Gratitude: A Season and a Reason

Five more sleeps. Yes, grown men also count sleeps! It is only five more sleeps, and then all my children will be home for Thanksgiving. Nothing could make me happier!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love its unapologetic invitation to indulge in raw gratitude, one of Mother Nature’s most powerful forces. Each year, I am amazed when I start to think about the things for which I am grateful. The list quickly snowballs, and before long, the mental exercise triggers a flood of positive emotions, their impact tangible in a very physical way.

My love of Thanksgiving goes well beyond the obvious joys of family, downtime and turkey. Gratitude has been demonstrated to drive abundance – it improves your health, prolongs your life and enhances your happiness. Each bolded link in this article will take you to an article that describes the science behind these statements. All this from two little words, and a simple yet powerful sentiment, “thank you”.

My family is my primary source of inspiration, awe and joy. I can’t wait to hug each returning child, to hold them tight for a minute, then stand back and admire the young man or woman growing up in front of my eyes. Tears of love come quickly, soon replaced by laughter and fun, as we each settle into a mainly new (partly old) rhythm. We’re all changed. Each year has brought another layer of wisdom and experience.

The dinner table becomes the place of stories, old and new. Memories trigger smiles and mirth, unlocking treasures of many lifetimes of collective growth. The faces of family and friends appear in the conversations. Each virtual visit as good as if we had them right there at the table with us. Even those who have crossed over into eternal life seem to have a chair at this table – sometimes so close we could hold them. Life is richer for engaging in each others’ journeys.

This is the table for listening and giving. United in our common mission, supporting each other in their individual purpose. Here we share hopes, and hear fears. We work together to ensure that optimism prevails, that resilience and belief are the common threads that dominate the tapestry of our interwoven lives. This is the table of love.

Did I mention the longs walks on the beach? Or the tryptophan-laden turkey that is supposed (by folklore more than science) to trigger the serotonin surges in our brain that drive happiness? Or the afternoon nap that recharges my battery? How could I be happier?

The countdown has started. Prepare for a week of gratitude. May its healing power restore you, and its magic inspire you. May you carry gratitude in your heart, mind and body each day for the rest of your life. That’s BodyWHealth!

Have fun,

Roddy

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