It’s Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada. A few years ago, I heard about a practice that sounded like a wonderful idea: to think about what you’re grateful for as soon as you get out of bed every single day, the minute your feet hit the floor. Ever since the idea was planted, I’ve meant to make gratitude part of my morning routine, but so far, it just hasn’t happened. It’s usually only when I’m feeling low that I think about pulling gratitude out of my bag of tricks, as I’ve found that it’s almost impossible to feel lousy and grateful at once. Gratitude trumps the bad stuff 99% of the time. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, give it a try.
In this particular moment, I am feeling great/ful for this holiday that reminds me to practice gratitude every day. Having drifted over the years from organized religion, giving thanks is about as close to prayer as I get. Outside of meditation, it is the most direct path I’ve found for relating to the universal “oneness” that unites and connects everyone and everything.
So here is my prayer: Let me give thanks.
I’m thankful that a year before I moved here, I learned that Canada celebrates Thanksgiving in October. That’s the kind of information that’s good to know when you’re an immigrant… it can save you from embarrassing moments, like not knowing what timbits or toques are.I’m thankful for grey and almost-rainy Saturday mornings in Vancouver. I’m thankful for Quickstart muffins and rich and creamy lattes served in huge bowls at Bean Around the World.
I’m thankful for the warmth and brightness of my small home.
I’m thankful for all of my friends and family in the States who have made the effort to get their passports and come visit me in this not-so-far-away foreign land. I’m thankful for those who are gearing up to make the trip. And I’m thankful for living in such a beautiful part of the world that makes for a nice vacation spot.I’m thankful to every person, even strangers, who have lent me their shoulders to cry on over the past season. I’m thankful to Madeleine for giving me not one, but two, beautiful organic cotton handkerchiefs to daintily blow my nose into.
I’m thankful for my education, both the formal and informal.
I’m thankful for golden retrievers and for cats named Kitty. I’m thankful for rollerball pens. I’m thankful for Barbra Streisand’s voice and Anne Lamott’s words. I’m thankful for Ellis Marsalis and his whole insanely talented family.
I’m thankful for unemployment insurance.
I’m thankful for all of the spots at Jericho Beach where I can stand and see mountains, islands, ocean and the full cityscape all at once, simply by turning my head.I’m thankful for the smell of cedar wood.
I’m thankful for every single one of the dinners and lunches and coffees that my friends and colleagues have bought or made for me during these “Days of the Skinny Wallet.” I am continuously astounded and humbled by the generosity of my community.
I’m thankful for my healthy body and how good it has been to me, even though I haven’t always returned the favour.
I’m thankful to my brother and sister-in-law for doing such an amazing job raising my two precious and beautiful nieces.I’m thankful for the gifts of deep love I’ve received. And I’m thankful for my heart that is able to love in return.
Giving, receiving, giving, receiving… gratitude moves in a virtuous cycle.
Most of all, I’m thankful that I get to celebrate Thanksgiving again next month.
May we all be awash in gratitude, every day.