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“The Divine really is just a breath away. And it’s the simplest, most natural, daily acts – the things we do all the time, that we take for granted and that our lives depend upon – that can open and fill our hearts with the wisdom, grace, and creativity of the world we depend on and that depends on us.”
Phyllis Curott is a Wiccan High Priestess, internationally best-selling author, and attorney whose groundbreaking cases established the legal rights of Wiccans. Recipient of numerous honors including induction into the Martin Luther King Jr. Collegium of Clergy and Scholars. Phyllis is a Trustee and Program Chair for the 2021 Parliament of the World’s Religions, serves on the Advisory Board of Cherry Hill Seminary, and teaches internationally.
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I’m Phyllis Curott. Thank you for joining me in this reflection on the wonderful relationship between gratitude and creativity.
In the midst of a global pandemic, gratitude and creativity may seem like luxuries. But the fact is, creativity can save lives and gratitude is the fertile ground in which creativity thrives. And there is another unexpected blessing in gratitude – because we pay attention to the things that truly matter, we are able to see the mystery hiding in plain sight, the ways that Creation embodies divinity.
I discovered how true this is last year. I came down with Covid. Like millions of people around the world, I couldn’t breathe. I was really scared. I was lucky to recover and so thankful to be alive, to be able to breathe again. In and out, the simplest thing that I had taken for granted was the reason for the deepest gratitude. And I became very aware that there was another reason to be grateful: for the source of the oxygen that my life depended upon, the green plants, the Plant People.
Every day, I take time to pay attention, to inhale the breath of life from the green plants, and to feel my gratitude and humility, to exhale the breath of life, returning it to the Plant People with my sincere thanks and with my growing love. I feel the breath of life flowing between us, feel how intimately our lives are intertwined and interdependent, and I am in awe and gratitude for the beauty, balance, and natural reciprocity of this life-sustaining relationship.
The Divine really is just a breath away. And it’s the simplest, most natural, daily acts – the things we do all the time, that we take for granted and that our lives depend upon – that can open and fill our hearts with the wisdom, grace, and creativity of the world we depend on and that depends on us.
There’s an essential, deeply sacred, organizing principle embodied by Creation. It is a template of divine creativity: There are no isolated “things” in Nature. All are interconnected in ways that create and nourish and sustain life. Life creates in ways that care for the health and well-being of a world that is creating and taking care of all life. Like the rest of Mother Earth’s children, we are meant to be healthy and happy and to create in ways that make the world a better place for all life.
This is certainly not how we’ve been living. We’ve been selfishly exploiting, extracting, and laying waste to the world. But learning to live in harmony, in a sacred way, isn’t as hard to do as you may think. Just spending time in Nature brings out the best in our human nature. We’re more generous, compassionate, and humane. We’re kinder, more caring, and altruistic. We’re able to create and to participate in the mystery that is no longer hiding in plain sight, the Divine that is embodied by Creation.
And those are reasons to be profoundly grateful.
Thank you for spending this time with me.