November 2021 Inspired Living News
Article written for the South Etobicoke News November edition
Giving Thanks - A way of Healing in November
Walking along one of the many river banks in the city, crunch of a multihued array of leaves underfoot, I count my blessings. Today it is easy. Some days it is not. A happy dog in tow, mature trees bend towards each other creating a lush full canopy in this golden fall.
I dedicate this month to being thankful. I look to the morning light and embrace the healing light of gratefulness. 30 days of gratefulness. I also acknowledge the dark side. What leads us to being grateful? Often, at least for me, it is a time of stress, a time of great difficulty. I find the need to be most grateful when feeling I have failed or when I have been sick. It is in my darkest days that I remember to go the light side: remember the healing of being grateful for what I have. I try to remember daily what I embrace, what I allow, what to forgive, what to smile about.
I’m encouraging you to check in with yourself - listen to your heart. What does your heart and body tell you right now? Is your heart happy with you? Is your body happy with you? If not, why not? What are you lacking, if anything?
When you take time to check in you will recognize that you’re doing OK as a human. Maybe today you are not a superstar. But let us begin with: today I am ok. Most of us are doing really really OK. We may be tired or a bit congested . Allergies anyone? Maybe we don’t sleep as well or eat as well as we could. Majority of these times: it’s our choice. For that choice, I am so grateful. I can choose how much or how little I get to sleep most days. I can choose most of the foods, if not all the foods, I eat. That is truly a personal blessing. You too have complete choice about how well you eat, how well you sleep and how well you move your body. These three choices are the pillars of health.
November is a gentle 'sleeper' easy on the senses month. There’s almost a soothing, calming hum to the month before the frenzy of the December holidays approaches. It’s also not too cold and not too hot. Food is abundant. This November, I invite you to take stock of your life.
Have a look and see the abundance of resources in your life. Explore them. Enjoy them. Write them down; list them. Sometimes we lose track and we think we are being short changed or we don’t have enough. And I urge you to reconsider. Take a look at some of the following. How many spices are in your pantry? Or how many apps are on your smart phone? How many pairs of shoes do you choose from every day? Is it more than one?
When I glance over at our dining room table and see more than one pepper grinder and a handful of extra reading glasses lying about, I know I am blessed. Around the corner, in the hallway, I have more than one scarf to choose from to match my outfit. Our room of life contains countless plants. None of these things were purchased because we have an abundance of cash. Some were gifts, some were shared by family or friends or gardeners and some were bought secondhand. The many vibrant, rich layers in our lives are often taken for granted. Let us embrace the comfort and ease they bring into our lives.
Let us remember not just Remembrance Day, but also that we are fortunate to be so full of life. Sometimes we forget. What we’re actually stressed out about or struggling with is having too much in our life. Consider some of the most common diseases in our society: diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s or strokes. Science is showing us with greater detail every year, that more often than not it’s too much food or not enough sleep, or too many sedentary activities, not enough exercise that promote the development of the most common diseases. Please excuse the blanket statement here, for I simply wish to bring focus, your attention, to what is possibly our greatest modern demise: too much of things and not enough of people...
Allowing more interaction with friends, family, pets, wildlife or plants supports our well being, promotes sharing time AND sharing resources. When we live well, we embrace live, fully. Thankfully.
So what is the first step? Recognize what is off-balance in your life.
Then, begin to restoring balance by looking at what you have in abundance. Write it down. At least once every week this month of November, sit and write down all the things that fill up your life. If you notice some are not so wonderful, you will see them written in black-and-white on paper. Staring back at you.
Once you concretely look at what is plentiful in your life, it is much easier for you to create a plan of action. The plan is to identify what you are lacking, if any at all. Lastly, to restore balance in your life, look at your abundant resources and ask yourself if having too much of these items is actually hurting you in someway. Then, it's time to decide what you can share with others: help improve their world and fill up their resources.
A month of giving thanks may be also be one of giving...Before December, before Christmas, before the obligated gift giving: give thanks by sharing with yourself and others this wonderful time of restoring your harmony and balance.