From Grievance to Love with Gratitude ~
A Ritual for Metanoia
I have always loved the word Metanoia. I typically think of it in terms of a change of heart. However, it can also be referred to as a change in one’s way of life resulting from spiritual practices. I have come to see it as the key to all ascension and enlightenment efforts. It is the crux of the Holy Work of consciousness-raising.
Become the Love with Gratitude
Chat GPT says, “Metanoia is such a fascinating concept. It’s like a mental U-turn, a transformative change of heart and mind. The word itself comes from Greek, where “meta” means beyond, and “noia” means mind. So, it’s all about going beyond the mind or profoundly changing one’s mind. It’s not just a shift in perspective; it’s a whole new way of thinking and being. Embracing metanoia can lead to personal growth, self-discovery, and a richer understanding of the world around us. It’s like upgrading the software of your mind to a newer, wiser version.”
Saying “thank you” is the key to unlocking a metanoia.
Gratitude takes practice. For me, it does not come naturally. However, over time the ability to produce a palpable shift in mood has become easier.
Nearly forty years ago, when I was newly sober and attending typing classes fortuitously provided by the city of New London’s rehabilitation program, my typing instructor taught me this profound ritual. She had grown extremely frustrated with me for my lack of focus and ability to concentrate. So, she took me aside one day and promised to keep my disgruntled secrets from my counselors at the halfway house. I believed her and admitted how miserable I was. I confessed to her that all I could think about were my friends who were out using drugs, drinking, and having a “good old time.” I ranted about how awful it was to go from living the “highlife” to living on $10.00 weekly. I spewed a long list of grievances! I blamed everyone and everything I could think of for my circumstances. I complained about everything under the sun! When I finished, she very calmly let me have it! She reamed me a new one! She reminded me that I could have died, been institutionalized, or incarcerated from all the supposed “fun” I was having! She then confided in me that she grew up dirt poor and was now abundant enough to volunteer her time and expertise. She taught me something her grandmother had taught her many years ago. It’s a gratitude ritual that I still practice in various ways.
The ritual requires
The ritual requires a lit candle, a pocketbook, a purse or wallet, a simple phrase, a pinch of humility, and a pound of courage. Light your candle and place it in the most central area of your darkened room. Holding the wallet or pocketbook open with both hands, raise it into the Northernmost corner of the room. Raising your arms as high as you can, stare into the corner of the ceiling and state out loud, “Thank you (thinking of your Higher Power, the Universe, or whomever you pray to) for changing my heart, for this roof over my head, for this purse to fill, and the willingness to carry on.” Moving clockwise, repeat the phrase in every corner of the room. Close the purse, and write a gratitude list.
Saying thank you is the key to unlocking a metanoia.
If you’ve ever worked on a gratitude list, you know how effectively it can change your mood. I learned over the years having a change of heart is called “metanoia.” I love the word, but I especially love the sensation of experiencing metanoia within the few minutes it takes to perform this ritual. Over time and with practice, this palpable mood shift becomes easier. Saying thank you is the key.
The grievances disappear as my heart fills with gratitude and I can keep going.
I rarely light the candle or walk around the room talking to the ceiling anymore. But I say “thank you” as much as possible. Do I hold any image in my mind while repeating “thank you” over and over? Not particularly. Sometimes, I use my imagination and visualize angels, saints, or ascended masters around me, hearing me thank them. But more often than not, my “thank yous” seem to float out into the darkness. I say “thank yous” in the shower. I say “thank yous” while eating, doing chores, and throughout my workdays. Am I being listened to? At first I didn’t know. I have learned over the years that it’s OK to doubt. My intellect (I often call it my egoic monkey mind) can doubt all it wants, but metanoia makes it all worthwhile. The grievances disappear as my heart fills with gratitude and I can keep going. The evidence that my “thank yous’ are being heard keeps unfolding with every successful breath I take, every step I take, every task I complete, and of course, every challenge I overcome.
Have you ever wondered how many ‘thank yous’ you could say in a minute? Or in an hour? Or on any given day? I haven’t been able to count them, but I always feel better when I try.
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough, and more.
It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.
It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.
– Melody Beattie