It is perfect that I am emerging from a time of reinvention during the time of Thanksgiving. I am deeply grateful for my personal and professional evolution and the opportunity to now reconnect with my community.
This holiday, like many holidays, can take on a life of its own (if you let it.) However, at its core, giving thanks is a beautiful way of living when we remember to receive the blessing of the moment; whatever it is. This last part is the divine challenge for every human: how to be present enough so grace can get in.
The other day my 8-year old son was (thankfully!) off of screen time and playing with his toys. The choice of the moment was his matchbox cars. He lined them up in rows to count them = 67. He admired his collection, then asked for another one. I declined, explaining that the other holiday is coming up, we need to make choices, and look at the collection of 67 he already has. "C'mon, they are just 89 cents!" Perhaps, without tax, and that is not the point. I shared with him that one of the really important lessons in life is to appreciate what you have, right now. I cannot be sure how much he took in, but we did proceed to play with his 67 cars without having the topic of just-one-more come up again.
A little later, I was sorting through one of my desk cabinets and lo and behold, found a new matchbox car stashed away from probably a year ago. I wanted to give it to him. I wanted to make him happy. I wanted to be a good mom. I hesitated, then put it back into its hiding place and stood up for the divine human practice of giving thanks for wherever we are and whatever we have.
A book that guides me in this practice is, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp. A dear friend gifted it to me and it reminds me how to give thanks for ALL of the parts of life as well as the conscious act - and art - of receiving. If I resist this two-step process, giving and receiving, I miss out on my life. Even when, and especially when, it is edgy and dark and hard. The potential exists to transform what may feel like shattered glass into flowing water as long as I am conscious enough to let the moment flow through me. Sometimes I can do this; sometimes I can't. Did I mention this is a practice? Yes, I did. Worth repeating.
When I remember to pick up this book as well as engage in other practices that strengthen my experience of present moment appreciation, I feel incredibly nourished. Very much like after a Thanksgiving feast. May you give, may you receive, may you be blessed. Always.