Today is Thanksgiving; the day dedicated to saying “thank you” by eating so much you have to go lie down. Every year your mom makes you read the Ann Landers “Thankful” poem. You feel like a 5th grader wearing a paper Pilgrim hat (more on that later). Then, everyone is forced to go around the table and awkwardly say what they’re thankful for. You get irrationally nervous and cannot think of a single thing that’s appropriate for Aunt Maybelle to hear. But there really is a lot to be thankful for and we rarely stop to appreciate it together, so this day is significant.
This year I discovered what gratitude really means, what it means to really give thanks. I’m sure most of us, when asked if we’re grateful, would say “Sure, yeah, totally, of course.” But, I bet all the candied yams in the world that’s not really true. I can admit that I wasn’t truly grateful until this year. I didn’t know what it really meant. It took challenging myself for 30 days to consciously work on it to finally feel gratitude. What I felt was overwhelming.
I learned that being grateful is not an action, it’s a feeling. I picture it — and actually feel it — like water ripples that I send out. I imagine the ripples reaching people around me and washing over them, letting them in on the secret.
It takes practice to really feel grateful, but I can attest that once you feel it, you will know what I’m talking about. It’s the most beautiful feeling, the fullest vibration, the most spiritual experience I’ve ever had. Feeling gratitude for me is like becoming a kid again where I experience moments of pure happiness, awe, and excitement. I always wished that as an adult I could experience what my birthday felt like as a child where my face pretty much exploded with how special and rad it all was. Gratitude lets me feel that radness again.
So today, when you’re sitting around a table with friends or family or whatever you choose to do, I encourage you to pause a moment. Take stock of your life, your health, your past, your air, your water, your everything. Try to feel it, how much you have. Do this alone so your mom doesn’t ask you to share all your thankfuls with Aunt Maybelle. Put aside the Ann Landers cheesiness of giving thanks and really give thanks. There is so much to be thankful for, so give yourself that moment and really look around.
I will end today with this gem:
That’s me being a festive little prairie girl on the left. Sugar and spice and everything nice, for sure. I believe that’s my turkey chandelier hanging above us too (dope!). Special shout-out to my siblings: tssk tssk to my brother wearing a hoodie (not a feather in sight), and to my sister clearly not into pilgrim fashion at all…
Things They Forgot to Mention:
Today is more than the feast, the tryptophan, or the football. There is so much to be grateful for, so share that today. Because giving thanks is something you give — to yourself, to those around you, and to the world.