Sunday, November 27, 2011

Staying with the Gratitude Theme

Sharing a very full week with numerous family members and gatherings leaves my heart feeling full this Sunday afternoon. And as family members ventured home, I find myself dealing with the tasks of remaking beds with freshly washed sheets, replenishing towels for the next guests’ arrival, and considering recipes to use up the over abundance of Thanksgiving food that still sits in the refrigerator awaiting another round. I realize, with gratitude, that this year’s Thanksgiving was blessed with bringing family around and having time to sink into long conversations with those that mean a lot to me.  This was a plentiful year as I had beds to change and towels to wash. This year I had lots of groceries to buy and food to cook.  And perhaps part of the blessing was that we could see the blessings.  I have learned to not take these moments for granted.

Regardless of how your holiday played out this year, we have all had times when some holidays were better than others. If we have enough years in our life, we have each probably had the lesson of learning that many things can happen in a year that changes the landscape of our life, sometimes drastically.  Those times can be awakening as we realize that the impermanence of life is always at our door. Life moves quickly and what we have in one moment can change in the next. This Thanksgiving, for us, was different. Life has changed and those people that we thought would be in our life have shifted.  This year, our family Thanksgiving looked different from years past. And in the quieter moments of the long weekend, I also found tears of grief welling up from deep within.  There were those moments of sadness along with the constant mantra of the many blessings surrounding us. Impermanence is the reminder that life has ebb and flow – that learning how to navigate the waters can mean that we merely have to be aware, notice it, and go with it. Because as quickly as you receive the moment you are gifted with, another moment comes to greet you. And with each new moment, life has changed.  
So perhaps with Thanksgiving it calls for keeping with the theme. Identify the abundance in your life and realize that with the impermanence of life comes change. Relish in what you have as you spend time in gratitude. Ride the wave of gratitude as you move into the rest of the holiday season.  Using gratitude will allow you to navigate the ebb and flow of life in a much easier way.  And when you spend time in gratitude, you spend time anchoring your blessings, which ultimately helps you not take anything for granted.

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