This was the subject line of an email I recently received from The Chopra Center. I am crediting this quote to Deepak Chopra, but I can’t be certain it originated with him.
As I was thinking about my annual Christmas letter, I couldn’t for the life of me come up with something I wanted to share with my friends and family this year. Then I saw this, and – amazing! – there it was. In an email!
In July, I participated in a three-week guided meditation, hosted by Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey. The theme of the daily meditation series was “Manifesting Grace through Gratitude.” It was one of the most meaningful experiences of my life, highlighted by an incident that brought home what grace and gratitude is all about. For those of you who read my blog, you know about Grace, the hen. In brief, Raven, the horse, stepped on her one afternoon during the time I was engaged in these meditations. When my friend, George, told me what had happened, I ran down to the chicken coop to see for myself. She was badly injured – we didn’t know how seriously – but she was unable to stand on her own. One of her wings drooped to the side next to her body. This sweet little hen was on the ground beneath the nests, unable to move. George had placed her in one of the nesting boxes following the accident, but she had fallen out. I scooped her into my arms, held her close to my heart, and began stroking her and talking to her. Through my tears, I told her what a special girl she was, how much we loved and appreciated the eggs that she lay for us each day, and assured her that Raven hadn’t meant to hurt her. I thanked her for being a good little hen and placed her gently back into the nest for the night. I left reluctantly, not knowing if she would survive the night. After I got home from George’s house that evening, I burst into uncontrollable tears, which wouldn’t stop. I was heartsick about this fragile creature, and wanted more than anything to make her well again. I prayed that God would take care of her through the night. What I didn’t know was that after I had left, George took an old dog kennel and fixed her a safe place, lined with hay, to stay in his garage. Over the next few weeks, we took care of Grace, as I had named her the day after the accident. Slowly, she began to heal, fashioned a nest in the hay, started laying eggs, and began to softly cluck again. We watched her and cheered her on as she struggled to stand and to balance with her wounded leg and drooping wing. Finally, after about three weeks, she was able to stand on both legs without falling over. The day we took her back to join the flock was another day of tears for me. Happy tears, this time.
As I embark on this Christmas season, I am reminded that I have enough. Little Grace, the hen, taught me what true gratitude is all about. Even though Grace was badly injured, she continued to lay eggs for us. Grace didn’t have much – she had no possessions to call her own. But she had George and me to take care of her. And she did what hens are supposed to do. I know she doesn’t feel gratitude for what we did for her, but I am eternally grateful for the lessons she taught me. What I have is enough. I don’t need more.
And with this thought, I wish each of you a Christmas filled with grace and gratitude.
It is enough.