If you’re in the United States, you may be in the midst of whipping up your creamiest mashed potatoes, getting all the ingredients for the green bean casserole, or welcoming family in from out of town.
This is the time of year when we give thanks and think about how many slices of pie we should have before slipping into a food coma.
Like the abundance of food we are so fortunate to share tomorrow, Thanksgiving can also bring an abundance of emotion.
The pressure to have a picture perfect holiday, the differences of opinion family members can bring, or being away from family can take the thanks right out of thanksgiving.
Sometimes Thanksgiving can bring frenzied emotions and can leave us feeling overtired, under appreciated and like we are just checking off a box on a list of things we have to do.
Keeping thanks in Thanksgiving
When we acknowledge all there is to be thankful for and truly bring it into our awareness, it expands. It may sound cliché, but how many of us really do it without letting what we don’t have creep in and rain on our parade? When we keep what we are grateful for in our thoughts, we create an energy flow that brings abundance and more of what we want.
And there really and truly is always something to be thankful for, right?
I’m reminded of Immaculee Ilibagiza from Rwanda. You may have read about her. She was stuck in a tiny bathroom with 7 other women for three months trying to escape the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.
Three months in a tiny bathroom with 7 other people.
You know what she accredits her survival to?
That’s how powerful gratitude is.
Gratitude opens the heart and drapes compassion over everything it touches.
Shifting our thoughts and perspectives has an enormous impact on what we invite and allow into our lives. For Immaculee it saved her life.
Lucky for us, we will probably never experience anything in our lives remotely close to what Immaculee experienced, but we can take her approach.
Where there is discomfort, sadness or frustration, look for something, anything to be grateful for. Allow that gratitude to grow and flourish by staying true to the good of what’s there, no matter how small it may seem. The warmth of our living rooms, the ability to travel and see loved ones, the ability to give to others.
Gratitude is the magic elixir in our lives. When we reach for something to be grateful for we can change the dynamic to any situation.
One of my favorite ways of bringing things into perspective is writing down what I’m grateful for. There is such power in connecting our hearts with our hands through our written words.
I invite you to take a few moments today to think about all of the many reasons to have gratitude in your heart, and maybe even write them down.
And tomorrow, as you gather and break bread with those you love (or even those you just tolerate), or maybe those you are volunteering to serve, let your heart overflow with gratitude. We really do have a lot of thanks to give, which is a wonderful thing to celebrate.
I am so truly thankful for you and wish you an enormously happy Thanksgiving with more love than you can stand.
With love and gratitude,