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Twelve Days of Thanksgiving: T

Thanksgiving.

Deciding whether to post my usual 12 Days of Thanksgiving series this year was an arduous task. I’m not exactly sure why. The dates seemed to sneak up on me. I can’t believe how quickly the last few months have flown by. It’s always interesting to me how the passage of time flies or creeps, and I suppose part of the pursuit of EyeJunkie is an attempt to slow it down to a series of continual snapshots I can more easily take in.

Beyond the fast pace of experiences that seems to have overtaken my mind over the last few months, I think my real dilema in creating a series of Thanksgiving posts has been a sort of reluctance to explore the topic. I wasn’t sure I really had the mental space to do it justice this year. You may have gleaned from my rather infrequent posts recently that this time of transition in my life has been almost an overload to my spirit, one in which I’ve done a lot of soul-searching. That soul-searching sometimes involves mind-wandering and spirit-wandering, evaluating where I’ve been and imagining where I might be going. Wandering leads to questioning, and questioning is sometimes a gratitude killer.

However, the concept of “3rd annual” is a very powerful encouragement for a girl like me. I place so much stock in traditions that the mere thought of having celebrated the 12 Days of Thanksgiving for the last two years was a powerful enticement to make the commitment this year too. SO… I’m taking the plunge. Today begins the 3rd Annual 12 Days of Thanksgiving posting series at EyeJunkie. Since I’ve noticed my own scattered quality lately as well as the whole soul-searching, gratitude-challenged penchant I mentioned earlier, I thought I needed a little boost for topic ideas. This year, I’m using each of the letters in the word “thanksgiving” as thought-starting catalysts for sharing some of the things blessing me at the moment. They may not be the typical things, but they are realities and ideas that are impressing on me just how big this life is, and how much I DON’T want to miss it.

You see, through the process of deciding whether I really wanted to focus my attention on Thanksgiving for twelve days straight, I’ve realized once again how very central gratitude is to living a deliberate life. How essential it is to a life aware. At least a positive life aware. To be engaged in your own life in any meaningful way requires paying attention to what’s there. It requires looking with intention (even intently) at the things filling up that life and pulling from them the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful–whatever differentiates between living and mere existence.

The dictionary defines “thanksgiving” as the “grateful acknowledgement of benefits or favors.” Grateful acknowledgement. Awareness is the prerequisite to acknowledgement. We can’t recognize blessings until we commit to seeing them–really seeing them. So, as I begin this 12-day journey toward Thanksgiving Day, even though I’ve been mired in reluctance, I find that I’m finally eager to seek out blessings and once again cultivate a grateful heart.

I’m reminded of a story in the biblical book of Genesis. A story in the life of Jacob. He found himself at a moment of transition–moving from the life he’d come to know and one of uncertainty. A moment of wandering. A moment of facing his past and his future.  Alone at night, he wrestled with an angel until daybreak. When it was clear the new day of decision and action had arrived–the next day–he spoke to the angel. “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” Though it came through wrestling, he received his blessing that day. And he walked away battered, but with a new confidence for the journey.

I hope you’ll join me for these twelve days. Perhaps thanksgiving will require a little wrestling to find the blessing. But, the blessing is there nonetheless. Let’s don’t let go until we see it.

Comments

  1. Thank you, Haley! I recently started a daily gratitude program (on my fan page), and for some reason some days it seems obvious, others I struggle. I wonder why? And I think part of it is so many of the things I feel grateful for are normal, routine, commonplace – so I think am I copping out by being grateful for something as simple as water, or do I need to be “deeper?”

    In any case, in the end I think whatever it is I feel grateful for and announce will make me a better person and hopefully inspire others to do the same! I look forward to seeing your 12!

    Sharon Hiebing
    Follow Your Dream Compass

  2. What a wonderful idea. It is sometimes so easy for us to complain about all the things we don’t have. I do try to remember on a daily basis all the things I am truly blessed to have in my life and be thankful

  3. This was lovely Haley. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude is so important, isn’t it? I so agree with what you say about bringing awareness to the things you are grateful for in order to really appreciate them.

    In grateful acknowledgment of your post. Thanks for sharing. 🙂 x

  4. I am still cultivating the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to me and to give thanks continuously. Simply being grateful has a powerful effect on our lives and is unequaled by any other practice of its kind. There is a special kind of magic in gratitude for it raises our consciousness, recharges our energy,enhances our self-worth, and strengthens our spirit. Like other attitudes, gratitude can be cultivated. We do not have to wait for someone to shower us with gifts before feeling thankful. We can develop gratitude by reflecting on the gifts that are already ours.

    I sometimes forget how very different the laws that govern the mind are from the laws that operate in the physical world. In the physical world, if we give something tangible to another person, we lose a possession. However, with the mind the opposite is true. Whatever we intend for another person we first experience ourselves and whatever we give–we gain. When we offer love and gratitude to someone, that love and gratitude first fills and heals our mind. The words “as you give so shall you receive” are profound statements about the way our minds work.

    I look forward to reading your Thanksgiving posts.

    Rachel Lavern
    http://www.rachellavern.com
    Personal Transformation, Enlightenment and Development

  5. According to what you write that you weren’t sure if this was the right time/right feel to start the 12 days of Thanksgiving series: you just did the perfect thing! You started writing about it, that´s a great step forward and especially when you are not sure then it is definitely the right time for it.
    I am looking forward to more, way to go, thank you for writing this,
    Franziska
    @ Flavor Designs

  6. Hi Haley,

    What an wonderful idea! Plus tying it in to the story of Jacob wrestling the blessings from an Angel makes it that much more ‘real’.

    I’m always reminded of the Pollyanna story by Eleanor Hodgman Porter where the orphan girl wins over her bitter aunt and the whole town through her glad game, where she finds something to be glad about in everything.

    We all have our issues to wrestle with but must count our blessings and the things we are thankful for to remain in balance.

    I’m thankful I get to look forward to the rest of the days 😀

    Laine D
    Thoughts from A Broad

  7. As a Contract Trainer the economy has put a huge strain on my business. Many of my colleagues have gone out of business. While my business dipped down to hardly anything, I took a 10 week class which enabled me to build my skills in social media and has opened new doors of business for me. Right now I’m so grateful I was able to see an opportunity in a bad situations. I am also grateful to know when one door closes another is opening all I have to do is pay attention.

    Lisa Ann Landry
    Vibrating Positive Energy…What are you vibrating?
    http://www.myshoppinggenie.com/pstd

  8. Haley – An Attitude of gratitude goes a long way. I agree that sometimes when we’re wrapped up with our own “muck” it is hard to see the little blessings we encounter each and every day. It’s a choice to have an attitude of gratitude and look for the gifts and blessings in each experience. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and journey with us 🙂

    -Jennifer Bourn, http://www.bourncreative.com

  9. I have been working on the attitude of gratitude for a while now by posting my Grateful Ten most days on FB. It really helps a lot even though there are times I struggle to get to 10 – one of mine yesterday was breathing – LOL. I look forward to following the 12 days of Thanksgiving.
    Louise Edington
    International AuPair Finder
    Facing Fear and Frontiers over Fifty
    http://louiseedington.com

  10. Haley, glad you decided to go another year. I haven’t seen you past efforts. While I try to focus on gratitude daily, I am greatly helped by Theresa Rose’s “Daily Dose of Mojo”. The link in on my post about Sales.

    Lookin’ forward to eleven more days.

    Michael Cavitt
    Reducing ambiguity. Increasing results.
    http://www.cavittassociates.com

  11. I’ve always loved the thoughtfulness that is required to complete a 12 days of Christmas and shied away from the commitment necessary to complete such a grand gesture. Your 12 days of Thanksgiving is a wonderful alternative. I can’t wait to read your 12 posts…maybe it will be the start a tradition for me too!

    Darcie Newton
    Using Real Estate to Fuel Retirement
    http://www.mywealthspa.com

  12. Haley – thanks for kicking off the season… I don’t know why it is so hard to express what we are grateful for; my life is pretty darn good. It’s interesting that I just read a post last week that had to do with complaining on company facebook pages: http://www.jenfongspeaks.com/stop-complaining/ My thought on this is that we’ve slowly allowed ourselves to look only at the negative, contribute to it, and even crave it. We need to get back to the simple task of counting our blessings and expressing those to the exclusion of expressing the negative. I’m thankful for your post.

    Pat Zahn
    Photo Solutions Superhero
    http://www.patzahn.com

  13. I love an attitude of gratitude and kudos for you just ‘doing it’. Once you let go of do you have the time or is it the right time, and remembered the feelings you have of tradition, you became grateful and then it flowed.

    We all are our worst enemies sometimes! When I start fighting myself, being grateful for even a little something (Louise and her breathing!), starts the turn around process. I am really looking forward to your posts! You write very well.

    Candace Davenport
    http://www.ourlittlebooks.com ~ Little Books with a Big Message

  14. This is a wonderful time to engage in active gratitude. I really like the 12-day countdown aspect–keeps me focused. I have so much to be grateful for in my life, and when I stop to take the time to reflect on it, I feel that much more abundance.

    I’m new to your blog! Glad you found Blogger Monday.

    Judy Stone-Goldman
    The Reflective Writer

  15. This is a beautiful post Haley. I am also involved in something similar but it is 5 minutes of prayer every day until Thanksgiving that is just about THANKING GOD and not asking for anything (at least not during that particular prayer). In this process I keep realizing how blessed I am.

    It is very uplifting to read your 12 days of Thanksgiving. I so enjoyed it and look forward to more.

  16. Thanks Haley and timely. I too started a daily gratitude list just recently spurred on by so many that are doing the same and because I really don’t feel like it (which means I really need it.)

    My hope is to make it more of a state of being than an intervention. looking forward to your 12 days.

  17. Fascinating post, not only because of the topic but also because I too am going through lots of changes in my life, and I have found that focusing on the rewards and the good stuff – being grateful thankful blessed, really has helped me to welcome the change, instead of resist it. My job is actually about change. Clients hire me to move their stuff around, because of transitions happening in them. You are doing a wonderful thing. I am grateful for the gratitude attitude of others.

    Jennifer Duchene
    The Home Makeover Mixtress blending cool & cozy style
    http://home-decorating-makeovers.com/

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