We’re coming up on Thanksgiving in Canada this weekend, which has always been my absolute favourite holiday. The leaves are ablaze with colour, the air feels crisp and has that comforting smell of fall to it, and who doesn’t love a good old fashioned turkey dinner with all the trimmings? But it’s about so much more than the weather and food. It’s about family, friendships and deliberately taking the time to reflect on all the things in our lives we have to be thankful for.
Practicing gratitude is a common mindfulness technique, and one that is incredibly beneficial for our frame of mind, energy and wellbeing. It’s as simple as closing your eyes, taking a few slow breaths to settle into the present moment, then bringing to mind someone or something for which you feel truly grateful. As you hold their image, tap into the way feeling grateful makes you feel in your chest and belly. You may find a sense of warmth, light or fullness. Allow that to expand as you continue to feel into what having them in your life means to you. This is a wonderful exercise to do anytime, even when you’re feeling stress or anxiety. We can’t hold negative emotions in our bodies and minds at the same time as feeling gratitude, so what a great trade!
Mindfully being thankful isn’t a gift that’s ours alone to experience; it’s even more powerful when it’s shared. Think about how much it means to you when someone expresses their genuine appreciation of you – something you did, said, or just a way you are. It lifts us up and the warm energy that comes with gratitude is contagious and immediately passed on to us. So in the spirit of Thanksgiving, as a gift to yourself and for someone else, I offer you this:
Tell someone you care about something you appreciate about them today. And watch the magic happen.
I am truly thankful for your attention, for inspiring me to share the simple things I pick up along the way with you, and I wish you a season filled with the wonder of gratitude.