Practicing Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving kind of makes me groan. It’s not the easiest holiday for me and I’m not saying that because I’ll eat too much or overindulge. It’s because there’s so much riding on this one, single day. We’re supposed to be thankful, but come up with something no one else has thought of to be thankful for before. We’re supposed to appreciate our time with family and friends, but often times we’re not being our authentic selves, choosing instead to play at who we think they want us to be. We should enjoy our food, but not too much. We should not go shopping too early, or at all.  We should watch the football games, but not to the point where you are ignoring your company. It’s a balancing act and it’s a trap. It seems there’s no way you can win…maybe.

The thing is the premise of Thanksgiving is awesome. One day to come together and really look at your life and say thank you for everything – the good and the bad – that has come to be. To just say, “Wow, thank you life!” in the most sincere way and know that every course of action has been an incredible part of your own personal journey. What a great holiday!

I guess the thing is I wish that Thanksgiving wasn’t just a once a year thing for most people. Practicing gratitude is a practice just like getting in your yoga each day. It’s easy to point out and complain about everything that’s not seemingly going right in your life. When you make a decision to try to really take a step back every time your mind starts to wander into that bad territory and make the choice instead to count your blessings, well, this is what we call a game changer.

When I am truly practicing gratitude what I have in my life already is enough and I find am not craving that next thing.  With that practice everything new that comes into my life, be it an experience, a person, or that awesome pair of yoga shorts I was just dying to own, is just a delightful surprise that I can truly enjoy.   We often hear how gratitude creates further abundance, but for me I believe this is true because you are so focused on all of the good that has already arrived and appreciating it in every moment, that anything else that comes your way just keeps tipping the joy meter up a few more points. Life is good if you decide you want it to be.

But the truth is most people don’t stop and give thanks all that often and Thanksgiving is one of those moments where they actually do. So, no matter how you choose to spend this holiday, whether it’s with family, friends, shopping, watching football, or scrambling to get the turkey on the table, know that the activity of it all doesn’t really matter. I hope you take the time to take a breath, look around at your life, look into the eyes of your favorite and maybe not so favorite people and say thank you for this moment, this breath, this single day during the holiday season. Because just like you will never really be in the same place with a single yoga posture again as you deepen your yoga practice, you will also never be in this place, this day, ever again and you might want to be present and full of gratitude for where you are on this step of your journey.

You never know, if you practice gratitude and presence this Thanksgiving maybe everyday will turn into a holiday.

(photo credit:  tryhandmade.com)

If you enjoyed this post you may also enjoy reading:  

The Yogi’s Guide to Gratitude in Honor of the Holiday Season

Yama Niyama Mama

Be the Bean

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