..Typically, I didn’t have any trouble whatsoever in fully appreciating the changes the earth and sky were bringing. But on my insides, there was nothing personal building…
Everybody, even the most thick-skinned, should have felt some of the emotional waves in the atmosphere over the last weeks. For Americans, Thanksgiving was sandwiched between a solar eclipse and a lunar eclipse: There have been some ‘ah ha’ moments. Lots of people decided not to play along with family mind games and others became more empathetic as they grasped the Why of irritating behaviour.
Thanksgiving has long been one of my favourite holidays. It is important. For the last twenty years, I have really appreciated a transitional season culminating in a day set aside to stop saying gimme gimme and think about how much one should be grateful for. You do not need to be an American to take up this holiday, by the way. The concept-style started at least some thousand years ago in geography now called Europe so please consider reclaiming it in your calendar wherever you live.
This year it was sort of hard for me to get into the mood. Be thankful; I am thankful; happy thanksgiving. Blah, blah, blah. The words just didn’t carry any weight or summon anything within me. Typically, I didn’t have any trouble whatsoever in fully appreciating the changes the earth and sky were bringing but on my insides, there was nothing personal building. So I eventually had the idea to change my phrase and wow, did it work. I even told guests at my dinner party in case it might help them (manditory toasting ritual ’round the table before digging in!).
What are you taking for granted? Ah…YES. Isn’t it funny how just changing the words we use can make such a difference in how our brains respond. For me, the sentiment of the times was clichéd and lost in the whirl of global ‘modern’ times. I couldn’t feel it like I wanted to but by asking myself this question, I was sorted. I had a huge list of stuff I had come to just expect. As I cleaned through the house and garden, I was thankful that I had furniture and a ‘space’ that I didn’t fear would be attacked or broken into. I am SO thankful for hot hot showers, and thankful that I turn on a faucet and voila, my dishes get a soak and rinse. I am thankful that I live in relatively clean air and paradoxically, have reliable transportation any time I should wish to drive down into town. I am thankful that I have been able to arrange my life so that I usually only have to make this trip once a week. I could go on and on about what I am thankful for if I just
present it to myself differently. I have dozens of relationships and each one is unique and brings me ups and downs that expand my understanding of humanity and all the baggage that we lug around. I am even – or perhaps especially – thankful that one of the lessons I fully ‘got’ this past year was how to cut out those people that only take or feed off of my energy without ever giving anything of value back. I hope my sharing encourages you to ask yourself the same question and that you are also able to see the good, the positive and even the challenges you are able (thankfully) to plough through and deal with.
Another word-journey I have been exploring is about the term, vacuum. I mentioned it in my last post as pertains to politicians but it got me thinking about all of us. To some extent, we all potentially live in our own constructed vacuum, if you will allow me to use the word loosely. I, myself, have a natural hermit tendency that I have to watch out for. Things, ideas and people that don’t jive with our concept of acceptable don’t get into our
world. They are kept ‘out there’. This is a necessary thing most of the time but I think it would be a good idea to occasionally double check that our space bubble hasn’t literally become a vacuum. You could suffocate in there. You could slowly lose the proverbial oxygen that is supposed to enrich your world. Fear of the unknown or the new, tiredness of the latest ‘them’ getting spotlight time and a general disenchantment can cause us to make sweeping conclusions that root themselves in our psyche.
The only antidote that I can recommend is to make sure that there are people in your life who refresh and energise you by reminding you of the simple truths. Life on earth has always been chaotic, ever-changing, polarizing and material-based. There have always been the very rich and the very poor and those in the middle struggling upstream. Keep an eye on these things but don’t focus on them. Life has also always been the only known zone where we can experience the exhilaration, joy and pain of shared lives, the sensation of success and ego-gratification through perseverance, deep laughter and hugs, experiences that can literally thaw the ice that can build up in our hearts. Whatever in the world we are all supposed to be on the anvil of life for, try to lean your shoulder into it – but it is Essential that you find and keep checking in with those that support your higher-minded Self. If you are in a place where there is literally no one like this, get a hold of some books or surf the internet with this singular goal.
A little fresh oxygen in your bubble is all that keeps it from becoming a vacuum.
p.s. I am thankful for you.
*Eclipse interpretations available upon request. Just drop me a line and include something or someone you are thankful for. 🙂 firstname.lastname@example.org (for previously ordered work: you have mail!)
- Mulch – Giving Thanks (dirtnkids.wordpress.com)
- One Awkward Thanksgiving Revelation (oneawkwardyear.wordpress.com)
- Belated thoughts on Black Friday (smokeintostars.wordpress.com)