Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I thought I’d take this opportunity to share a personal reflection on gratitude, and thank everyone for their support.
I’ve been feeling a lot of gratitude lately, as I’m sure many of you have with Thanksgiving upon us. And though some of the gratitude I’ve been feeling is for all the wonderful things in life — my partner and kids, my mom and dad, my friends, my adorable dogs, and all the rest — most of my gratitude, this month, has been focused on the other half of the spectrum, the things we more often run from, hate, or condemn; our struggles and hardships, our pain and suffering.
This particular focus came about as I was preparing to discuss our family’s new monthly virtue for November — gratitude. Just to give some context here, at our home, we gather as a family in the morning for what we call Morning Devotional, a ritual where we reverently devote ourselves to Love. And as a part of this morning ritual, we study a monthly virtue, read from one of the world’s wisdom traditions, memorize a poem or scripture, and end in silent meditation, where the we return to our unbounded hearts and minds, where the stillness washes away all dividing lines and points us back to Love.
So, to prepare for our first discussion of gratitude, I flipped through my journal, which has a daily gratitude practice, and I noticed this imbalance — essentially all of my gratitude was aimed at what we generally think of as positive, pleasant, or warm. It caught me off guard because I thought I knew better. Yeah, the easy, joyful things in life are great. But it’s our trials and hardships that really fuel our growth and mold our character.
I was especially surprised considering that one year ago, when I sat with Ayahuasca, she reflected before me all the growth I had experienced in the previous two years, even though I had felt like I was just drowning in grief for those two years. But as I’ve expressed on this podcast before, looking back now, it’s really hard to relate to who I was before that winter season in my life because it has given me so much growth. I feel like it was only through that grieving process and, at the same time, giving myself to my family, becoming a parent, that I really transitioned…