With Thanksgiving upon us, I remember my American History lessons about the Native Americans (referred to as Indians in those days) showing conciliation to the settlers in “the first Thanksgiving.” What happened after that wasn’t exactly a reciprocation of good will, as white settlers pressed on to the West and left mayhem in the wake of their Conestoga wagons.
Gratitude for blessings is a no-brainer, even though many of us take abundance and ease for granted. Few of us experience gratitude for the hardships in life. In fact, the previous sentence seems counterintuitive.
I can paraphrase the words of the great Brene Brown and say that nothing I’ve accomplished in life was the result of pleasure and ease. In fact, the most challenging episodes contributed most to the strengthening of my character. I will confess that as these events were unfolding, I wasn’t jumping for joy… nor would I have picked them off a menu and put them on my “to-do list.”
Yet Life comes to us with opportunities hidden in some pretty dire costumes. Once you’ve been through enough of these scenarios, you “disrobe” the monsters quickly and look for the opportunity hiding beneath the disguise.
I’m grateful that I know this because it keeps me from feeling like a victim. Now that you have read this, look deeper into the “misfortunes” in your life and see what may be revealed. Assume that Life is expressing Itself through circumstances and be still in Its presence.
Finally, be grateful that a collection of molecules gathered to be you, a conscious, reflective you, capable of the full range of experiences…all designed to grow awareness and gratitude.
Joyful Thanksgiving! Rosanne Bostonian
If you want to predict how successful a person will be in life, unscrew the top of their head and pull out their self-concept. What we think about ourselves can be the platform that launches us, or the ceiling that limits us.
Some of us have been taught that self-criticism is the way to eliminate our flaws. We cherry pick those traits that are deemed negative and focus on them. If we do this without compassion and forgiveness, we create a biased view that becomes a limitation. Overly focusing on the need for improvement can tip the scales of self-concept and create negative self-talk, the basis of anxiety and depression.
This doesn’t mean we are in La-La Land not noticing those areas that need nurturing and growth, but we see them with equanimity, meaning from a peaceful center. We can also balance our need for growth with appreciation for that which is glorious and whole about us.
What’s going on in your thought process? Are you overly self-critical? Are you overly critical of others? (By the way, being overly critical of others is a projection of your own self-esteem!)
Compassion, balance and gratitude. A great formula to raise the ceiling.
With love, Rosanne
As the Fall winds down we’ve seen the process of transformation in the trees around us. One of the most interesting things I learned as a biology major was the fact that the colors we see in Fall were there all the time, masked by the chlorophyll created to build food for the tree. When the Sun recedes into the Winter sky, the tree no longer creates chlorophyll and the hidden colors are revealed. There is a lot going on behind what our senses can pick up.
Like the trees, we each have our hidden brilliance and I hope that revealing it doesn’t wait for the next lifetime! What keeps us from showing our colors, our authentic selves? Fear of rejection, of showing all that we are and having it not be good enough?
The last leaf on the tree… Does it hold tight because it fears the long drop to Earth? Does it deny the approaching Winter? When we maintain our tight grip past beliefs, our obvious green, we fail to show our deeper colors and we panic over the periods when our “branches” can look a little bare.
As Thanksgiving approaches, let’s be grateful for all of it… green, colors and leafless branches. Let’s embrace every bit of life with open hearts and the knowledge that the Spring will come again as will the transformations that allow us to look deeper, past the obvious.
Joyous Thanksgiving to you, dear friends.
With love, Rosanne