I didn’t know or understand the meaning of Thanksgiving for many years.
Back then, I didn’t know that this day of giving thanks was a heartful, meaningful occasion that only Americans could really appreciate at its core. Being Brazilian living in New York in my early twenties, besides being ENTJ (Myers Briggs type), the details about Thanksgiving went over my head without a pinch of curiosity.
It took many years before I got some glimpses of its meaning. Then I began to host and worry about Thanksgiving. Instead of being grateful, I spent many years worrying about Thanksgiving, by November first. I loved hosting family parties.
Thanksgiving was about daily planning, the multiple shopping trips, the several days of preparation, the cooking, decorating, setting the perfect dinner table three days before, the cleaning, and then welcoming family and all the friends that didn’t have a place to go on the holiday was the highlight of November.
Looking back, I thrived in that busy life. But, did I mention that I had most if not all the Christmas shopping was done by then?
The holidays were busy. I enjoyed it, and by December twenty-ninth, I didn’t want to see people or go anywhere. You can read my book Self-Trust and learn how I stopped those sabotaging behaviors.
These late Thanksgiving days, I still set the table the day before, I plan, prep and cook, but most of all, I accept help from my guests and have time to be grateful for the people in my life and enjoy it fully.
This year I even had the time to relax and make space for my inspiration. I received two talks to share with the world and a reminder of a meditation that opened my heart to be grateful for my sister, but I didn’t know that until last night.
It turned out that spiritual people are not that perfect after all. My almost-husband pointed out that I held resentment for my sister some time back in my venting moments. Of course, I didn’t see it at first; after all, I am a good person and speak of tolerance, letting go, and all kinds of forgiveness. But it was true. And like many Americans during Thanksgiving, when the family gets together, it is easy to hide those feelings in the closet and put all the lovely items in the front. What we don’t have to see or talk about it becomes easy to forget.
But yesterday, I finally got around to recording a meditation I received months ago. The day before Thanksgiving, when I used to spend the whole day in the kitchen, was actually a different kind of cooking day. I wrote and recorded.
The talks I wrote and recorded went off easily, but the meditation, not so much. I had to record the entire piece three times. First, the mic wasn’t plugged in. The second time, my computer ran out of space. The third time, after I was a bit tired, boarding frustration, and much less invested in the outcome, it didn’t get through me; it got to me. That tidbit of surrendering was just enough to bring light into me.
In the guided Gratitude Meditation, I ask meditators to bring to mind their health, relationship, job, finances, and a source of pain, frustration, or anxiety to release and then be grateful.
I also ask them to try to be grateful even if they think they are not ready.
It’s called Gratitude Meditation. I don’t remember when and how I got the meditation. It was patiently waiting in my files to be shared with the world. I wanted to release it today, but the Universe had different plans.
After dinner and some food preparation for turkey day, At the third time recording, the image of my sister came to mind when I said: “try.” I thought then I needed to set a time to call my sister and release the past. I left my office and went to bed
Today, Thanksgiving morning, I received a message from my sister remembering a fun time we had together a few years back. I wrote my sister a note of gratitude for her existence. I cried. They were happy and grateful tears for the spiritual power available to all of us. When I thought I was releasing a meditation to the world, it was actually for me.
I’m grateful for my sister, our paths, and all the pain we caused each other. But, it was all worth it just because of this moment where I feel complete gratitude for her, for learning our lessons, for being in awe of the power intention, and for sharing this story with you. Perhaps today, you have a sister to call too.
You see, meditation works. It loosens our hard ways of living little by little, breath by breath.
I am compelled to say that we don’t have to be thankful only on Thanksgiving. (I got that meditation months ago.) We can be grateful every day. Being grateful for what we have opens the channels for a beautiful life. Being thankful for the struggles helps them pass.
Check my website for the Gratitude Mediation here. My great tech is getting it ready for release.
I wish you the best Thanksgiving ever, full of gratitude. Somehow I feel that releasing the meditation would take away from this story I will treasure forever.