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Giving thanks is a practice. A prayer. A gesture, minute in effort but magnificent in effect. To imbue each moment of your waking life with reverence for the simplest of gifts is a practice of humility. A practice of gratitude. The breath in your lungs is a gift. The able body with which you navigate through your days, this too is a gift. A warm meal, a conversation with a dear friend, a spectacular sunset, each of these small treasures is cause for gratitude. And when gratitude is the tenet you hold closest to your heart as you wander and inevitably encounter challenge, then gratitude for what IS becomes more powerful than what is missing, what is unpleasant.

It is both a choice and an opportunity to dwell in this space of thankfulness. To be deeply and humbly grateful has incredible force unto itself, the power to transform your living reality, your mindset and outlook. A daily practice of gratitude giving is about shifting your attitude from victim of circumstance, to recipient of blessings. Gratitude is prayer. Like a ripple effect, the light that arises through the practice of harnessing gratitude shines forth from you, inspiring others along your path to see beauty in all its hidden forms.

As Thanksgiving approaches this year, I feel an exceptionally large amount of gratitude in my heart as I honor the suffering of so many people all over the world. Feasting and celebrating the seasons bounty is not the reality for many individuals, some as close as our own area of the Sierra Nevada foothills which continue to burn, taking the lives of many as well as thousands of homes and entire communities. Suffering is abundant. The challenges we face as a human race are numerous and deeply complex, fraught with amorality, fear based action, and a lack of compassion for others. There is so much cause for sadness and anger, feelings of being victimized, and the demand of action to combat the pervasive wrongdoing of our leaders. It is nothing if not completely overwhelming. Yet amidst this dreary and smoky reality is an even stronger need to foster gratitude for what remains, for what endures. For the small but profound.

There is always light where darkness shows up. And through our relentless commitment to honoring the great blessings of this life, we persevere. We live with heads held high, with courage and strength and gratitude in our hearts. And we love and love and love until the darkness fades, the smoke clears and light returns.

My prayer is gratitude. May I always have the wisdom and clarity to see my blessings and honor my path. May I bear witness to the majesty of this planet, of our human experience within it and name it Thanksgiving. And may all beings be free and safe from harm, comfortable in the mind and at ease in the body.

May it be so...

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