Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Not because of the meal, the pies, or even the gathering of family of friends (don’t get me wrong, I enjoy all of these elements, especially the family part, but sometimes all that work and energy just for a meal seems a little pointless, but maybe that’s the point); Thanksgiving is dear to me because I love that we have a holiday dedicated to gratitude. Most of the yoga teachers I know have been teaching on gratitude all week long; there’s a “24 days of gratitude” challenge going around facebook wherein people posted something to be grateful for from November 1 until today; thankfulness is in the air.
Of course Thanksgiving has a bit of a shady past, what with the implications of sharing a harvest with the Native Americans then proceeding to commit a sweeping ethnocentric betrayal and cultural decimation. Thanksgiving and the holidays in general are difficult for too many people for whom family, or perhaps worse, loneliness, is something morethan a challenge. But, to paraphrase John Friend, “We see the negative but freely choose the positive. We look for the good and in celebrating that transform a painful past into a bright present.”*
As I’ve contemplated gratitude and thanksgiving this week it occurred to me that giving thanks, saying “thank you” is an outward expression of gratitude born from the recognition of the highest good, the fullness of heart, the Divine in each other and in the full, messy, magical spectrum of life. What could more powerful, more transformative than that?
So on this day, lets start a blog-ersation.** I invite all who read this to comment with a couple of things for which you are grateful. Here are just a few of mine.
Thank You For…
1. You, dear reader. For your comments, support and willingness to read these words
2. ALL of my family, friends, and kula — especially my husband, parents, brother, in-laws, the tourists, “my girls,” Apollo & Magnum
3. A good relationship with my family
4. The ability to cook (pie crusts and a perfect rise on the bread – hooray!)
6. No longer fearing dogs
7. Food, clothing and shelter — including working heat and AC
9. Good movies, good books, good art (The Muppets!)
10. Yoga – for my teachers, the teachings, the honor of teaching
11. My wonderful students who always “take it up to 11.”
12. The vast, heartbreaking beauty of the earth
14. The “Big Truck” drivers who waved and honked at my not quite 2 year old cousin
15. The boundless Love of Grace dancing this Life
May we continue to practice gratitude as a recognition of the Abundant Love of Grace moving in and through all things. May our thanks be an offering of loving service to God and an embrace for all who suffer this day and always.