I’m all about gratitude and this week it’s easy to be me! I mean, really, it’s Thanksgiving… almost like gratitude’s birthday, right? This is that day – once a year – where almost everyone gathers around a festive table with loved ones, and is publicly thankful (kinda like the Christians who only go to church on Easter Sunday and the Jews who show up at synagogue only for the High Holy Days). Traditionally, those assembled around the turkey take turns toasting and saying what they are thankful for… health, wealth, family, friends, the first snow, no snow… you get the ‘drift’ (oops, sorry). If you’ve forgiven me for that, read on:
It’s actually pretty great to hear everyone being grateful. It’s contagious and happy and healthy and powerful. When we declare our gratitude we confirm it. Our focus shifts from ‘what’s missing’ to what’s present; and there’s so much good stuff all around. What if every day was like that? What if, instead of complaints and negativity, those around you consistently greeted you with a smile and a catalogue of positive, good news and pleasant (if not down right happy) acceptance of the way it is?
Okay, that’s probably not in our immediate future, so, in the meantime, while we’re waiting, here’s an idea: YOU DO IT! Yup, you. You commit to looking at life through the filters of what’s the good news? and what am I grateful for? – not just for Thanksgiving, but for life! If you must, start small… one “giving thanks” day a month. Feelin’ brave? Try it every Thursday night. Share your meal with friends or family and actually talk to each other at the table! Ban the cell phones. Turn off the TV. Tell stories that move you. Exchange compliments. Note the good stuff and talk about it. Be grateful for the food, the opportunity to eat it in peace – with loved ones – in a safe warm place that has running water, flush toilets and a microwave. Acknowledge the beauty around you and notice all you have. Connect – or reconnect – with each other and gratitude.
And… What if roast turkey* and stuffing with cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes and gravy and green bean casserole and apple pie was served EVERY Thursday night????? Now there’s something to be grateful for…
*tofurkey for those of you who are so inclined