Season of Thanksgiving – Three Thoughts for Thursday – November 2021

Today, on this third Thursday of November, my little girl turns one, and for this last year with her, I am so grateful!  She has been such a light and a gift to our family!  As we enter November, celebrate Sally’s first birthday, and prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving next week, gratitude comes to mind.  Gratitude is mentioned often as a cure for many ailments – depression, feeling blue, entitlement, frustration, striving, disappointment, despair, isolation.  Gratitude is a practice that allows me to check-in, and not necessarily ignore the problems, complaints, or things I may need to deal with, but rather to also make space for all the good things in my life, to really paint a more complete picture by including all the bounty, too. I am struck as I reflect on the gratitude I feel for both the good and bad times in life that have shaped me and changed me and made me who I am.  I am grateful for the person I have become and the person I will become as I continue on this journey. Sometimes I need to just pause and stop looking for things to fix or work on, and instead just need to revel in the view right in front of me, what is right now, who I am right now.

As you likely have gathered by now, I love fall!  This is my very favorite season, a colorful time that draws my attention to the present and the wonder around me. I am especially grateful for the opportunities I recently had to wander through Seattle’s Japanese Garden, and to bake fall-inspired cookies with my kids. I love that they enjoy baking with me, and we can spend time in the kitchen together. The kitchen is our space to create.  I think my love of fall has been contagious because they happily jumped on the bandwagon to celebrate this season fully with me. In fact, they really take the celebration to the next level and I love it!  I love the opportunity to run through corn mazes with them, go on hayrides, eat kettle corn, decorate the house, carve pumpkins, and live for a little while amidst their childlike abandon.

I am also so very grateful this season for the opportunity we’ve had for the boys to be vaccinated, and for their courage and bravery shown in facing and overcoming their fears of getting shots. I cried tears of joy when I received the email from our pediatrician’s office to sign up for the mass drive-through vaccination clinic they were planning. More tears of joy were shed when I saw the clinic in action and we experienced the incredible efforts of our community coming together to protect our children and one another. I am so grateful this year for our family, our home, our health, the beauty that surrounds us each day both in people and the landscape.  I am grateful for the freedom we once took for granted and now have again, to see family and friends, to celebrate together, to laugh and cry together, to be together again.

As we pause next week to celebrate Thanksgiving, what are you grateful for this year, this month, this week, this day?  Do you have a regular gratitude practice?  What is it?  Please do share!  How does gratitude change your outlook, your mood, your way of being? How might you invite more gratitude into your life? How can gratitude transform the way you see the past, the present, and the future, and how you frame even the hardships you’ve endured and overcome? How does gratitude change your view?

Quote Inspiring Me:

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

~ Eleanor Roosevelt ~

Podcast I’m Listening To:

Good Life Project with Jonathan Fields

What does it mean to live a good life? What’s the role of happiness, meaning, work, love, purpose, kindness, friendship, and more? How do status, circumstances, gender, privilege, race, identity, and more play into the quest to live your best life? These are the questions and topics we explore every week in conversation with leading voices in art, science, industry, and culture, from Brene Brown, Matthew McConaughey, and Bishop Michael Curry, to Austin Channing Brown, Glennon Doyle, Julian Castro, and hundreds of others.

Here are a few that have caught my attention and connect to this month’s topic, as well as to a few recent mentions in previous Three Thoughts:

Brene Brown: On Gratitude, Vulnerability, and Courage

Dr. Maya Shankar: Change Happens (I recently featured the podcast she hosts, A Slight Change of Plans)

Julia Cameron: Living the Artist’s Way (Best Of) (I previously featured the Artist’s Way as a book I’m reading.  I’m currently working my way through this 12-week process of uncovering and harnessing my inner creator).

There are many, many others I’m excited to listen to, and hope you find this new podcast a welcome and new addition.

Book I’m Reading (or in this instance, listening to):

Radical Compassion by Tara Brach

I’ve mentioned Tara’s book, Radical Acceptance, in one of my first Three Thoughts posts.  I’m eager to dive further into her book, Radical Compassion featuring her RAIN meditation practice for guiding ourselves towards deep acceptance and nurturing to allow us to work through difficult emotions and our own limiting beliefs.

What Amazon has to say:

One of the most beloved and trusted mindfulness teachers in America offers a lifeline for difficult times: the RAIN meditation, which awakens our courage and heart.

Tara Brach is an in-the-trenches teacher whose work counters today’s ever-increasing onslaught of news, conflict, demands, and anxieties – stresses that leave us rushing around on auto-pilot and cut off from the presence and creativity that give our lives meaning. 

In this heartfelt and deeply practical audiobook, she offers an antidote: an easy-to-learn four-step meditation that quickly loosens the grip of difficult emotions and limiting beliefs. Each step in the meditation practice (Recognize, Allow, Investigate, Nurture) is brought to life by memorable stories shared by Tara and her students as they deal with feelings of overwhelm, loss, and self-aversion, with painful relationships, and past trauma – and as they discover step-by-step the sources of love, forgiveness, compassion, and deep wisdom alive within all of us.

Please check out my latest blog post, Be Careful, Recipes and Inspiration Yield Different Results! You can find my most recent post, Losing Sight, and my October edition of Three Thoughts for Thursday here, on my blog, as well. Beginning in April 2021, I have had the privilege of Co-Hosting with Kathy Hadizadeh, the Emotional Intelligence Special Interest Group for ICFLA.  We have one session left in 2021 – please join us for our November 30th session, Creating Choices with our Clients with Arnaud Complainville and Veronica Brejan.  If you are interested in joining and co-creating this learning community, please use the link above to find out more and to come along for the journey!
I’m always looking for new inspiration, new books to read, new podcasts to listen to, so please send your suggestions my way or comment on this post to offer some new recommendations!
As always, thank you for your continued support and readership! Stay strong, stay brave, stay true to you!

Happy Thanksgiving! I am grateful for you!