Can I tell you a secret? Those mushy Thanksgiving blogs make me feel kinda funny and lightheaded- not in a good way. On one hand, of course it’s special and beautiful to write about the crisp autumn air and the smell of apple pie and the laughter at family gatherings. Great stuff, I’m totally all for it. But to be honest, if I wrote a post like that, I think I’d feel like I was missing my own point. In fact, I might even make myself queasy. So this year, I deliberately sat down to write a list of things for which I am truly thankful, a list which includes the most important stuff without all the fluffy crap. Here it is.
I am thankful for music. All kinds of music. The songs and beats and melodies that run through my blood and make me want to take on new challenges and conquer the world.
I am thankful for expressions of joy. On my way to work this morning I saw a little girl dancing her heart out at her bus stop. Awesome, awesome! Made me want to jump up and dance with her.
I am thankful for heartache. Each time I have opened my heart to reach out to someone, to truly love with all my soul, there has been some heartache. The pain of it, while as great and terrible to my psyche as a shattering earthquake to the land, has always left me stronger, more determined, and more grateful for my ability to immerse myself in relationships and experience love. I would not be who I am were it not for heartache.
I am thankful for my memory. The memories I carry with me are a forever reminder that love continues beyond the moment and the connections I’ve made are mine to keep. What I remember of my past gives me hope for the future and all the discoveries that lie ahead.
I am thankful for my health, my breath, for the strength of my physical body, for my ability to run and dance and play. I took my body for granted for a long time. Now I realize, as I see various health problems break down the freedom or abilities of those I love, how amazingly grateful I am for my physical self. Hooray for walking up stairs, for climbing trees, for bending into yoga poses. Hooray for breathing chakras into alignment and the ability to eat well. I am thankful for all those healers who help me become more resilient and treat my body with care.
I am thankful for teachers. Those who share what they know because they are passionate and generous enable the whole world around them to be enriched. I am grateful to be surrounded by teachers of a zillion different matters and areas of expertise, big and small, in just about every field I can imagine. How blessed am I to be able to learn!
I am thankful for mentors. For those who believe in the unlimited potential of others and whose main focus is to help people to reach their goals and feel good about themselves, to uncover and bring to light the hidden talents lying just beneath the surface and to celebrate them. I am grateful for those who advocate for others and who refuse to compromise their positive view of humankind and their high expectations for the future.
I am thankful for words. I used to think my vocabulary was so limited, that I could never find the words I wanted. It wasn’t until very recently that I realized how lucky I am to be able to speak and write and think in words as well as pictures. I am grateful for communication, understanding and language. I am grateful I can tell you how I feel or what matters most to me.
I am thankful for the ability to create. Art, food, comfortable spaces, community, situations in which people can experience happy, healthy things. Creation, manifestation, achieving a goal, visualizing a dream, living life as part of the creative process, not as a means to an end.
I am thankful for you. It doesn’t matter to me what country or community or area or situation or family to whom you belong. You’re reading, so you’re listening. And the gift for me is that my words are heard and acknowledged. I am part of a community of sharing, discovering, growing people. So many of us take that for granted, but isn’t that what we all want? Recognition and the chance to know that we are heard? To feel as if we matter to someone else, that our lives matter in this place on earth? How lucky I am to have you!
Last– but most importantly– I am thankful for the two words I hear every night from Alex as he is drifting off to sleep (“Mommy cuddle”) and the kiss on my nose from Hannah Rose that wakes me up every morning. They are touchstones for my sense of belonging in this world. And I am most of all grateful to have been born of this universe and to belong here now.