Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love food… and I am enamored with sweet potatoes and yams. My love for them is so great that it is not uncommon for me to make several sweet potatoes and yams recipes on this holiday. There’s also the mashed potatoes and gravy, watching the dog show (I usually eat my first batch of sweet potatoes while watching this), the turkey, and spending time with family.
But, what I love most about this holiday is that it is a day we set aside to deepen in the practice of gratitude.
Because giving thanks helps us recognize, appreciate, and gift ourselves and others transformation.
When we express gratitude, we open up to love, and we are reminded that, although not perfect and sometimes downright painful, there is sweetness, expansion, and healing woven into life.
Have you ever noticed how saying thank you can change you and your outlook on things? Have you seen someone transform in front of your eyes when given gratitude?
We may not get transported to a place of glitter and perfection and the bad doesn’t necessarily go away.
What we can experience is a shift and lightness in our emotions. Our sense of connection and presence in the moment may deepen. There is a reminder that grace always seems to appear when we need it the most.
Research has also found that expressing gratitude improves mental, physical and relational well-being.
Giving thanks can also impact the overall experience of happiness which can be long-lasting.
Now, I get it. It’s not always easy to express gratitude or to find ourselves in a state of thankfulness.
Four ways to Cultivate Gratitude on Thanks-Giving
- Say thank you often. Look for opportunities to say it — particularly to those who serve you.
- Practice not gossiping, complaining, or judging for the day. (You can do it!)
- It is vital to make a distinction between feeling grateful and being grateful. We don’t have total control over our emotions. We cannot will ourselves to feel grateful, less depressed, or happy. Yet how we look at things is dictated by how we feel about them. Being grateful is a choice: We can feel grateful and not be grateful towards the gains and losses that flow in and out of our lives.
- Engage in compassionate forgiveness. Sitting at a table with family discord and conflict is never easy, but for that day (and every day after if you choose), remember that at any given moment we all do the best we can. If he/she/they, had thought of something better to do or say, then they would have done it.
I also want to take the opportunity to give Thanks to YOU.
Thank you for showing up.
Thank you for allowing me to be of service.
Thank you for engaging with me.
Thank you for sharing your time, your attention, and to many of you, your heart and soul.
Wishing you a blessed and delicious Thanks-Giving,