A Fearless Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.
I think it’s MY holiday.
I cook up a storm.  I clean for a week and cook 17 dishes.
And I naively think that Thanksgiving will not become commercialized.
I hope.
But even if they do find a way to commercialize it, there are priceless benefits to simply and genuinely giving thanks.

Did you know that your brain can’t feel fear and gratitude at the same time?

The trick is to really feel what you are grateful for… down to your bones.  Don’t just remember what you are thankful for, feel it deeply until you feel the sensation in your body.  To get me rolling, I start by remembering times of extreme gratitude.

For example, I feel extreme gratitude when I think about the moment when the surgeon came out of surgery and told me he had to scrape off Bryton’s organs from his lungs down to his pelvis bones to get the toxic debris from his burst appendix. And he got it all.
I felt extreme gratitude towards the woman who took such meaningful care of my Dad and my Mom when Dad was at the Cypress the last six months of his life.  I thought I would give my first-born to Q, the nurse who stayed with me the 12 hours I was in labor with Bayla. She made everything seem safe and normal… even when they had me sign my consent for emergency surgery.  It wasn’t until the next day we realized the gravity.   Luckily Q let us keep her.  And we didn’t name her Quendeline (Q), but probably would have if she hadn’t stopped us.
After I think of these big dramatic experiences of extreme gratitude, it is easy to segue into thanks for the little things that aren’t so dramatic. But these little things are the ones I will cherish my whole life.
How Whitney takes off my shoes each night.
How my mother is always there for me. Always
.How my daughter can be in a real pickle and she is the one to comfort me and say, “Mom, it’s going to be alright.”
Most of the things holding you back in life are based on an underlying fear. So give thanks on Thursday and every other day you want to live without fear, be true to yourself, and live a life you truly love.

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