Joel’s newsletter on Thanksgiving, Thankfulness and More, November 25, 2009
An ezine about Creative thinking, Coaching, and Making a difference
This day of giving thanks is one of my favorite holidays (and I'm not even a football fan.) This day epitomizes some of the qualities that I value most in life. Yes, this holiday is about being thankful, but it also means so much more to me.
Thanksgiving is a Tradition that binds the past with the present and the future. I look forward to the day each year, and I have fond memories of Thanksgiving over the years, including being at my grandmother's home in New England many years ago. There are poignant memories, too - my father passed away on Thanksgiving Day 13 years ago. I find that traditions such as holidays help give purpose and meaning to life.
It is a Celebration - that we're still together as a family, that we made it through another year, that we have food to eat, and that the harvest is bountiful. We bring out the special china, cook traditional dishes and have a feast on this special occasion. Celebrations like this bring people together and are a break from the usual day-to-day lifestyle.
It's about Togetherness. With our busy schedules it can be rare for everyone in the family to be in the same place at the same time. It is one of those occasions that brings the family together, not only for the meal itself, but also in the preparation. There's something special about working together for a common purpose and sharing the fruits of our efforts.
Thanksgiving is about Abundance. I believe that there is abundance all around us, but we don't always recognize it. The holiday is an opportunity to experience abundance in a tangible way - the abundance of food, of family and friends, of love and gratitude, and of leftovers. No matter what lifestyle we're accustomed to, we find the means to enjoy abundance at least for this one day.
It is about Experiencing the moment. The actual meal may last only a few minutes, after hours of shopping, cooking and preparation. Before you know it, it's all over, and it's time to clean up. The feast we share reminds me that there is only the present moment to experience life. To live fully is to savor each morsel of food, listen to each word spoken, enjoy the presence of loved ones, and appreciate the nourishment that we are receiving.
It's a time for Generosity and reaching out. I used to belong to an organization that held a Thanksgiving Basket Brigade every year. We would collect food and donations from the neighborhood in the weeks preceding Thanksgiving. We would then get together and make a big event out of sorting the cans and packing hundreds of boxes with food, including frozen turkeys. Then on the Sunday before Thanksgiving we would go out and deliver the boxes one by one to needy families in their homes. That was an amazing experience of giving to other human beings, and there's nothing that compares with seeing the excitement on the face of a child and having him grab your leg and hug you (and not let go!).
Thanksgiving is about Sharing the love. Many times our family would invite guests to the family table at our big old carriage house. We would add smaller tables to the main table until everyone had a place to sit. Often the guests were people who had no other family to celebrate with. It felt good to have others with the family at the table, knowing that we all are equally welcome. That's the spirit of Thanksgiving - sharing freely with others. It's about sharing the love that you feel for your own family with a stranger. After all, we're really all one family. This practice helps me to experience that first hand.
It's about connecting with Spirit. Whether we pray together, say grace before the meal, or simply feel gratitude in our own way, Thanksgiving is about being connected with something greater than our usual limited selves. And I believe that all the other values are really part of this spiritual connection.
Finally, Thanksgiving is about getting back to Basics. No matter how complicated our lives become or how extensively technology takes over our daily activities, it's good to get back to the basics. It's a good, wholesome feeling to simply enjoy a home-cooked meal together. What can take the place of mouth-watering turkey with stuffing and gravy or the scent of a freshly baked apple pie? I find that it's too easy to lose touch with the simple and timeless values of love, nourishment, tradition, sharing, and togetherness. Thank goodness for the opportunity that this holiday gives us to appreciate what really matters.
Yes, Thanksgiving is a special time when we get to experience all of these things. But why be limited to one day a year? Couldn't we experience the richness of life and the joys of togetherness every day? I believe that it is possible; just bring the spirit of Thanksgiving to each day of our lives. That may be easier said than done. As your coach, we can work together to get back in touch with what really matters, on a day-to-day basis. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 973-701-1007.
Make space. In order to nurture creativity in the busyness of life, we need to create space. This may mean having a special place where you can do creative work, or it may mean setting aside time to unhook yourself from all the demands, so that you can think or work creatively without interruptions.
So find a place where you can go and do some creative thinking. Set aside some time to brainstorm ideas. Once you get in the habit of making the time and space, it will be easier to do it regularly. You'll appreciate the break from your busy life, and when you start to see some results, you'll look forward that place where you can really let your creativity flow.
Quote of the week
"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow." - Melody Beattie
This quote underscores the omnipotent quality of gratitude. I do believe that something as simple as an attitude of appreciation can yield a host of benefits, such as those mentioned. It's the sense of gratitude that elevates the experience of the moment, bringing about an awareness of the connection of oneself with all of life. Maybe that's why I find so much meaning to Thanksgiving.
This newsletter is written by Joel Remde, to receive this newsletter via email contact email@example.com. I welcome your comments and feedback; that will help me learn what you’re interested in and also make this a better newsletter.
Learn more about The Creative Thinking Coach at www.coachjoel.com
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A Tribute To Don Hewitt
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What Is Creative Thinking?
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Place Of Power
Buildings And Values
Small Town Trauma
Voting And Choosing
Veterans And Gratitude
Thanksgiving, Thankfulness And More
Remembering Jim Rohn - A Great Philosopher
Love One Another
A Look At The Year
Happy New You
Creativity And The Economy
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