Today, people in the other side of the globe are celebrating a great holiday called “Thanksgiving Day.”
Unfortunately, we don’t have a counterpart holiday here in the Philippines. If there is something we need to learn perhaps as a people, it is to learn how to give thanks for our blessings — something we can easily overlook when we are too focused on the burdens and challenges of life. There is much to be thankful even in the most difficult situations in life.
It is in this spirit that I am sharing with you a fine message on the art of giving thanks which I found in my email’s inbox:
I know that some of us who celebrate the American holiday of Thanksgiving may find it to be a bittersweet experience, particularly if we are single.
As glad as you might be to be invited to your Aunt Bee’s house again this year, or wherever you go for a home-cooked turkey dinner, you might also be a bit disappointed to be without a partner to introduce to your tribe of extended family and friends.
It’s ironic that a time of year so devoted to being grateful for all we have can so poignantly make us aware of all we do not.
Because I understand this all too well myself, I’d like to offer you 3 tips for staying happy and healthy during this official opening to the holiday season here in the United States.
“Happy and Healthy” Thanksgiving Tip #1: Take on the practice of radical gratitude.
Most of us know to count our blessings at this time of year, and so we faithfully run through the list of the many things we have to be grateful for: a roof over our heads, a warm bed to sleep in each night, food on the table, a steady job, some money in the bank—though I know these are not all always true for everyone.
But this year, I invite you to stretch your definition of what you have to be grateful for.
Each time you feel a little lonely, or are tempted to feel self-conscious or discouraged about your “single” status or any aspect of your life situation, I invite you to look for all of the ways that being exactly where you are in life is actually a blessing.
For example, you could say something like this: “Thank you, Life, for giving me this precious year on my own, for it is teaching me how to love myself even when someone else is not loving me.”
Or this: “Thank you for the awful breakup I recently had, for now I am learning how to stand up for myself and to never again settle for less than I deserve.”
Or this: “Thank you, Life, for blessing me with unemployment, for I now have the time I need to go within and do the inner work that I’ve known for many years I need to do.”
Or anything else that speaks to your unique life situation.
“Happy and Healthy” Thanksgiving Tip #2: Take on the practice of radical receptivity.
Most people I know are great givers. In fact, you yourself have probably practically given someone else the shirt off your back on more than one occasion in your life. Yet, being a great “receiver” can ironically be much more difficult.
At a time when we are counting our blessings, we want to remember that all things good can only come to us via the gateway of our relationships. In other words, we must be open to receive those things we are longing to have.
Today, I invite you to take on a practice of radical receptivity, where you make a conscious, concerted effort to notice and allow into your heart the many ways others have of reaching out to give something to you.
Whether it’s someone who offers you a helping hand, invites you to a gathering, or simply a stranger who opens a door for you, allow your heart to truly open and receive the offering of kindness and care in each small gesture of love sent your way in order to awaken to how very much you are loved by all of life.
“Happy and Healthy” Thanksgiving Tip #3: Take on the practice of being a blessing.
I recall my friend Marianne Williamson’s quote from A Course in Miracles, “The only love missing is the love that you yourself are not giving.”
If you’re feeling sorry for yourself, you probably have some good reasons for it. Life isn’t always easy, even for those of us who are blessed to have a lot to be grateful for.
But when you take on the radical practice of being the blessing, rather than looking to receive one, you become the source of abundance, goodness, beauty and grace for yourself and for others.
You stop showing up as a child and you step into the fullness of your spiritually mature, seasoned self and awaken to the power you have to cause miracles of goodness, love and beauty wherever you go.
The gratitude we practice at this time of year is not always a feeling, but more of a perspective to cultivate. And the true gift of gratitude is that it creates a consciousness of “having,” which then actually generates a life that is abundant in all the ways that matter most.
Whether or not you are an American celebrating Thanksgiving, or from some other place in the world where today is simply another ordinary day, I want to encourage you to further cultivate a practice of gratitude as the foundation for an abundant life.
In this spirit, I invite you to share your answer to the following question:
What are you most grateful for today?
On behalf of myself and all the Calling in “The One” Certified Coaches and support staff, I wish you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.
We are deeply grateful to have you as part of our extended family and we want you to know that we love you and are here for you, today . . . and every day.