Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. There are so many lessons to take away from the meaning of the day. What’s important is to not allow the shopping list with yams and marshmallows, Black Friday shopping and already anticipating the next holiday to detract from any potential lessons to take away. Finding the thanks and the giving of Thanksgiving is a pursuit worth taking.
The Pilgrims founded the Thanksgiving holiday. They trekked across the ocean and began their new life in new England. Less than half of their population survived. The prayed for help and refuge. Squanto, a native American, and his tribe were able to place their past experiences with the white man aside only to extend themselves with compassion and selflessness. It is because of the tribes efforts but the Pilgrim’s survived.
Finding the thanks and giving in Thanksgiving..
Life can be hard. Our past experiences may continue to rattle our hearts. But, if we choose, we can use Thanksgiving as an opportunity to extend compassion regardless of our past circumstances. It’s not always an easy feat, but possible. This doesn’t mean connecting to people or situations that evoke toxicity or are emotionally or physically compromising. It does me going beyond ourselves. This may mean inviting neighbor who’s alone to dinner. This could mean donating gently used Clothes to someone that you know is struggling financially.
Gratitude. It’s easy to say that we’re grateful, but the daily verbal and written expression can transform into a mindset. Remind yourself what you’re grateful for. Allocate time at the beginning of the day and prior to breaking bread to verbally share. The question being, “what am I grateful for?” When we share we learn more about one another and reinforce the significance of a grateful heart.
The magnitude of gratitude
Be grateful. It will change your life. The holidays can be a tough time for many out there. It can compound funky feelings with shift in weather. Less sun and lower temps can be tough on the emotional barometer. Our emotions can take a beating, but the pursuit of gratitude can be a massive shift in our emotional pendulum. It shifts our mindset from more positive vs negative.
When we pursue this mindset it also teaches an important lessons to our kids. It’s conveying that rather than expecting that what we have is simply given to us, it is being grateful for it. When being grateful overshadows entitlement it will inevitably alter our mindset and outlook in some crazy amazing ways.
I’ve asked people to use the month of November or December to do a daily jot of what in their life evokes gratitude. Post it on social media, jot it down daily in a journal, place post it notes in your bedroom and allow for a submersion of gratitude. It’s pretty spectacular.
Uniting with fellow peeps…
Even with people around us all day, the pull and tug of life’s obligations can make us feel lonely. Whether your day will be with one other person or twenty, be sure to dodge the pull of checking your emails, texts and social media updates. Make Thanksgiving about being present. Everyone is busy. Often, being busy distracts us from actually living. Allow the day to be about doing something fun, enjoyable with good conversation and food.
We live in a world brimming with distractions. There are a bazillion things we think we have to do. The ability to live in the moment is a challenge for many. When we focus on just being present it gives the green light to just be where we’re at and nowhere else. It’s a challenge, but the reward is worth it.
I’m thankful for a holiday allocated for gratefulness and thankfulness. It’s awesome. What’s even more wonderful is when we carry that mindset with us for the duration of the twelve month year. It can be done.
I will assure you that if you pursue this state of mind with vigor and relentlessness, it will rock your world. So enjoy that turkey, embrace the moment and know the pursuit of gratitude will make the next chapter even more rooted and abundant. Happy Thanksgiving!