Another Day of Loving
Even the thought of giving,
the thought of blessing or a simple prayer has the power to affect others.
Thanksgiving is quickly approaching. How will you approach it?
For the past several years, my husband and I have celebrated this day of gratitude very simply: hiking in the morning, feeding the homeless in the afternoon, enjoying a candle lit dinner on our deck which faces the Pacific Ocean. Yes, we are very blessed. And yes, we appreciate our amazing ocean view. But more importantly, despite our OFG’s (challenges disguised as “opportunities for growth”), we are grateful for our life together.
This Thanksgiving will follow the same course. As we sit down to savor dinner, we’ll share praise for the life we’ve co-created; the ups and the downs, our children, beloved pets, home—everything that comes to mind in that precious moment.
Kahlil Gibran once affirmed: “Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving.” I don’t know about you, but for me, doubt and fear rear their heads most easily upon awakening. When I wake up, I can either lie in bed for a few minutes letting these creepy characters control my day—OR—I can choose to focus on what I appreciate. The latter sets the tone for my entire day. Just this morning, after having spent 15 minutes reflecting on all of the good in my life, my heart continued to expand with gratitude as I hiked around my funky sea-side town: I saw a caring dog owner hug her aging retriever before getting into her car; a man bent down to comfort a crying child at the beach; an elderly woman who is almost blind thanked me for taking the time to stop and chat with her.
Would I have witnessed as much love had I simply jumped out of bed instead of taking time to count my blessings? Probably not.
As we celebrate Thanksgiving, let us practice giving thanks so we may create another day, another week, of loving. Here are some steps for extending today’s love into the rest of this week and beyond:
Wake Up with Gratitude
Each morning, before you get out of bed, call to mind everything—anything—that you appreciate. This is not a time to be picky. Silently (or out loud) say “Thank you!” for your body, comfy bed, beloved pets, people who deserve gratitude…etc. I love how my Zumba instructor, Sally, ends every morning session with the yoga sun salutation “hands-up” pose. As we stretch our arms and hands to the sky, I am given another opportunity to say “Thank you, thank you, thank you” for my life.
Slow Down So You Can Count Your Blessings
Between interruptions from our personal communication devices, running errands or simply having to stand in line, moments like these can raise our blood pressure, create anxiety and trigger irritation. But these can also be the best times to practice shifting from aggravation to appreciation. Try this: the next time you’re running late and your heart rate quickens, take a deep breath and call to mind one person that you appreciate. Just one memory of kindness can trigger an instant that “All is well.” Practice maintaining that feeling so the “instant” expands into an “experience.”
Share Your Great-Fullness
This isn’t about bragging. It’s about telling one person what you’re grateful for—today. There’s a good chance they’ll catch your “great-full” vibe and pass it on. If not, you’ve still spread some gratitude and that’s always a good thing.
Bookend the Day with Thanks & Giving
Did I mention how Thomas and I end our Thanksgiving dinner? Simple: with intention. Since we begin the meal with thanks, we love to bookend it by setting our intention until the next Thanksgiving. It usually entails something that smacks of hope, discovery, creativity, vision, faith and trust. What better way to create another loving day?
May you enjoy a Thanksgiving filled with infinite moments of love and joy.