Week 21: Gratitude

Dear Friends,

Happy Thanksgiving. 

Countries around the globe have been celebrating since September, and finally America has caught up! Due to our sordid history, we prefer to remember the good times rather than the guns, germs and steel. But, what does Thanksgiving mean to you? As someone with Native blood in his heritage, I always get a bitter sweet taste every year. That’s why I prefer to celebrate Pagan Thanksgiving for the Mabon Equinox Harvest. (There can’t be said any imperialists sub-titles to that celebration.) But, ranting aside, I do also LOVE Thanksgiving. The pilgrims of the time, could not have known any more than the natives did at the time of what was to come to pass. No more foresight than any of us do at any given moment. And the spirit of the season is to be thankful, to show gratitude for the things to which we already have, and not for the things that which we wish to possess materialistically. Oft times, it’s all about the things that aren’t tangible. Such as the feeling of a gathering, or the glow of love.

So, I sit here as the mulled wine softly trickles down my throat, and the pies wait to be put in the oven. And I wonder to myself, what does this holiday really, truly, mean for me? One word pops in my head and that is: Gratitude. And what do I have to be thankful and show gratitude for? Well, my friends lots of things. I am thankful for, as Caitlin Matthews puts it, “the golden links of lore that our ancestors remembered and that spill into our hands: for the treasures of some traditions, for the rich heritage of wisdom, for the ancestral experiences that I inherit in every cell of my body.” I am thankful for fun, for frolic. For those moments I share with friends and family that are ingrained in my memory. I am thankful for the green things: the plants and trees that give us breath. For the waters that quench our thirst, and for the animals that give their lives so that we do not starve. I give thanks for medicines, for teas, for herbs and bees. I am thankful for family, and family for me isn’t just bloodline. Family is all around me, they are those who choose to hold my hand when I cry, those that share a cup of wine with me after a long day. Those that I can talk and speak for hours upon end without getting bored or annoyed. Their presence and love is my battery, and I continue to wake up every morning and show gratitude for another day to make things a little bit better for others. I am thankful for laughter, for the smiles of our elders. For hot cocoa, and holiday music (without it there would be many a day I would lose it altogether. Ha!) I am even thankful for the hard times as well, because without them how else would I be able to know myself? How else would I know and feel my own strength other than in the face of adversity?

I am grateful for sunshine, for good food, and for indoor pluming. I am thankful for fountain kisses, for hearth fires. For music, and for dance. For drunken frivolity, and for heart-felt hugs. For home-made chicken soup.  I am thankful for the people in my life who are near and far, who no matter the distance continue to pop-in with a smile. This week, I ask you to take some time and ask yourselves what are you thankful for? Who in your life makes your heart pound an extra beat? Who has impacted your life this year? Who recently has lended a helpful hand?

My Little Stone for the day:

Lips and hands,
You can be used for good or ill,
I choose to be gentle & grateful.
***

So, I will begin as always as asking you to ask yourself: how are you as you are entering this time for yourself? Have a heart-to-heart with yourself and reflect on your week past.

Were you able to incorporate last week’s challenge with your busy Life? If so, GREAT!
If not, that is okay too.

The whole point is to go at your own pace. You shouldn’t have to struggle to have fun, it should come naturally and on its own time.


Affirmations for the Mind!

Here are this week’s mantras. Don’t forget, you can tweak them to your liking. In order to make them yours, you must believe them, and affirm them to yourself. So switch ’em up if the inspiration strikes!

Today’s Affirmation: “I choose to choose gratitude instead of thanklessness.

“By the fire, I face unafraid, I will walk in a winter wonderland.” -Dean Martin

“My heart will grow with the coming season. I will keep it bright.

“I offer prayers of thanks and blessings for my heart, my soul, my love.”

“I will allow others to be thankful for my Being.”

“Joy. I am thankful for Joy.

And lastly: “I am loving and alive, and lovable and alight. I am grateful for…”

With Love, 

Derek 

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