I have always looked at holidays through the lens of the intention behind them. The food, the rituals, the gifts are all happy bonuses, but the underlying thoughts behind the holidays hold more meaning for me. Diwali- the triumph of good over evil; Navratri- revering the feminine aspects of the Divine; New Year’s eve- learning from the successes and missteps of the past year and letting go; Day of the Dead- keeping alive the memory of those who have passed on; Groundhog Day- imagine living the same day over and over again (not the point? what?..).
With this perspective, I love Thanksgiving. Appreciating what I already have never fails to make my heart feel full. Our minds are generally conditioned to notice what’s missing, and refocusing to see what is actually there shifts our perspective. Gratitude in my thoughts has always helped my actions be effective, and more powerful.
It isn’t the easiest time in human history to think positive, but evolution and progress aren’t always linear. Our own history, as a species and on a personal level, teach us that. What we can definitely do is think and act consciously. Being thankful is a start.
This year, I am particularly thankful for friends. I have friends who I can laugh with, friends who push me to be more. Friends who give me the honor of helping them in times of need, and friends who reach out when I need a hand. Friends who come by other names- husband, daughter, parent, boss. Friends who can tell when I’m not myself, and friends who like me even when I am myself. Friendly strangers who let my car pass, who say kind things, who give their time to make my life easier.
What are you thankful for?
Listen to Sayali on ‘Jhoom Barabar Jhoom w/Sayali and Raghav’ on Wednesdays from 6-8 pm CST, only on Radio Azad