I have a love/hate relationship with the Thanksgiving holiday. I had a whole paragraph typed up of the things I love about it and the things that I hate about it, but the things that I hated seemed to have more power over the things that I loved. It felt like there was just too much negative energy attached to it, so I deleted it. Instead I'll just say that in our house we discuss what really happened back when the pilgrims came to America and then we stress that we celebrate Thanksgiving as a time to give thanks for all that we have. We talk about how special it is to come together with family and/or friends and let our hearts be grateful and peace-filled.
As a child the only thing I remember feeling grateful about on Thanksgiving was the food I was about to inhale. I loved sitting around watching the Macys Thanksgiving Day parade on tv in the morning. I loved the smells that filled the house. Even though we all lived in the house together and saw each other every day, we seemed to be able to all get along on that one day. There was an energy that didn't exist on all the other days. (I think that that is kinda sad.) As we grew older, it became special when one of our siblings would 'come home' for Thanksgiving. Then it would be special when I 'came home' for Thanksgiving. It was that feeling of 'coming home' that I loved.
I want my family to feel that everyday is special, but I'm aware that that is not realistic. Bickering happens. Tempers sometimes flare up and toys fly through the air earmarked for a siblings head. People get sick. SAD comes to visit. So I'm thankful that there are certain times of the year that we are able to put our differences and stresses away for a day. It used to bother me that most of these celebratory days are christian holidays, and since I'm not a christian I would feel a tad bit hypocritical. I have since stopped letting that negative way of thinking change how nice it is to come together as a family. Yes, it may be a christian holiday or a holiday with horrifically sad roots, but I celebrate the love of family. I celebrate the joy that the Littles feel when they are celebrating another special holiday. I celebrate being thankful for all this love and joy.
I have an abundance of gratitude within my heart. Gratitude is free for the taking. I challenge you to find the things to be grateful for in all situations. Good and not so good. I challenge you to do this daily. Start by beginning and ending each day with gratitude. Yes, even on the days when the washing machine dies and the stomach flu is making its way through your house. Gratitude is there. Waiting to wrap you up like a warm blanket. Write your gratitudes down, so that on the days you are struggling to come up with one, you can pull out your gratitude list and be reminded.
I love seeing all the blog posts, tweets, status updates and magazine articles on gratitude this time of year. It is my hope that all of this gratitude is being felt all through the year. In the spirit of how I celebrate Thanksgiving, I will end this with a condensed version my own gratitude list.
My Mr. Man All the Littles and the Not-So-Littles My amazing daughter-in-law My beautiful grandbaby My 2 brothers and 2 sisters All my fabulous friends Reiki Mother Earth my spirituality all of the Sacred Texts and the guidance they have provided for so many Divine Guidance learning how to let go patience trust love hope compassion My home Comfy chairs My quiet time in the morning the shining sun cool Fall nights the rain (just not everyday) Vitamin D music of all types dancing of all types beautiful photography beautiful poetry all the blogs I follow my new website that is being developed the internet electricity running water
clothes on my back food on my table the love that is ever present in my home that all the Littles feel safe and loved my beautiful, shiny spirit your beautiful, shiny spirits for finding my voice and letting it be heard
I would love to see your gratitude list. Feel free to email them to me at shinyjill (at) gmail (dot) com or send me a link to your blog if you have a blog post of gratitudes, and I'll compile the links and lists into a Gratitude page on my website.
May gratitude be ever present in your hearts and may you experience Thanks-giving every day of your life.
I'm celebrating today. I'm celebrating something somewhat odd. Today I woke up pain-free. Yes, pain-free for the first time in months. I have suffered with lower back pain in the morning for a couple of years now, and it has been very severe since I developed a bulging lumbar disk. I am an early riser for 2 reasons. One, I love the quiet of the early morning. Two, if I stay in bed past 7 a.m. I suffer from severe back spasms for most of the morning.
Today I slept till 8 am and had NO pain at all. No lower back spasms or pain radiating down my left leg. So my Sunday Shine post is dedicated to the gratitude I have in my heart right now. I wasn't aware how much the pain dimmed my mornings, until I arose without it.
How did this happen? I may not have any scientific proof to back my theory up, but I have a feeling that the daily Reiki self-healings have something to do with it. I don't know if I'll wake tomorrow this way, but it doesn't matter. Today is the only day I need to focus on, right?
So I leave you this bright, sunshiny day with one of my favorite songs.