Thursday, November 24, 2011

Consciously Cultivating Gratitude

Every November I spend the month really focusing on things I am grateful for. It isn't that I am not grateful the rest of the year, it is just a discipline I like to follow each year as we are headed towards a day of giving thanks. I also consider it preparation for Christ mas.
The entire season is all about family....yours, mine, our country, the world. It is a time for coming together everywhere (Thanksgiving is USA particular) for family, love, and sharing. We will do things we won't do the whole rest of the year.
For me, it is a time for personal reflection and high sentimentality (I get teary eyed a lot). I find myself wanting to shout "Happy Thanksgiving" to everyone in the grocery store as I depart even....and Christ mas causes that to get worse.
Life seems to be so different from when we were young and I can only imagine how it feels for say my mother, or my grandmother when she was still living. Yet some things never family traditions and what we are going to prepare for our Thanksgiving feast. There are foods people can't live without or Thanksgiving would not be complete. I was quite astounded when I learned at Bob's auntie Elaine's one of the foods was brussell sprouts, but each to his own (definitely not my favorite).

In all of this food preparation though, what is most important is the family and friends that come together - to break bread together and give thanks for all the good in their life. That can be as varied as the food set on the table, but just as predictable as the turkey that will  likely grace most tables.
I love the thought of breaking bread together from meals with just Bob and I to huge gatherings. I believe it to be very important and something we should do frequently. The sharing and caring of family and friends can never happen too often.

As I spend this month reflecting on what is important to me I find all sorts of little things that we take for granted in our everyday lives, but I truly appreciate that someone brought them to life by the grace of their imagination (inspiration from God/dess) and the ability to turn it into something real. Conveniences we all have such as cars, phones, showers, hot water heaters, toilets, refrigerators, stoves, wash machines, dryers, grocery stores, or as one cousin pointed out recently - Costo. I mean, I could go on all day. We have much to be grateful for just in the things that surround us everyday and make living easier. We haven't even gotten to what comes to us in nature everyday or from our friends and family.
We believe our wealth is what is in our bank accounts or on our asset list yet it is what we keep in the heart and that which makes our heart happy that is the most important.. always.

So what am I thankful for on this 24th day of giving conscious thought to the things that make my heart happy....
the man who holds me in his arms everyday and tells me he loves me and receives in kind from me, a safe and warm home, good food to share, unconditional love from 3 creatures that share our home, loving children that have turned into great adults, the continuation of life called grandchildren, parents, sisters, brothers, aunties, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, friends, employers, and co-workers, the people who have taught us along the way, the gift of a new day upon awakening, the wonderful energy surrounding the farm I live on provided by beautiful creatures (about 40 horses), the rise and set of the sun and the moon each day, the bounty of mother earth, the pleasure of unrestricted laughter and silly moments, the enduring devotion of steadfast friendships, the numerous shoulders that have shared the weight of past sorrows, for all the pages of memories in my book of time, for all I have and all I am able to give, and a host of things to long to list.
I am grateful for the abundance of blessings in my life.

Take a quiet moment during your gathering to renew your spirit and reflect on all that you are grateful for.

Break bread, hold hands, and take the words - LIVE  LAUGH  LOVE and surround them with everything you have today.

God/dess bless you.

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