Don't waste your Thanksgiving dinner
When you write a gratitude blog, it’s easy to feel a little pressure for the post that comes out for Thanksgiving! I mean, seriously, this is THE ONE day of the year when everyone is talking about gratitude anyway so what am I going to say that is different? What if I told you that Thanksgiving doesn’t feel that different to me? For me, this is a day that just highlights all the ways that gratitude can make us feel good. But it sometimes feels like it’s the only day we have full license to do this. So my advice is to use today as a jumpstart to your year and don’t waste it as just the one day that gratitude is your focus. Let’s focus on 3 concrete tools to power up your great-fullness that I would suggest then incorporating into the whole year. Let’s not waste the momentum!
1. Don't wait until dinner for gratitude
You can practice gratitude all day (or even all week). What if you cook dinner or your dish while you think about how grateful you are? If you are lucky enough to not cook, you can do this while eating or during the day while imagining eating the beautiful food you will receive. Remember your food can take on whatever energy you put into it. And when you Invite Gratitude to the Table, your health improves. Infuse your whole day with that secret sauce of gratitude and watch how much more joyful and good juju’s you emanate when you actually get to your holiday dinner!
2. Serve someone other than yourself
If you really want to feel gratitude, give to others and see how grateful you feel when you have opened your heart to the world. Even if you can't do it today or on Thanksgiving, make a commitment to do something selfless in the next couple of weeks. Volunteer, help out a friend in need, give someone a ride, anything. If you can feel gratitude about things in your life, it means you have richness and some of us are suffering alone on this holiday. So share that good mojo! Studies show that doing good for others makes us happier. So think of service as a sexy way to boost your own mood!
3. It’s time to start that gratitude jar
Remember this tool, from way back when. It’s an oldie but goodie. I once recommended this to a friend who was having Thanksgiving dinner at her house and felt like her family was uncomfortable with her making gratitude a big deal at dinner time. She put out the jar and had family put notes in it during the day and then they each randomly read one out loud at dinner. Sometimes it is easier to read other’s gratitude if your guests are feeling on the spot about their own. Anyway, she felt like her family was pretty neutral about the whole activity and it may not have gone the way she wanted. But lo and behold, the next year, she hosted the feast again and this time her family asked her if she would have the jar, remarking that they found it a nice tradition she started. It was a beautiful reminder to detach from the outcome but just to openly offer new rituals to those you love. The gratitude jar is a favorite in our home on a regular week and Thanksgiving can just be the first time you introduce it. But don’t stop there! Put your gratitude in a jar and see what grows.
Thanksgiving sometimes feels like as a microcosm for the whole year, a ton of pressure to be thankful for pretty much everything you can think of on one day of the year.
But remember grateful living is a way of life and this does not have to be THE only day of gratitude.
It can just be the boost your practice needs or the way to introduce it to your family.
This Thanksgiving, I do want to express sincere gratitude to all of you reading and learning with me out there. Every time I meet a new member of our blog or Facebook community or hear that someone is benefitting from these writings, it touches me deeply. This practice of sharing what has become a way of life for me is a gift. Gratitude is a way for me to thrive, through beauty and challenge. And for my spirit to feel just plain bliss-ed out most of the time! Now who wouldn't want that?! I hope this Thanksgiving it can be a way that you remember that we all need gratitude…every day.
Live (and feast) well,