Want to create a Happy and Meaningful Thanksgiving. Here’s a practice that may help. If there is one time in the year when both meaning and happiness can come together, this is the day. Thanksgiving is all about gratitude without any need for material giving – it’s just about giving thanks. As philosopher Cicero wisely said some twenty-one centuries ago
Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues,
but the parent of all the others.
Did you know that it is almost impossible to be grateful and miserable at the same time? And gratitude is also a very effective doorway to a sense of meaningfulness in life. It connects us to what is important – what matters. Try this embodied mindfulness yoga practice to help enhance your gratitude in this Thanksgiving time.
This practice is designed to help you connect with the virtue of gratitude at a visceral level.
SOLO THANKSGIVING PRACTICE (10 minutes)
1. Find somewhere quiet and take a minute to look around and take in all that is around you. Do this by simply “noticing.” No need to explain anything, judge anything, or do anything. Just notice.
2. Turn your attention to your body and as you do, begin to move it. Move any way that feels good. No need for any formal yoga poses or calisthenics – just move your body. It might be fast or it might be slow – let your body decide. Continue this for a minute and then gradually bring breath to the movement – focus on both your body and your breath changing the tempo of both as it feels right to do so. Just let it happen. No right way, no wrong way, nothing to accomplish, just moving your body and breathing with it. Continue for about another minute.
3. Let your body tell you what you are grateful for. In a seated or standing position, close your eyes and place you left hand over the center of your chest and your right hand on top of your left. Notice your hands. Notice your body. Let your hands ask your body “What am I truly grateful for in my life?” Let your body answer to your hands – it might be words, or images, or other things that come to you. Wait until you have three things that your body tells your hands that you are grateful for.
4. Reflect. Take another minute to be fully present to each one of these things in turn. As you focus on each one, take careful note of images that come to mind and also how your body responds as you focus on each. Notice your breath too, as you focus on each thing you are grateful for in your life.
5. Thank your body for being your partner in life and for sharing this gratitude with you.
6. Record what you discovered. Either write it down, text it to a friend, or voice record it.
“I am grateful for________and_______and_______. I am pleased that these things are present in my life today.”
Please share this exercise with your friends or family. See social media links below.
HAPPY AND MEANINGFUL THANKSGIVING!