Thanksgiving is a holiday associated with gratitude, but I would suggest that giving thanks should become a daily routine.
Gratitude first became a part of my life twenty some years ago. I’d just moved from New Orleans to Pennsylvania with my ex-husband who promptly decided his life was not with me. There’s much more to the story (lawsuits from patients, a pregnant nurse, an elderly, dying dog and more) but it’s really irrelevant.
What is relevant is that I discovered gratitude.
I’d wake up every morning and find something, anything to be grateful for. And somehow this focus helped to pull me through some truly difficult times.
And now, with cancer, gratitude is so important. It reminds me to bring joy into my daily life. I’ve left behind most of the material aspects of my former world and I focus on what resonates with my heart. I’ve gotten better about identifying similar souls, similar travelers, and these are the people I want to explore with.
They are explorers of experience.
Of the soul.
And of gratitude.
This past week at Bosque del Apache (pictures and posts on The Festival of the Cranes coming soon) I enjoyed a connection to the patterns of the natural world. Bosque is a wilderness habitat for migrating birds, and thousands of them appear each year, to pause in their travels to warmer weather. With the seasons, they move in the pattern of their ancestors, answering some deep primal call for survival.
Or perhaps they too simply enjoy a change of pace and a bit of adventure!
Whatever the motivation, that connection to the earth and her rhythms offers a soulful feeling of gratitude.
Gratitude for a warm shelter from the coming winter.
Gratitude for food.
Gratitude for others.
My gratitude list, which I visit first thing each morning before I meditate, need not be long. Somedays it’s simply a recognition of a beautiful sunrise.
Others it may be gratitude for the excitement of building CancerRoadTrip.
Gratitude for the New Mexico Women in Film who have provided a network into a most interesting group of people. Gratitude for the quirkiness of New Mexico where leading scientists and world class artists come together in creativity. The list goes on.
So this Thanksgiving I hope you find the time to pause and be grateful. Who knows, it could turn into a habit!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
More Reading On The Perspectives of Travel
11 Life Lessons Learned From The Road
Traveling The Timeline of Now
Traveling With Cancer: A One Year Anniversary
Scanxiety and Cancer On The Road
Serendipity: Life Lessons From The Road
Thoughts On The Metaphor of a Road Trip
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