As a little girl, we used to celebrate Thanksgiving at my Aunt Anne's house. She would set the table, lay out all the food, and invite everyone to the table. But before we were allowed to dig in, we all said a prayer together. Then went around the table for each of us to say what we thankful for. There were years that I just wanted to dig in to that turkey or sneak a bite of stuffing. As with many things, as I got older I started appreciating this tradition more and more. What a novel idea to pause before eating, giving thanks for all we have. It was also a blessing to hear what each of my relatives were grateful for that year. And of course, taking a breath before digging into a meal is one of my favorite digestion habits. Relaxing the body allows for digestion to happen more efficiently.
So why we do wait for Thanksgiving to act on these traditions? Couldn't we benefit from this practice weekly or even daily?
A great way to start this practice is just how I described above. Stop before you eat each meal. Take a deep breath and take a moment to be thankful.
If you are with your children, other family members, or friends, share this practice with them. Tell them how grateful you are for their presence. Imagine how sweet it would be to hear those words and also to hear what they have on their heart.
If you want to go a step further, try writing it down. Grab a new journal and start a daily practice of writing down three things you are grateful for each day.
Maybe a journal isn't your thing? Write on little pieces of paper and toss them in a jar. When you're feeling down, fish for a paper and see what you find.
Then really take note of how you feel with this practice. Don't start this practice wanting a certain result, but just notice what starts happening.
Does the list get easier each day? How does this practice change your mood? Are others noticing? Do seem to attract more positive moments?
I am truly grateful for each of you and for this platform to connect with you. Happy Thanksgiving all!