This month Americans across this blessed country celebrate Thanksgiving—my favorite holiday of the year, one I experience unmarred by anything negative, divisive or tainted by commercialism. Free of religious, political, ethnic and cultural boundaries, Thanksgiving is a special time reserved for people to gather and honor all that is good. Unhindered by pressures of unfulfilled resolutions and unrealistic expectations, it escapes echoes of war and victories over one people over another. It’s all about pure and simple thanks giving.
I love how a spirit of gratitude is one of the most powerful emotions human beings can feel. It has the ability to instantly lift us up; when practiced regularly, it has the power to transform one’s life from the pits of despair to utter bliss.
In dark moments, I have found that the fastest way for me to climb up and out is to list what I’m thankful for, the blessings right in front of me, in that moment. It might start with the solar powered daisy in my window that joyfully sways back and forth waving hello with a great big smile; what about the friend that thoughtfully bestowed this sweet gift? Recognized blessings might include the cozy feel of warm blankets surrounding me on a cold night, the joy of my puppy’s wet nose touching my ear as he wakes me or the honks of a flight of geese overhead. The act of making a gratitude list refocuses my consciousness on anything that makes me feel better, so that I can build upon those thoughts to the point where I forget the darkness even existed. These tiny treasures of thankfulness work wonders in banishing fear, uncertainty or any other negative emotion that wants to hold me back. I am now open to greater clarity in dealing with circumstances from a more positive place.
I love author Melody Beattie’s observation, “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”
Thanksgiving Day reminds us how good it feels to pause and express appreciation for all we have received as well as the good still to come. Let us vow now not to allow the stress of countless errands steal our goodwill and gratitude. Instead let us take a moment every day to reflect on blessings great and small. It’s the secret to receiving even more of the good that the Universe is just waiting for us to accept.
With heartfelt gratitude always and wishes for a joyous holiday season,
Maisie Raftery, Publisher