It’s almost Thanksgiving, which means that a lot of us are already thinking ahead to the holidays coming up. Mile-long shopping lists, creative budgeting, Black Friday planning, family travel… There is always a lot to think about during this time of year, which is why it’s even more important to breathe on Thanksgiving. Between beginning of the hours of cooking and the end of the evening football games, take a moment to reflect on the good things in your life. The things you’re thankful for.
Lots of people place an emphasis on being thankful during this time of year. They do daily thankfulness challenges. They fill in a calendar. My family plays a game after dinner on Thanksgiving. Everyone has their own traditions to cultivate a spirit of thankfulness. Even if you just take a moment with a glass of wine after a busy Thanksgiving day to look around you—at the unwashed dishes in the sink, at the kids running after the dog, at the grandparents asleep on the couch—and reflect on the things that bring you joy, you’ll find yourself tackling those unwashed dishes with a more peaceful spirit.
In this vein, I want to issue you two challenges today, as we move into Thanksgiving weekend.
1.Remember the Little Things
Usually, the first things people think of when they think of thankfulness are family, health, friends, etc. These big, wonderful things that everyone can relate to on some level. I want to challenge you to acknowledge those, but also dig deeper. What are some small, everyday things that bring you joy? Often, we overlook the little things during our lives. Calling attention to them instead is a great way to enhance your appreciation of your day to day routine. A snapshot of my list (beyond friends and family) would look something like this:
-Music, art, culture, etc.
-Talking to the person I love
-My bed at the end of a long day
-Those quiet, misty mornings where the world is still and fog sits in the air
-Sweaters that fit like warm hugs, and mugs of tea to go with them
-My tattoos (even the ones I haven’t gotten done yet)
-KT Tape, heating pads, etc.
-The fact that I can walk from my house to the boardwalk whenever I want
-Singing badly and dancing around the kitchen while cooking
-Red lipstick on bad days
Make yourself a list of little things that you’re thankful for. Mine is much, much longer than this. Take moments in your daily life to recognize these things and be thankful for them. The world is such a rich, beautiful place, and we have been equipped to experience it in overwhelming fullness. Appreciating the little things may help you open your senses up to a brighter, richer world than you’ve ever known before.
2.Keep it Rolling!
Being thankful on or around Thanksgiving is a wonderful thing. I, however, want to challenge you to bring it out of the month of November. Out of the holiday season, even. Encourage yourself to have moments of thankfulness throughout the year. The spirit of Thanksgiving and the holidays is such a decadent thing, really. This time of year touches us all someplace in our hearts. Let your heart stay open beyond this time of year, and you may be amazed at the way your life transforms.
Need help or inspiration? Try these things:
-Keep adding to your Little Things list
-Pay it forward, since nothing says you’re grateful like helping someone else
-Volunteer your time and make a difference in the community
-Call a friend or relative you haven’t spoken to in a while and have a nice long chat
-Get up just to watch the sun rise
-Sit outside and watch the sun set
-Walk barefoot in the grass, dirt, sand, etc. and get close to nature
-Simplify your life by donating things you no longer use or need
-Give up one little luxury for a time (a day with no facebook, a month with no manicures)
-Keep a journal of only positive thoughts to look at when you feel down
There are lots of easy ways to invite thankfulness into your life year-round. Try finding one that works for you, and see how it opens your eyes to the world around you. You’ll be surprised at how much nicer life can be when you take a moment to be thankful for all the things you enjoy.
On behalf of the whole Body Love Studio team, I’d like to wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving! May it be a delightful start to the holiday season and a lift to your spirits! May your turkey be perfectly cooked and your relatives be peaceful. May you find some time to create a space in your world for thankfulness.