Being grateful

With the traditional Thanksgiving long weekend approaching, I am left to think about how most of us celebrate this event without actually giving it the sense it deserves anymore. This is the busiest time of the year for farmers in Canada as they harvest the last fruits and vegetables from their lands and as they prepare for the next season.

Thanksgiving has many origins. It is a celebration of the Earth, an occasion for communities to get together and rejoice after much hard work. This is a time to share and to be grateful. Interestingly, it seems that the origins of the first Thanksgiving in Canada dates back to the 1500. Martin Frobisher, an explorer who had tried to find a northern passage to the Pacific Ocean, proposed a Thanksgiving celebration for his safe return home from the unsuccessful search. In 1578, he held a formal ceremony in Newfoundland to give thanks for surviving the long journey.

Earlier this year, I published a post on Gratitude through which I shared Njari Jonhson’s own poetic take (click here). There, she tells us to be thankful and to notice the simple things in our lives for which we should be grateful. Thinking about this coming weekend, I am suggesting we bring a grateful awareness into our lives today.

Let’s think about what we are be grateful for. Perhaps we may wish to acknowledge a loving relationship, a special person in our life, a friend, another sentient being, our family. Do other people care for you and do things for you? Does someone listen and support you? What about things that we often take for granted like our health, our ability to taste food, to hear music and to see the beauty of a sunset? Or maybe we are grateful for a talent we have or for the job we have.

The truth is, we have so much to be grateful for. And so, let’s take this opportunity to bring this feeling of gratitude in our daily lives. Think about two or three things you are really grateful for. And then, when you have a hard time and that things are not going well, think about those. While doing yoga and holding a hard posture, smile in thinking that you have the time, the health, the physical capacity and an environment that is permissive to this practice. At work when things get really busy and you have to make more changes to a document you’ve already edited five times: breathe! Then take a quick moment to acknowledge your awesome boss or your great colleagues, to remember why you are working here in the first place or see how this job allows you to do other things you enjoy.

In the end, it is all a matter of perspective. Sincere thoughts, compassion, patience, perseverance and truth in your words and actions will always bring you more to be grateful for. Happy Thanksgiving weekend!

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