Thanks For Everything!

gratefulprayer_tabbyNext week brings Thanksgiving and while reputed as a celebratory holiday of gratitude, it can also be a time of uneasiness and discomfort for many. Some gather with family members who, while blood-related, have nothing much else in common, others mourn the absence of a loved one who was at the table last year, and others feel sad about the geographical distance that keeps them from their families and loved ones during this holiday. So during a time that is touted as “celebratory,” how can we honor ourselves and the emotions that may show up that are not of a celebratory nature?

Last year I spent Thanksgiving away from my family. I had done this before due to geographical distance, but this time I did it for more than that reason. I wanted something simple, hassle free, relaxed – with no expectations. I wanted a day to honor myself and in the true spirit of the holiday, be in a place of gratitude. I wanted something simple – with friends – out in my new home in California. A dear friend, who I had known since college, invited me to spend the holiday with her and her family and a couple of friends. This sounded right up my alley. I planned the day with yoga in the morning with my favorite teacher, Saul David Raye, home to make the salad and asparagus plate for the meal, and then off to pick up a friend for the Thanksgiving gathering. The day was simple and warm and filled with sweet love – exactly how I had always wanted to spend Thanksgiving.

Now this is not to say that I did not miss my family. I did. I thought about them and smiled at the vision of them getting together. I was grateful that they were all together, grateful that I would see them soon at Christmas, and grateful that I had empowered myself to make a choice that was right for me this holiday. At that Thanksgiving, I celebrated with gratitude that l had a wonderful family back east and was creating a new wonderful family out west.

Recently I was listening to an interview on yogamates.com with Michael Beckwith, Founder and Spiritual Director of the Agape International Spiritual Center, on the power of gratitude. I was reminded that really in every moment we have a choice to be empowered by being grateful for our life, or disempowered by complaining and seeing life as “happening to us” rather than being a conscious creator of our life.

Is it possible that by making choices that empower us we enhance our possibilities of more good things for ourselves and therefore feel more gratitude — which in turn brings more good things? In other words, instead of a vicious cycle of complaint and misfortune, we create a virtuous circle of empowerment and good fortune.

As Beckwith put it, “So you wake up every single day and you ask – how can I practice this, how can I practice gratitude? How can I practice generosity? And then the Universe will answer that question.”

Do you think it is that easy? Do you believe that if you set up a cycle empowerment, gratitude and good fortune that it will grow?

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6 thoughts on “Thanks For Everything!

  1. Great essays. Really really great essays.

    The Thanksgiving one is fantastic and the one about “healing” yourself re:
    melonoma… excellent!

    Really good! (and brave to be open about it)

    ps– I just forwarded them tonight to a woman I was out with who is a
    Buddhist and started chanting I guess a year or 2 ago

    do you chant tabby? curious…

    second ps–

    you are a very special person Tabby… I really had to say that… I just
    had to put that out there…

    I really applaud your ability to use your life as a “life of service” and a
    helpful example to just name 2 things why you are special.

  2. Hey Tabby!

    I have been keeping up with your blog – very enjoyable. And every week, I think “You
    should hang out with Tabby.” SO – I know the holidays are upon us and it is about to get
    crazy, but I would love to get together some time….for lunch or coffee…whatever
    works. I’m getting ready to head home for Thanksgiving (I thrive on the chaos at
    home…but only at the holidays!), but maybe after that we could figure something out.
    If I don’t talk to you before – have a great Thanksgiving. Hopefully I’ll be seeing you
    soon!

    Minta

  3. Hello Miss Minta.

    What a lovely treat to receive your message.
    I would love to hang out sometime after the holidays. 🙂

    Let’s be in touch.

    Happy Thanksgiving week and safe travels,
    Tabby

  4. I give thanks this year for the personal and the political. And I’m a believer that we must share our gratitude, so thanks Tabby for having the blog to share mutual ideas. I’m thankful this year for the Venus of Willendorf stamp issued by the Austrian government to honor the 30,000 year old Goddess, for Obama winning the election, for the movie The Secret Life of Bees being on the Hollywood screen with it’s Black Madonna themes. I’m thankful for my supportive friends and priestesses that I have to do ritual with. I’m so thankful for my husband of 25+ years that supports all that I do. I’m thankful for the wonderful opportunity I had last month to lead an incredible tour to sacred places of Goddess in Turkey – and for my book, Walking an Ancient Path, winning an award in a national book contest. I’m thankful there are people out there that still are willing to step up – like Fr. Bourgeois who’s come out to his detriment to support women’s ordinations in the Catholic church and all those fighting to have Proposition 8 repealed. I feel for the first time in many years things are shifting to that paradigm shift of consciousness – and there IS HOPE out in the world. I believe we are finding our voices once again restoring the Sacred Feminine in the world!

    Blessings,
    Karen Tate

  5. Yay!
    What a wonderful list of things to be grateful for.
    How interesting to hear about the Venus of Willendorf stamp. I did not know that. As terrible as things can be (I am thinking of India right now) — there is HOPE and there is a SHIFT in consciousness happening.

    Thank you Karen for sharing,
    Tabby

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