourselves applying the mindfulness principles we are learning. As I watched light bulb moments with smiles and feelings of success, as well as vulnerability and recognition of things wanting to be changed, accompanied by tears, my heart was full to over-flowing with gratitude to God for the gifts and blessings He has placed in my path.

In 2000, shortly after giving birth to my third and final child, I decided to become certified to teach group fitness. This was a stretch for me coming from a family where exercise was a foreign concept. I taught at many clubs around the valley, accumulating certifications and trainings in everything from cycling, weight lifting, boot camps, circuit training, to yoga. By 2006 I was the group fitness director at a local club and managed these formats for ten years.

I must give credit where credit is due… had it not been for God’s hand in my life I would have missed out on all of the incredible experiences I’ve had to learn from so many amazing instructors. I’ve been to hundreds of workshops, conventions, teacher trainings, retreats and classes that have each contributed to my pool of knowledge and understanding. I have met the most wonderful people who have blessed my life richly.

As I sat with my thoughts and pondered on thanking those teachers, family, friends, and mentors who have inspired me along my path that eventually lead me here, I began to make a mental list, with intent to thank each and every one of them. The list grew and grew in my mind until I began to forget where it began or ended. And as I thought about listing each person I was grateful for, I realized there is no possible way to list each one of them, in that attempt I am certain I would forget more than one.

In my mind I began to see a canvas… a blank canvas…. Similar to myself when I entered this earth. As a painter sits with a blank canvas I would imagine they have an overall vision of roughly what the canvas will evolve into. As the master lays out the vast color palette, and thoughtfully begins to mix and overlay colors into many shapes and sizes through various types of strokes from the brush, an image begins to appear. What started out as perhaps a red line may become part of a sunset, and the blue triangle eventually turns into a mountain. With time and patience, utilizing every color, texture and even absence of in certain places, a beautiful and unique masterpiece is created.

Perhaps the master painter creates hundreds, thousands, even millions of masterpieces and sells them in galleries all around the world. People come and go, passing by his work until one day, certain people are drawn to a certain canvas. Something about that canvas calls to them and they feel a connection and so that one canvas of millions is taken into that persons life.

This is a small example of my feelings as I sit in a place of humility and gratitude for all I’ve been blessed with. I will always do my best to thank the hundreds of people who have been a part of the creating of my canvas but the majority of my thanks will always be to my God, whom I know created me and every person who has or ever will walk the face of the earth. I will thank Him for being in the details of my life, for opening doors, for introducing new colors, varieties, textures, overlays, and techniques used to bring my canvas to the place I sit now…. In the basement of my home as I witness miracle after miracle happen in the lives of those who have been drawn to my canvas. I hope and pray I will be blessed with the ability to stay in a place of gratitude and abundance rather than scarcity. I have learned it is when we fear, hold on to, try to control or force, the beautiful flow of energy gets stuck. As I have learned through mindfulness to trust myself and God, to listen and act, and to live in a state of awareness from my heart, magical things happen, life begins to be filled with awe and wonder.

SO THANK YOU !!!! Thank you to every single person I know. Each and every one of you have contributed to the person that I am and the gifts I’ve been blessed with. Thank you for loving me and for allowing me to love you.

Wayne W. Dyer states in his book, [“There’s a spiritual solution to every problem”], when asked what the secret formula is to success, he says, “My answer is always the same. I have believed in God’s law of abundance and I have always practiced it in my life. I’ve always known that God’s law is one of unlimited abundance. Early on I sensed that the master was teaching us this when he manifested fish and loaves to overflow the baskets of those who believed otherwise. Most people believe in, and practice, a law of scarcity, and most of their problems derive from a fastidious hanging on to this law. They wallow around in their self-imposed problems, rather than moving upward to a faster and more spiritual energy.”

It has taken practice, faith and trust, as well as the ability to slow down enough and KNOW, by feeling truth in my body, that I am in fact a divine daughter of God and because I feel that, I have developed the ability to love myself, consequently loving others deeper and unconditionally.

On the Thanksgiving Day I want to thank all of you who have left your mark on my canvas. I love you. I am grateful for you. I will always remember the things you have enriched my life with.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
Love, Jackie