Thanksgiving is such a wonderful time for reflection on what we are grateful for and the opportunity to offer thanks to others, good food, good friends and a celebration of thanks seems enough for the moment.  Then suddenly the holidays are looming, the excitement of more celebrations and giving and receiving gifts.  But at the same time the stress builds to a fevered pitch as we worry about what to give, what we can afford, what is enough and not enough!  Even the first day of all the sales are called “black” setting up the tone and tension of the season.  All of these expectations fill us with anxiety, anticipation and sometimes even fear.  For some of us we will be missing loved ones who are no longer with us, and for some celebrating new lives, loves, jobs or homes.  However you look at it, we are measuring our lives as a series of losses and gains, and gift giving as reward or punishment.

We call this the season of GIVING, so why not borrow from Thanksgiving and pay it forward, give the gift of GRATITUDE this year!

Gratitude is an antidote to all your worries, stresses and fears and the greatest gift you can give yourself and others. We can be grateful that our bodies and health have gotten us through another year, and if we were sick, we can be grateful that our bodies gave us a sign to learn to better care for ourselves.  We can be grateful for our relationships, how they test us to grow and be a better person, parent or partner.  We can be grateful for the accessibility to healthy abundant food, and the almost perfect weather and beauty surrounding us.  This holiday season we can meditate on gratitude to be able to find balance in all the holiday madness and remember everything that this year has provided.

Practice:

You will need a comfortable place to sit and a notebook.

Take 3 deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth to get settled.  Then allow the breath to flow through the nostrils, observing it for a minute or two, notice the perfect rhythm that the breath has without forcing it.  This is truly a gift that keeps on giving!!  Imagine giving thanks to the lungs, the heart and the simple art of breathing that keeps you alive!

Now scan the body from the crown of the head to the tips of the toes as you breathe.  Thank each part of the body for all its functions that help to give you energy, sight, sound, taste, digestion, circulation, movement etc.  Noting each thing as you scan the body and breathe.

Finally take a deep breath into the mind, and give thanks for this magnificent albeit too busy part of you that thinks and problem solves, and continues to learn and grow.

Once you have taken the time to extend gratitude to yourself pick up your notebook and start making a list of people and things in your life that you are grateful for.  Perhaps your gifts this year are with words, a card, a song, or some symbol that represents the gift that someone is to you.

As you begin to realize how much in life there is to be grateful for and what a gift your life truly is, then thinking of something to give is a no brainer, just give the gift of GRATITUDE, it is always enough!

Wishing you all peace of mind this holiday season!!

Lori

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