The best part of November? Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday. While I make an effort to incorporate gratitude as a practice into my daily life, I love that there is a holiday devoted simply to giving thanks. And this month I would especially like to express gratitude to all of you who have continued to support Satsang Yoga during the time of Covid. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
This year we all may have to celebrate Thanksgiving differently than what we're used to. Traditions may be upended. We may be tempted to complain because we can't travel or get together safely with loved ones. But as Sharon Gannon reminds us in her book "The Magic 10 and Beyond": "Complaining actually rewires your brain--the more you complain, the easier it is to complain, and over time you find yourself in a negative spiral. The antidote for the poison of complaining is gratitude. If we can mindfully catch ourselves when we are about to fall into complaining and instead lift ourselves up by finding something to be grateful for, we will be able to break the negative habit of complaining, which leads to self-loathing, worry, anxiety, and fear about getting up in the morning."
Of course it is okay to feel sadness or grief about not being able to celebrate in our traditional ways, but it is also important to remember to find things to be grateful for. As Sharon Gannon continues, "Through gratitude we experience humility: we offer ourselves as instruments for the will of the Supreme Self so that we may relax and participate as players in the creative unfolding of the great mystery that is life." We don't have control over what the future may bring, but right now, in this moment, what can we find to be grateful for? Even when things are at their darkest, we can always find something for which to be thankful.
Some of the things I offer gratitude for each day are the roof over my head; electricity; heat; clean, hot running water; a comfortable bed; my health; my friends and family; work that I love and that nourishes me; my yoga practice; my teachers; and having enough food to eat. For most of us, food is a big part of our Thanksgiving celebration. But currently, millions of Americans are experiencing food insecurity, a problem that existed before the pandemic and that has increased greatly since the pandemic. Perhaps share your good fortune by making a donation to your local food bank this month.
May all beings be happy and free.