November, in the US, is the month of giving thanks. We have an elaborate meal, surrounded by friends and family. As wonderful as it is to set aside a holiday for this purpose, I am reminded that gratitude is a daily posture.
The author of my opening quote encourages us to live every minute. The way I can do this is to be Mindful. When I choose to be Mindful – to pay attention, in each moment, in a non-judgmental way - I am able to notice just how much I can be grateful for.
Here, on my sofa, composing this blog post, I can note:
· The heat rising in the radiator, on this rainy, cold day
· The lamp beside me, providing light for my work
· The laptop on which I write
· The room in which I sit
· The building in which I live
· The air I breathe
All I did to make this list was to pause, and notice.
One way to be especially Mindful, and to express gratitude this Thanksgiving, is to trace back everything that is on your table to its origins. Speak the chain out loud. It may sound something like this:
· I am grateful for the mashed potatoes
· I am grateful to the person who prepared them today
· I am grateful for the market where we bought them
· I am grateful for the truck and driver that brought them to the market
· I am grateful for the person who packed them for the delivery truck
· I am grateful for the person who harvested the potatoes
· I am grateful for the person who planted them
· I am grateful for the earth, sun and rain that nurtured them
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity.... It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow. ~ Melodie Beattie