In the US the Thanksgiving holiday is upon us. You may already be on your way to your favorite family gathering, or you might be honoring the day in your own special way.
This Thanksgiving is especially poignant for me. It's been 9 months since my house fire and the sense of home as a physical place or specific people has come undone. The fire has impacted every area of my world, my work, my relationships, especially my self.
There have been moments of deep sorrow and tears, grieving and loss. It has also been a time of boundless joy, bliss for no reason and humbling gratitude. I cherish them all. Every drop of now is a gift from Life.
Now is the season to know that everything you do is sacred. Hafiz
It's so natural to think you have all the time in the world, and you'll always have the people and things in your life you most treasure. It doesn't always turn out that way. Life is precious. People are precious. Are you willing to tap into the grace and beauty of this sacred moment?
Here are 3 ways you can bless your world this Thanksgiving:
1. Honor Everything. It's easy to bless the good stuff – your favorite dishes, decorations and relatives – it's a lot more challenging to bless the things that don't give you the warm fuzzies. What if you treated everything with reverence? Instead of engaging things at the surface level, drop down a little deeper. Really connect on that perfunctory hug, hold a little bit longer than you might feel comfortable. Feel the heartbeat of the person you are holding. Be with them. When you sit at the table, don't just dive into the meal. Take a moment to feel into all the people and energy it took to deliver this meal to you. Express your appreciation to everything and everyone you encounter, and really feel it. Make eye contact when you say, “Thank you!” Let the energy of gratitude linger until it dissipates. Don't rush anything. Take your time with it all. This is it. You've arrived!
2. Count Your Blessings. Old habits like criticizing, gossiping or focusing on what's wrong can be shifted. Even subtle shades of these old habits can derail a wonderful holiday. Notice what you enjoy about the people you're with and the places you are visiting. Take a moment to tally the abundance in your own world. Don't only list the stuff! Remember those moments when your certainty has been greater than your doubt, when wonder has far surpassed your worry and where love has leveraged your loss. Don't forget the kindness of strangers. Sometimes the lingering smile of a stranger as you pass them on the street can be a boon to your day.
3. Pay It Forward. Every day there are an infinite number of ways in which you receive the abundance of others. Whether it's someone's help, a gift, a meal, or a kind word, your world is full of people that gift you. What if you paid it forward? I'm sure you already do this in your world, but I'm inviting you to join me on a little experiment. Pay it forward for the next 21 days. Every day gift something with no expectation of return. It doesn't have to be something big, often it's the little things that count most. Be guided by your heart. Gift what comes naturally to you. This isn't an exchange where I do something for you and you do something for me. This is plain old fashioned giving. Period. I'll bet that you'll unleash an avalanche of abundance and goodness in your world. Now that's a heck of a way to celebrate!
Celebration is the highest form of gratitude.
As you dive into your family traditions and cultural customs this Thanksgiving I invite you to tap into the sacred connection that yearns to be experienced and expressed by you. You are as unique and wondrous as a snowflake or crystal. Engage your celebration in a way that honors Life and merits your presence. Have a fabulous Thanksgiving Day!
I leave with you my musing on gratitude, Gratitude for Life. And please post below your own ‘pay it forward' ideas and what you're grateful for.