It’s Thanksgiving morning, 5:30 a.m. The world outside my kitchen window is still swathed in darkness, no hint of sunrise yet on the horizon.
The utter stillness of the house this time of day is what makes it my favorite time for writing. Even the birds are still asleep.
While I had hoped to be organized and write a Thanksgiving post earlier this week, I ended up prioritizing family, food preparation, and exercise (the latter an essential component to keeping my stress levels in check). My focus on intentional decision-making during holidays, which I discussed in last week’s post, helped me choose a movie with my husband and sons yesterday over blog writing.
So now I can give thanks in real-time, which feels more authentic to me anyway.
I’ll keep this short, since I’d much rather have you spend your time with your family today (if you live in the United States and have the holiday off), or at least preparing to share a special meal with your family and/or friends, rather than sitting in front of your computer screen.
My list of all that I have to be grateful for this Thanksgiving is embarrassingly extensive. Along with the usual “roof over my head, food on the table, having a healthy family, and having my own health back,” mindfulness practice has honed my capacity for gratitude in ways I never could have imagined.
Earlier this week I was able to feel grateful for the pre-Thanksgiving crowds while grocery shopping, since it meant that I lived in a community where we are all safe enough to flock to well-stocked stores and spend ridiculous amounts of money on a holiday meal.
Since I knew in advance that it was going to be crowded (of course it’s going to be crowded!), mindfulness helped me accept that reality and move through the experience without resisting it. Smiling at stressed out people diffused their tension, helping me feel I had made a difference in their lives. It was thoroughly liberating, and, dare I say, enjoyable.
Mindfulness (and over fifty years of living on this planet) has also taught me that nothing is permanent. Life as I know it could all change in an instant, so I’d better appreciate it while I can.
Most of all, I wanted to share with you today how deeply grateful I am for YOU, my social media friends. Though social media is often criticized for spreading negativity in the world, I am a firm believer that those of us using this medium as a force for good are making a real impact.
If you are making an effort to incorporate a little more mindfulness into your life, you are making a difference in the world. Enhancing your sense of connection with the rest of humanity, learning to take a step back before reacting to provocation, deepening your sense of compassion and empathy — these are all aspects of mindfulness that benefit our world, especially in these troubled times
So thank you for your interest, support, and encouragement. Keep on shining your lights.
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