Thanksgiving. A time for the family to gather, enjoy each other’s company while eating a delicious meal and make the time to share what we’re grateful for. Every year people share how they are thankful for their loved ones, their health, their home, and the food they’re blessed to enjoy. And while I’m not saying that these aren’t all wonderful things to acknowledge, I want to challenge you to do something a little different this year: spend your time having a mindful Thanksgiving.
Ok, so you might be asking right now “what the heck is a mindful Thanksgiving?” Well, here is what my definition would be.
Firstly, to be mindful is to be in a state of consciousness or awareness of the present moment you are experiencing. Right now as I write this I’m experiencing the quiet solitude in my home, with only the sound of my laptop keyboard and a clock ticking as background noise. I’m feeling calm and content. This is mindfulness.
Secondly, as we know, Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude; a time we tend to reflect on what we’re grateful for. But rather than waiting until you’re gathered around the dining table with your family and about to share a feast together to take a moment to express what you are most thankful for, why not reflect on it throughout the day, or the entire long weekend?
Take notice of the little moments and how they make you feel. Really pay attention to how life is unfolding around you. Perhaps you will get a whiff of apple and cinnamon in the air as you have pies baking in the oven. This might prompt you to think how much you love that smell. Why is that? Does it make you feel nostalgic because your grandmother or mother always made apple pie every year at Thanksgiving and now you’re carrying on the tradition? Or maybe it’s just as simple as it is a pleasing smell you’ve always enjoyed. This is a mindful Thanksgiving.
What I’m getting at here is not to let the simple moments pass by without notice. Relish in the laughter for a funny story a loved one is telling, or perhaps the happy giggles of your children playing. Delight in the feel of the cool autumn air, the sight of the changing leaves and the smell of fall in the air. Savour the coziness of sitting by a fire, snuggling up with a blanket or indulging in a mug of hot cider or cocoa.
Whatever moments you have this weekend, try to slow down, really take it all in and truly recognize how it makes you feel, then share with those you love. This is a mindful Thanksgiving, and I hope it’s a memorable one for all of you.