I will not go into the history or origins of Thanksgiving here.To my mind,what is more important is to actually remind myself and all those I can touch that expressing gratitude on a daily basis is not only beneficial to the heart and soul but also our bodies,enhancing our general health.It influences the way we think and view the world,the way we treat our fellow humans,how we treat our Mother Earth.It impacts our actions and brightens the light we bring to the planet.
Since this is not meant to be a philosophical,abstract discussion,I will get on to the point.Every year,I have my students write down at least five things they are grateful for.It never fails to stun me how difficult and awkward it is for them to manage to say thanks for the blessings in their life,how unfathomable it is to consider the things and the good in their life as blessings at all.We have become so utterly desensitised and consider everything we have for granted and we wonder why our lives seem so impossibly void of joy,why we are so bored all the time.
So, I literally make them write it down or organise some project that will be hung on the walls of the classroom as a daily reminder.It's a fantastic way to remind myself also to express my thanks for all that is good and positive in my life.I do keep a journal,but sometimes I get lazy.It's at those times exactly that my life,my thoughts get the darkest.It's at those times I am blind,in every sense of the word to the light and love around me,to the posssibilities I can create.
So, here goes.
I am grateful for being here,at this time and on this planet.Having been born to this specific family,with all its troubles and fun moments.For all the turmoil,hardships and heartache I suffered.For it shaped me into the person I am today.It made me more compassionate and sensitive to the pain of others.For my mother,who may be far away from me,but I am grateful for her,nevertheless.For her laugh and joy of life.For both of my brothers,being such extraordinary men.For my dear aunt who raised me,when my mother couldn't.For my father,who may not be with me anymore,but blesssed with so much of his love that I can still feel his presence in my life.
For the family I created.My wonderful,giving husband and my little tornado-my sassy,lively daughter.For all the joys and troubled times together,for they help me grow and be a better person,a better partner and a more understanding,loving mother.
For my other family.My students,who keep me young and alert of the changes of the times,who challenge my views and beliefs and provide me with fresh ways to look upon reality.My colleagues who have become dear friends and have shared their knowledge and parts of themselves with me.
For being in such fantastic shape and enjoying the blessings of optimal health,that enable me to give and relish the experience of being alive,no matter what.
I'm grateful for this day,this sunlit day brimmimg with opportunities to create,to laugh,love and be happy to be alive.Happy to live on this blessed planet,so abundant with life.I wish we'd stop hurting it for our sport.....
For every person I have ever met,be it friend,lover,foe,colleague,passer-by.Ever single one.For I recognise,that even the smallest,briefest encounter,even if it is just a smile, a helping hand can have far-reaching effects and remain with us till the end.
There,i did it.It might be too personal,but right now that is exactly the point.Being thankful IS
personal and sharing it is no shame but rewarding,intimate and somehow confessional.Sometimes we need exactly that.To share ourselves with the people in our lives.
The way I see it,there's nothing wrong with sharing yourself,express your thanks with others.It just might encourage them to do the same.We are the total of our experiences,our loves and losses,our successes and failures,our joys and heartaches.We need not feel shame.Everything that shaped us into what we are today is life itself.It is love.Without love there is nothing,no joy,neither pain.So we are all works in the making,works of love.We were made of it.We are love.So express it today and every single day of your lives.To express gratitude is to express love.Don't hold back.Share it generously with the others.God knows the world needs it desperately.Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Just a little,disarmingly cheerful song to nudge you along...let it sweep you away!