“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.” –Alphonse Karr, A Tour Round My Garden
“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” –Eckhart Tolle
Happy Thanksgiving! I arose this morning with a welcome lightness in my heart. The weather here promises to allow for a pleasant walk down by the lake before I plop my butt down at the table (and the sofa, and the rocker, etc.) to gorge upon the culinary delights of the day. I am going to enjoy this holiday! After the all-time clunker that 2020 has been, I feel like I deserve that.
I mean, just think of all the things we have been through this year….NO! STOP! DON’T THINK OF THAT STUFF! That is not what this day is for. We don’t need to revisit that stuff today; it will be here waiting for us tomorrow. Today, let’s just focus on the good things in our lives, the things we really ought to be grateful for on a daily basis but sometimes forget to acknowledge because they are so much in our faces, so much the wallpaper of our lives. In this year when it is better that we not have a huge celebratory gathering, let’s muster up some huge Gratitude anyway.
I truly believe that Gratitude is the mother of Happiness. The way I see it, you just can’t get to any real, lasting Happiness unless you can acknowledge the blessings that surround you and permeate all that you do and all that you are. The ability to find a way to Gratitude no matter how your life looks is a rare and priceless gift, one that we should all strive for. I say we should begin today. Any day is a good day to choose Gratitude, but TODAY is always the best one. Not because it is Thanksgiving—which is a nice reminder, though, I admit—but rather because it is TODAY. NOW is always the best time to be more than who we have been. I want that. So, let us begin.
In this year when it was unwise to mingle outside of your household, I am so grateful for the three other people under my roof: my wife and kids. While we all have our moments of mess in all of these months of isolation, I can honestly say I would choose these guys to stay with if I had to do it all over again (which I might!). We are a team. A good one.
I am thankful for the fresh air and the ability to get outside and breathe it in. This year has had so much of “There’s nothing to do,” but my restless mind has been saved on so many days simply by getting out the door and feeling the air on my skin and in my lungs. Whether it is on a walk or bike ride around my neighborhood or swaying in my hammock as I stare up into the big trees and open sky, the option to get out and breathe it all in is often everything to me. I am grateful every time I am out there.
I am grateful for the other people in my life: my extended family, my friends, my co-workers, my social media community, and you. For the ones who have been my allies, either silently and vocally, I am more thankful than ever for them this year. And though some of us don’t always see eye-to-eye and have needed even more boundaries this year than ever to maintain our sanity—loving from a healthy distance has become a well-practiced skill—I am glad to know they are out there, and I truly wish the best for them. I am so pleased—and relieved, really—that after all of the political drama of this year and the (not always spoken) tension and strain it has brought into so many of my relationships, that I can sincerely wish them all health and happiness (and, of course, a more empathetic, liberal worldview!). I guess sometimes a simple lack of grudges and bitterness is a gift. Blessings come with many different faces; today I am thankful for all of them and the lessons they keep teaching me.
I am grateful for my health. I know people who have had COVID and been relatively unscathed by it, and I know people who have died from it, and many variations in between. It scares me, and I am so thankful that no one inside my house has had it. But it is not just the absence of COVID that I feel grateful for. I have struggled with an injury for much of this year that has limited my ability to move freely and to enjoy many of the things I love to do. That has made me acutely aware of the things I can still do and has made me grateful for each improvement I have made on my way back to health. I am truly delighted to be able to do the things I can do.
I am grateful for writing. Both my daily journal entries and these occasional letters to you provide me with some much-needed clarity and sanity. That is certainly the case this year, but I can say the same every year. It is my escape from “reality” but simultaneously my access to Truth. I am thankful for it every day.
Lastly, I am grateful for days like today that are meant to give me both the time and the reminder to be thankful. While it is nice, on an ordinary day of the year, to bring my awareness into a moment and find myself smiling or feeling a wave of positive energy all around me, it is so much better when I can extend that awareness to the reasons for my Joy and for the lightness in my being. This day is all about that awareness. It reminds me of the things that I need to seek out more of in my life. I appreciate both the reminder and the lightness of being.
How about you? What are you grateful for today? Open up your journal and your heart. What comes to mind first when you think about your greatest blessings on this day? Is it a person, an object, something you do, a state of being, or something else? Are you aware of your gifts often enough throughout the year, or is this the day that makes you fully conscious? Of the things you are most grateful for, what can you do throughout the year to bring more of them into your life? How can you become more grateful? A Gratitude journal? Prayer? A Gratitude jar? Regular journaling? Is it just a matter of changing your lenses and focusing on the right thing, the roses rather than the thorns? What method will you start with? Leave me a reply and let me know: What are your reasons to be thankful today?
P.S. If this resonated with you today, please share it. Spread Gratitude!
P.P.S. If this way of questioning yourself and discovering your light appeals to you, consider buying my book, Journal of YOU: Uncovering The Beauty That Is Your Truth, at your favorite online retailer. Namaste.