Thanksgiving Thoughts – Gratitude and Appreciation

Thanksgiving in the United States is the traditional time for focusing on all that is good in our lives and for which we are grateful. Let’s reflect back a moment on the history, and try to imagine what it would have been like as a Pilgrim. This brave group left England to escape religious persecution and made the difficult trip here in the Mayflower, which took about 65 cold, damp, challenging days.

The following year and a half, they worked to grow a settlement and make a life for themselves in Plymouth. They had to learn to plant, farm and survive through much hardship and to live off this new land. After an October harvest, they fortunately had enough food to put away for winter — corn, fruits, vegetables, fish (to be packed in salt) and meat to be cured.

They had succeeded in building homes and raising crops, and they even were at peace with their Indian neighbors. They had overcome great odds and so there was reason to celebrate! The Pilgrim governor proclaimed a day of Thanksgiving — and that, in a nutshell, is a little history lesson.

Now, try to vividly imagine the Pilgrims being joyful and grateful for the basics — a sparse shelter, some food, and a peaceful relationship with the nearby Indians. One can only imagine a real sense of relief on their part, as well as appreciation for what they had accomplished. Picture the scene: hearty laughter and much celebration, perhaps punctuated by a gobble of a nearby turkey who had not yet been slated for the dinner table, or perhaps the distant, but friendly sound of an Indian drum?

What would the Pilgrims think if they could have ever envisioned a futuristic Thanksgiving? Many of the “Pilgrims” of today are gathered around the table, surrounded by huge quantities of food and often such a wide variety of culinary delights! Picture the scene: hearty laughter and much celebration, perhaps punctuated by the sound of a ringing smartphone, the beeping of a voicemail  message, music from an iPod dock or someone’s nearby computer, or the bong of an email landing into someone’s in-box. How times have changed!

But let’s look at the emotions behind this holiday — those underlying feelings of gratitude and appreciation around which this holiday is based. These feelings are timeless, and getting in the flow of these sweet emotions is beautiful and fulfilling. By focusing on all these wonderful aspects, we draw more of these into our life experience. So take stock of those positive aspects that surround you — all the amazing and loving people in your life, your home-sweet-home, the bounty that you enjoy (all the fabulous food), the “stuff” (yes, even your iPhone) that brings you pleasure. Let a sense of gratitude pervade your being and fill your senses. Feel the joy of it — and don’t hesitate to be verbal and vocal about it. Let people know of your appreciation!

As for me personally, I am profoundly thankful for my family and friends, because with them, life is a loving adventure!

Affirmations for gratitude:

  • Expressing gratitude is easy and fulfilling for me.
  • The more appreciation I feel and acknowledge, the more joy and abundance flow into my life!
  • I give thanks for all the amazing blessings that fill my life.

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