I love November. It's my birthday month, and Thanksgiving - my favorite holiday. I grew up in Australia, where Thanksgiving was not celebrated, and I remember my first Thanksgiving in the USA with my wife's family. It was such a heartwarming celebration of gratitude that I was in awe of the holiday and have celebrated it every year since.
Over the past few years, as my yoga and meditation practice has deepened, I've become aware of the power of embodiment in desired states of being. How do I embody happiness and make it a practice if I want to be happy? The same with joy, equanimity, love, compassion, or any state. As Thanksgiving approaches, I want to embody and practice "gratitude."
I will share some of these "Embodied Gratitude" practices with you and dive more deeply into the yogic and Buddhist teachings around loving kindness and celebrating joy in my webinar on gratitude later this month.
Just as good preparation for the holiday celebration will make it a success, I believe my "inner preparation" is likewise essential, I desire to be present to myself, my family, and my friends this Thanksgiving with an embodied state of gratitude gently held within me.
A Daily Embodied Practice
Here's my plan for the next few weeks leading up to Thanksgiving.
- At the end of my morning practice, I will select a different family member or friend each day and become mindfully grateful for all this person brings to my life.
- I not just "think" but also "feel" the gratitude in my body and let the feeling exude toward the recipient.
- t recognize that this may sometimes be difficult. I know that holidays can be problematic when old wounds may be triggered. So I'll begin with those I feel most at ease with and work my way up to those that may be a little more difficult.
- Whether or not I ever share the gratitude directly with the family member does not matter much. The main benefit of this particular practice is much more personal - helping me embody gratitude.
- From experience, I know how wonderful it feels after these practices—the embodied grateful state results in abundant peace and contentment throughout my being and lasts for hours. Over the days, it also builds, and by the time Thanksgiving rolls around, I've moved from people to things, to life circumstances, and ultimate gratitude for life itself.
I know how easy it is to read a blog like this and think how you "should feel more grateful," too. If you notice any leanings like this, I suggest you take the time to go inside your body and tap in t what is true for you and what comes from your heart rather than your head. And if practice gratitude comes up, please don't put it aside because it seems too difficult. It is hard, that's true. And it's well worth doing if it comes from your heart. Perhaps ask what you wish to create about Thanksgiving this year and what might support that.
Invest Time and Energy to Create Embodied Gratitude
You can always just show up at Thanksgiving and "speak" your gratitude but if you really want to go all out and try the embodied approach, join me on November 20th for a short one-and-a-half-hour power-packed webinar to get your game on and embody your gratitude. . We will engage in practices and rituals, share gratitude, and dive into of the wisdom of the yogis around the spiritually meaningful elements of appreciative joy and gratitude.
Then engage in one of your best Thanksgiving celebrations ever this year.
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