26 Nov A Time to Give: Expressing Thanks and Giving Grace
Thanksgiving has been celebrated in the United States since 1621 when the Pilgrims celebrated their first harvest in the New World. It wasn’t until President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed it a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens” in 1863 that it became a Federal Holiday. It’s since been a major holiday in the United States, alongside Christmas and New Year; it marks the beginning of the “holiday season.”
For many, this time of year feels chaotic with increased responsibilities, travel, and stress resulting in fatigue and feelings of overwhelm. If you find yourself in this situation, there are a few things you can do to experience more joy, love and fulfillment in your life.
Giving thanks allows you to tune into your life, and celebrate all the blessings in it. It doesn’t take a lot of time, but it does take effort and consistency. One place you can begin is to be present in your daily life, and see the good in all things. Especially during times of chaos when feeling overwhelmed, you can change your mindset and movement in life and enter into a place of calm and grace.
Let me give you an example; let’s say you have more projects on your plate than seems possible to take care of. You’re stressed, the deadline is quickly approaching and it’s keeping you awake at night. On top of it all, your in-laws are arriving in two days and your house isn’t quite in the shape you’d like it to be. First, take a deep breath. There’s good in all things, and life consistently provides us opportunities to learn and grow. By being present with the chaos, you can pause, breathe it all in, acknowledge that it’s there, give thanks for working in an environment where business is growing, providing you stability in your job and in life. Know that your in-laws are there to spend time with you and will enjoy doing so even if the house isn’t in perfect condition.
After acknowledging all this, you prioritize, create your task list, delegate if necessary and know in the end that it’ll all work out. Life is not consistently in balance and never will be. It’s most important to feel fulfilled and function in a manner that serves you; when you work from this place, life feels good and things seem a bit easier to handle.
Even in times of stress, hardship and chaos it is much healthier to come at life from a place of calm, grace and gratitude than feeling and functioning like a complete spaz. Here are a few steps to follow so your Thanksgiving holiday may be filled with calm, grace and gratitude:
- Enter each morning by giving thanks for 5 things in your life.
- Challenge yourself to find 10 “gifts” in your day. These “gifts” are things that may otherwise go unseen if you weren’t paying attention. The yummy flavors in the salad you packed for lunch, the smile of a co-worker, your child’s laughter, even the pile of dishes waiting for you in the sink. Yes, those dirty dishes…how grateful you are to have been able to eat a home-cooked meal in your warm home. There is good in all things.
- When feeling stressed, take a moment to pause, breathe, speak words of gratitude for the situation and connect with what it’s teaching you. Speaking words of gratitude means you acknowledge the situation. For instance, if you wake up with a massive headache you can acknowledge it by saying, “Thank you body, I hear you speaking to me and I’ll do well to care for you today.” As a result of the headache, you may increase hydration or even take a supplement to help it out, but the acknowledgement of the situation will allow you to move forward with your day in a positive way and not dwell on it anymore. Your mindset and movement in life will be positive.
- Close the day by writing down 10 things you’re grateful for in your gratitude journal. You’ll fall asleep feeling incredibly blessed and wake in a positive state.
Giving thanks and living a life of gratitude doesn’t mean everything is going to go your way, it means that you’ll be able to be present, connect with the good in all things, and in turn experience greater love, joy and fulfillment in life. These being some of the best gifts you could grant yourself.
Start your day of Thanksgiving with family outdoor fun, a hike, a Turkey Trot, or even some snowshoeing if weather allows. Notice all the small gifts you’re granted throughout the day, be present in your life, enjoy the people in your life, and give thanks and gratitude for these blessings.
May you feel joy, love and be incredibly fulfilled as you enter into the holiday season.
It’s a pleasure to serve you! Feel free to email me with comments or questions: connect@AngelaGaffney.com.
Loaded Sweet Potato
1 organic sweet potato
1 tsp EVOO
2 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled (select only nitrite-free and nitrate-free bacon)
1 tbsp butter
¼ cup spinach, chopped
2 tbsp goat cheese, crumbled
2 tsp pepitas
Preheat oven to 400° F. Carefully puncture the potato with a sharp knife tip in 6-8 places. Rub sweet potato with olive oil and place into a glass baking dish. Bake until liquid oozes from the puncture spots and potato is cooked through, approximately 25-35 minutes. While potato is baking, cook bacon strips, and cool.
Cut potato in half, cut a pocket lengthwise down the center of the potato. Place ½ tbsp of butter into the pocket. Top with spinach, goat cheese, bacon crumbles and pepitas. Enjoy!
Recipe compliments of The Daily Essentials Cookbook Collection: Lunch by Angela Gaffney and Janielle Hultberg