Gratefulness As Surprise
By Janet Morrissey, Crones Counsel President
“Sometimes when I stand in some corner of the camp, my feet planted on earth, my eyes raised towards heaven, tears run down my face, tears of deep emotion and gratitude.” Etty Hillesum wrote this in her diary from the Nazi death camp. She was Jewish but had an eclectic range of prayer sources.
It’s difficult for us to imagine being grateful while being imprisoned in a Nazi camp, or for that matter, in any prison whether from within ourselves or from circumstances from the outside— and still be thankful. It can be done through a discipline described by Br. David Steindl-Rast (gratefulness.org) who suggests we study the elements of surprise. He says every surprise has the seed of gratefulness within, but we must cultivate our intellect’s taste for surprise. We overlook the everyday opportunities to be surprised because we take things for granted. As we become awake, aware and alert to everyday situations, we can become attuned to the surprises all around us, and perhaps some will even shock us, but we need to examine the situation and what our response will be.
These surprises give us the opportunity to respond and to grow. Therefore you must first wake up to the surprises all around you. Then become aware of the opportunities to learn to enjoy what occurs as gifts. This will alert you to the response of gratitude. “When you are grateful, your heart is open —-open towards others, open for surprise.” (Steindl-Rast )
A lot of us were surprised by the outcome of the presidential election. People are responding in a variety of ways. Some people are grateful, but many are not. How can these people find gratitude from the outcome? I’m sure they are not thinking about being grateful. However, they can remind themselves to be aware of the opportunity to learn something new, or perhaps, they are being asked to trust, which is also difficult. Remember in every surprise there is the seed of gratitude.
Before I fall asleep at night, I try to recall the surprises of the day. Sometimes that’s easy because I’ve been more awake and aware during the day. Other times I have to search harder and commit myself to try looking for surprises the next day. Occasionally, the surprise is too hard for me to swallow and I must ask myself, ‘What is the opportunity here?’ Last thought from Meister Eckhardt “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is ‘thank you,’ it Will be enough.”
How to Start a Crones Circle
How to Start a Crones Circle is a guide for creating your own local crones circle. This booklet, easily available on the Crones Counsel website, was written by annie lehto and Carol Friedrich to encourage other women to form their own groups. Having been active participants in our local crones group for over twenty years, we are both committed to encouraging the formation of other groups, specifically, “crone circles”. We have written the guide to be easily followed by one or two women to begin with, and its structure makes the process doable, regardless of the size of your community or town. You may take the information, make it yours, and persevere. Having a local crones group of your own is worth the effort. Download your copy now. https://www.cronescounsel.org/how-to-start-a-crones-circle/
The Utah Crones cordially invite you to join us for the 25th ANNUAL GATHERING of CRONES COUNSEL. DATES: October 4-8, 2017 at the University Guest House and Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.
My, time flies when Crones gather together! It is exciting for our group to be hosting the historic 25th Jubilee of our organization. We intend to make this special gathering one to really remember.
The University Guest House and Conference Center is located on the campus of the University of Utah. This facility sets on the side of the beautiful foot hills of Salt Lake City and has a panoramic view of the large valley. The site is part of the historic location of the old Fort Douglas and was host to the 2002 Winter Olympics. In 2012 the University renovated the hotel, added more rooms and created a state of the art meeting space. All rooms have a microwave, refrigerator and coffee service. It is the perfect size facility for our group and will provide a more personal experience for us.
The “Salty Sisters” (Utah Crones) are planning some unique activities for the gathering. Our theme is: Weaving the Silver Threads of Past, Present and Future. We will look back on our history as a gathering and also have opportunities to explore our genetic matriarchal lineage. We will share our personal stories and bask in the joyous company of feminine energy. We will learn from the wisdom shared and go deeper into exploring the journey of the Crone. We will sing the songs that bind us together and dance to the rhythm of the present moment. We link our hands and hearts to greet each new day of the future!
Don’t miss this special gathering! We are getting everything ready. Register online. Reserve your space at the University Guest House and Conference Center: toll free 1-888-416-4075. We can’t wait to see you! More exciting details to come soon.
Crones Counsel 25th Anniversary Jubilee
Weaving the Silver Threads of Past, Present, and Future
October 4-8, 2017
University Guest House and Conference Center
110 South Fort Douglas Blvd.
Salt Lake City, UT 84113-5036
Complete information coming soon.
Order your 2017 Crones Counsel Calendar
Need a gift for your favorite Crone? Want to remember the joy and fun of Crones Counsel in Denver? Features birthdays of all attendees. Only $20.00 including shipping. Please place your order for the calendar before December 10, 2016. Order your calendar.