Roy Bennet, the author of The Light in the Heart, wrote this saying, and I’m learning just how true it is.

Gratitude builds a bridge to abundance

Yumi’s and my understanding of the Language of Abundance started for us twenty-five years ago. We were exploring the Relational Paradigm, and discovered Appreciative Inquiry, an organizational methodology. We learned the importance of “languaging” and the distinction between the Language of Deficit and the Language of Abundance. A basic principle we were inspired by is that the sound and meaning of words leave a profound subconscious impact on us. And we can choose to create language that fits us vibrationally, so that we unleash our energy and imagination. For example, listen to the difference between “life is a problem to be solved,” and “life is an adventure to be lived.”

I am in radical gratitude for the inspiration of our ongoing learning.

Our enlightenment about abundance came to us just in time. Two years later I received a diagnosis of breast cancer. It was terrifying. But Yumi decided to apply what we had learned. He asked me: “Hedy, how long should we be terrified? Two hours? Three? After that this diagnosis, as terrifying as it is, is not a problem to be solved. It is an adventure to be lived.” And he named the adventure “Rallying around the Boob.” And we gathered an international Boob Brigade. Just imagine the face of doctors to whom we said: “Will you be part of our Boob Brigade?”

I am in radical gratitude for the abundant adventure of our life journey.

Yumi and I are now living a new adventure. Inspired by Yumi, I am calling our adventure “Rallying around the Essence.” I am deeply touched by Yumi’s current state of being: serene, grateful, loving, sweet, innocent, living fully in the NOW. For a man who worried his entire life, this period of just “being here” is miraculous. He is like an innocent child, deeply grateful for my love and attention. I am making our daily life sweet. For example, I love how we share the intimate ritual of showering together, with “all the time in the world.” Yumi allows me to pamper him, and enjoys the attention I am flooding him with. Our new life adventure has the right pace and the right energy for NOW!

I am in radical gratitude for the very rich essence of “US.”

Yumi and I went to Yoga Nidra for the first time at a wonderful neighborhood Healing Center. I laid on a mat, and Yumi sat on a chair. And we held hands during the meditation. Kiersten, the Executive Director of the Center, asked if she could take a picture of us.

Hedy and Yumi Schleifer at yoga

Kiersten wants to put our picture in the Caregivers Magazine, and share it at the caregiver’s support group. I said to her: “Kirsten, I am not a caregiver.” She looked at me puzzled. And so I explained to her: “Yumi and I are ‘care partners.’ He cares for me as deeply as he can. And I care for him as deeply as I can.” Kirsten loved this way of looking and living.

I am in radical gratitude for 54 years of fertilizing our relational space.

And yet, every once in a while I get hijacked into the Neighborhood of Loneliness. Not only have I discovered a very big avenue called Avenue I-Pity-Myself, I also happen to walk into the Park of the Future. There you sit on a bench, and on a big screen are projected dark, gloomy and pitiful pictures of the future. Of course because it is the Neighborhood of Loneliness, I am alone on the bench. Outside of that neighborhood, I know full well that the Future is a Thief of the Present. But on that bench, all alone, I fall for the gloominess. And the loudspeaker in the park continuously hums: “What will be? What will be?”

And so while sitting on that bench I reached out to friends, and I invited them to sit there with me, and hold my hand. For me friends are people who can simply sit with me, in silence, beaming their love for me. They know that the Neighborhood of Loneliness is but one of the neighborhoods in the vast and rich world that is me. And while I sit on this bench, in the force field of these gentle connections, I can breathe. And then I can honor everything that this neighborhood invites me to feel. I know that living vibrantly is feeling absolutely everything … fully.

Just like in the The Guest House poem of Rumi.

The guest house poem by rumi

There is a Hebrew blessing called the Shehecheyanu Blessing. It expresses our gratitude for life itself, for experiences that are new and special, for joyous occasions, and for doing something for the very first time. The emphasis of the Shehecheyanu Blessing is saying thank you for what is big and deep and precious.

We praise and bless you, our God, for granting us LIFE, for sustaining us on the JOURNEY, and for bringing us to this very moment of NOW.

I send my blessings to you, in radical gratitude for LIFE itself, the ongoing JOURNEY, and the NOW that blesses us continuously with new and rich meaning.