Thanks and Giving Beyond Thanksgiving
Today I was up at 5:20am and was ready to teach yoga and meditation at 6am. I’ve been getting up early to teach on Thanksgiving morning for twelve years now. And I have a confession to make. Yesterday I didn’t want to go. I had only three people signed up and had a bit of a “if no one wants to come, then I’m not going attitude”.
But I woke up even before my alarm, slipped out of the house unnoticed and was thankful for the ability to do so. And would you believe it, the moment my feet met the mat, as usual, I get the necessary reality check that today’s yoga isn’t about me. It’s about being thankful for those that are willing to get up at 5:30am and practice alongside me. And the ability for me to be able to facilitate such an experience and all that goes with it.
This year was all about meaning for me. All about the memories and moments that make the memories. For most of my adult life I have been chasing, hustling, running, and pushing. All with good reason, all towards a goal. But this year I started to say no, so I could say YES to the things that I want and was doing all that chasing for. So this year I stopped doing that.
Yesterday I closed the studio for evening class. I didn’t work yesterday really at all. I went to my kids school play. I baked gluten-free, dairy free pumpkin pies, I chopped vegetables with my three year old son for a roasted root vegetable dish. And I enjoyed a relaxing evening at my in laws house for Thanksgiving round one.
Previous years I would have been working, worrying about Black Friday deals for my business, teaching Wednesday night for a few if any students to attend and missing almost all of the family time I so deeply enjoy.
Giving (unhealthy) things up
I’m beginning to believe that giving things up, things that do not best serve you or others does allow you to give more in the right ways. Possibly new ways.
And after a great yoga class, I went home, and at the last second decided to lace up and go to the Turkey Trot a student of mine puts on at Pike Lake each year, except this year I took my oldest son Harper with. The old, rushed, overworked, emotionally depleted me would have never gone. I would have allowed myself to feel too out of place to go. But this year I went.
I got outdoor time I much need, movement/exercise time that helps keep me sane AND time with my son doing something healthy and made a memory in the process. Pulling out of the parking lot my ten year old was smiling, chatting with me about how when he goes back to school on Monday and is asked what he did for Thanksgiving, how he’s going to say he ran 3.5 miles. I could have cried.
I know it doesn’t seem like much. But everything you just read are all things I have always wanted to do, but chose not to (it’s not that I couldn’t I wasn’t willing to) choose them.
Today I am grateful and thankful for where I have been and where I am now. And today has always been to me a day of giving thanks and gratitude. Giving love and spreading cheer.
Today be happy. On our run today, everyone we passed I said “hello, Happy Thanksgiving!” Because I was really happy and thankful. I really truly was.
Giving thanks (year-round)
Today ask yourself how can you best spread thanks and giving? How can you be at your best to help others do so. Because that’s the thing. You shouldn’t have to deny yourself of everything to be great. To be kind, to have and share a purpose, to remember what this day is really, truly about.
If you are reading this blog, it’s Thanksgiving or not. Spread Thanks AND Giving to all you meet. And mean it! Truly mean it! Leave before you get bitter, grouchy or angry. And put others first in a way that you can shine your light best. Go beyond. It doesn’t have to be complicated or boastful. Just be better than you were yesterday in a way that truly gives and receives gratitude.
I promise in doing so you will receive the benefit of it ten times over.
Today, I am going to two more Thanksgivings. Why? Because I want to. I want to be there, my family chooses to do this. It’s not just about me today, it’s about me being myself, sharing my love and doing it with others. Others that I love, respect and care to spend time with.
I hope you do the same!