I have family visiting for Thanksgiving this week.  Yesterday my sister-in-law and I were reminiscing about how it has become a staple in our family to share what we are grateful for around the table.  We both sorta looked at each other like, “oh no, what are we gonna say this year?!”  We jokingly looked around the room for clues.  “Um… I’m grateful for this plate?”  “I’m grateful for the ceiling!  "Ya, it’s not leaking!”  Which isn’t really relevant if you live in Southern California. 

It’s easy to remember all the things that aren’t working in our lives.  And it’s easy to wish that we had more.  More money, more time, more things… more, more, more!  Sometimes it takes a great loss to remember what’s important. 

Grief is a necessary and beautiful way to empty our cups.  It cleanses our filth and righteousness on a deep level and brings sparkle and receptivity to the body, mind and spirit.  It gets our values straight and teaches respect.  Forget if you have been taught that its not OK to cry.  A real man or woman is OK with shedding some tears.  It brings us back to our true selves.  “…when we have been softened and made kind, we are more authentic, more powerful, and ultimately, more authoritative”, Eliot Cowan, Plant Spirit Medicine. 

When we look to nature, we notice that the trees are losing their leaves.  The sun has turned to a lower angle in the sky.  It’s cold!  (Yes, even in Los Angeles, the season has changed a little).  The days are shorter.  Its times like these that we can remember what we are truly grateful for.  Grateful that we even have trees.  Grateful that when the sun comes out from behind the clouds, we stop to feel its warmth.  Can you imagine if it was nighttime all the time?  Thank goodness for the day, however long it is!

So, what are you grateful for?  Well, if you are stumped, here is a list that might inspire you!

1.     My health

2.     Family

3.     Friends

4.     Nature – the earth, the sky, the ocean, the mountains, the critters, the plants…

5.     Work

6.     Community

7.     Love

8.     Food

9.     Plant Spirit Medicine ;)

This is my list so far.  I hope it is some help as you ponder what you will say around your Thanksgiving table!  It’s also a good reminder as we go into the holiday season.  Let’s remember our gratitude in the face of materialism and the stresses that come with the season and share our gratitude with one another! 

AuthorCourtney Shelburne