Living is tentative and uneasy for many of us right now, especially in the U.S. Gratitude helps so much. It's like a magic energy that alchemically transforms scarcity into satisfaction, half empty into half full. Luckily, we have a whole day dedicated to giving thanks.
Today I am grateful for:
My passion. When I resonate with something or someone, I’m all in. I may not always be disciplined or consistent, but I am wholly dedicated to whatever inspires me, and I enjoy bringing my total self to the endeavor or the relationship. I give my all. I show up, and keep showing up. For my ability to turn desire into dedication, I’m thankful.
My family. I’m lucky to have a husband who keeps loving me and growing in companionship, and two absolutely beautiful daughters who are kind and funny, smart and insightful, emotionally sensitive and socially aware. My father, who at 90 continues to seek understanding and healing, has given me a strong spiritual foundation for life as well as an appreciation for nature and the beauty of this world. My brother taught me how to be strong and resilient, and to trust my intuition. My nieces and nephews astound me with their ability to forgive and to develop unconditional love. They are also super creative and persevering in all they do, which gives me hope for the future. Thank you.
My spiritual family. These are my closest friends, advisors, mentors, and cheerleaders. They listen when I ask, are not afraid to call me on my foolishness and wrong thinking, encourage and pat me on the back, give me gifts and let me give to them in return, and generally help me remember to play and be goofy while I still can. Maybe we’ve known each other since high school, maybe we just met last year, but we connect authentically in the heart space (see #1 above). You know who you are. Thank you.
My gifts. I am an experienced, talented hands-on healer, an engaging and skilled teacher, and a decent writer and editor. I enjoy connecting people with one another and creating networks of learning and support, and I can organize events with the best of them. I am never happier than when I’m planning a workshop or writing a lesson plan or refining curricula. Nerdy but true. My singing and dancing is mediocre but on a good day I can engage in them with gusto and abandon, which is half the battle. For the gifts I was born with and those I’ve worked hard to develop, I’m thankful.
This life. I feel so grateful to be drawing breath right now, this very minute. My dharma teacher, Mark Nunberg, tells me that there are only two things to ask when I sit to meditate: 1) Am I interested in what’s here right now? Can I cultivate some curiosity about how it is? 2) Do I care about this life which has been entrusted to me? Can I cultivate some compassion for this being? For my ability to remain interested and caring, both on and off the cushion, I am thankful.
Wishing you and yours a happy Thanksgiving Day and the ability to feel genuinely, deeply grateful for all the many blessings of this human life. Claim them. They are yours, and no one else can knowthem and live them like you can.