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My life has been relatively easy...but we all have our struggles. 
Drugs, Sex and Rock and Roll riddled my 20s with plenty of strife, from abusive relationships to terminated pregnancy. 

Today, I am grateful to be drug-free. I am grateful that sex has a meaningful and sacred place in my life. And Rock and Roll? Well, I will always be grateful for Rock and Roll! 

But what amazes me more than anything is the transformational power of Love. I am so grateful for all the different ways and flavors of Love. And I am grateful for all the gifts it brings... 


 
 
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By Shannon Paige 

When asked to share my feelings on gratitude, what I was most grateful for, and to offer something that might inspire that feeling in others, I smiled and knew just what I would share. Just over a month ago, at the ripe old age of 42, I legally adopted a 20-year-old woman named Victoria Devine. To those who don’t know me well, this decision seemed a little odd. To those who do know me, it may have seemed perfectly in step with my unconventional way of walking my own path through this world. In truth, it was one of the most natural, positive, and profound decisions I have ever made...




 
 
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By Benjy Wertheimer
As we approach Thanksgiving this year, I am reminded of one of the most incredible (and improbable) founts of gratitude I’ve ever known. Sometimes the most challenging experiences of our lives offer us the greatest opportunity to recognize how blessed we are.  

Almost exactly three years ago, one of the events I always fear most – while logging literally hundreds of thousands of miles on tour – happened to us in South Dakota en route to the final three dates of our national tour in autumn of 2011...


 
 
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By Karrus Hayes
There are people who should always be remembered in your life for the important role they have played, and such people deserve your appreciation at all times.

Growing up in West Africa, my parents and I were under a lot of constraint and without any hope of education, but God’s plan was different:

I grew up to be a good boy and son, but I was not just a good boy. I grew up as a Christian with a great love for God.  One important thing I have learned is to love others, especially the less fortunate kids who are in educational need. I always relate my case to the situation surrounding them...


 
 
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By Deborah Redding 
I continue to learn the value in practicing thankfulness. Sometimes it seems easy, splashing over my soul, brimming over, making my heart almost giddy with gratitude. Sometimes it's more difficult to take control of ungrateful thoughts, feelings, and attitudes, and point them in a new direction. Gratitude is always valuable. It reminds me of what my natural state can be. It keeps the door open for deeper insights and spiritual benefits. Think about it - few things can shut us down or close us off like an ungrateful heart. So I'm tapping into thanksgiving! I am oh so grateful for the health I DO have and the things I can DO and the power of possibilities in my limited, every- day life. I'm giving thanks for the power of gratitude to make the heart joyful this thanksgiving.​


 
 
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By Laura Wade Jaster
I cannot say I am grateful my brother died; I cannot, since I would do nearly anything to have him back. The past three years since Andrew’s sudden, luminous death devoured me with every excruciating icy bite of grief. That single event left a space in my life I don’t have a name for; but sometimes when my heart contracts around those shards of glass, those broken impossible pieces, when I stay with them long enough, they give rise to a beautiful question…that question has something to do with knowing how to live; now, again, perhaps for the first time...




 
 
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By Jai me Allison
“Life is a gift. You didn’t earn it, don’t deserve it and can’t pay it back. All you can do is offer gratitude”. – Dr. Douglas Brooks

For well over a decade I have contemplated his words. I am immediately reminded of the preciousness of life and of the rarity and blessing of a human birth.

These words have become my touchstone for my evolving life...


 
 
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By Cindy Lusk
I always end my classes with folded hands, bowed head and the word “Namaste.” This word traditionally acknowledges our connection to Source and each other, yet its meaning has many interpretations. I recently asked some of my yoga students how they thought about it, and many of them said it felt like a gesture of gratitude, which I thought was a lovely extrapolation.

With folded hands, we bow our heads and acknowledge “I am grateful.”  
I am grateful to have found yoga.  I am grateful for its healing.  I am grateful for all of my teachers, all those who have walked the path before me, and have held their hand out to bring me along, whether now living or alive only through their teachings.  I bow, Namaste...


 
 
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View Shakti's recently published work: "The Face of God: Musings of a New 
Mother," in Evolving God-Images edited by Dr. Patrick Mahaffey. 


This collection of reflective essays explores spirituality and its changing 
relationship to culture, individual identity, and society in our increasingly 
globalized, postmodern world. 

"As a yoga teacher and new mother, Rachel Shakti Redding muses on the mystery 
of the existence embodied by her daughter. The birth of her child, she tells us, deepened her contemplative sensibility and experience of love."
~Dr. Patrick Mahaffey


 
 
Picturephoto: Third Eye Visionaries
The current challenge is to simply be truly Alive. 

What is Aliveness?
Being Authentically Human. 
—Not a normative human.
—Not an idealized human.

...but a radically authentic human, 
deeply connecting the experience of BE-ing, 
through brokenness, wholeness, suffering and joy, 
and through it all, 
or eventually, 
or never at all, 
truly realizing one's Inner Power.