Eucharisteo: The Doorway to Joy.
Eucharisteo (pronounced: you-CAR-ist-AY-o) is a word in ancient Greek that translates to "thanks-giving" or "the act of giving thanks". Alone, this word doesn't carry much weight. Its one of those weird nouns that stands for an action (a gerund, as it's known in the grammar world) so it doesn't invoke a feeling, connotation, or direction. It very simply is just another word. However, in ancient Greek, nothing is ever "just another word". What is beautiful about that language is the meaning that is derived from looking at the roots that form the words. The roots reveal more layers, and give clues to how the word came into being, and the beliefs and values that the word was born out of. By looking at the roots of eucharisteo, we see that "the act of giving thanks" is not merely an act, but rather a doorway. It is an action through which we can create amazing things in our lives. There are two roots embedded in the word eucharisteo. The first is "charis" which translates to grace. In English today, the word grace has taken on numerous meanings. However its earliest translation is something similar to blessed. The Three Graces in Greek mythology were the givers of charm and beauty, and in Christian doctrine, grace is something divinely given to those who have found favor with god. So, the act of giving thanks opens us up to see the grace--the blessings. From there, the next root is char, or chara, which translates to joy. Take a minute for that to sink in: at the root of giving thanks, we find joy! Therein lies the real meaning of the word--to get to joy, you first have to give thanks. So often around this time of year, we are bombarded with words--thankful, grateful, gratitude, Thanksgiving, the list goes on and on! However, we forget to connect those words to something real, something tangible. We see posts on facebook and twitter all about giving thanks, and being grateful, that are beautiful, amazing, and should be shared! With that though, it is easy to lose our why. We get so caught up in sharing the things we are grateful for, that we can forget to actually pause and see the value that comes from giving thanks. This week, your yoga teachers will most likely invite you to set an intention of gratitude for your practice and your life. I invite you to take this one step further, and live not just in gratitude, but in Eucharisteo. Live in a way that sees thankfulness as a doorway to creating joy in your life and the lives of those around you. Have a great weekend! xoxo