Happy Thanksgiving to my friends in the U.S. I'm traveling this week and wanted to leave you with this message: Thanksgiving is a joyous holiday for many and not so great for others. I am grateful that I received an invitation to spend the holiday with my family and had good health and enough frequent flyer miles to get there. I'm excited to see my cousins, my aunt, and some friends. And I'm truly grateful, after searching the thrift shops here to no avail, that I found a sorely needed new winter coat at a Ross store for under $75!
During more prosperous years, there were holiday times when I felt depresseed, lonely and conflicted. Sometimes I was among friends or family but longing for something else. At other times I was grateful to be by myself, or volunteering at the Vet's Hall. It's never about the money, or the company, or the good food or lack thereof; its always about what's happening in the mind.
In light of the current economy it may feel difficult to experience peace and gratitude if you have to make due with less. Add to that stress about spending too much for the holidays, being back in the old family dynamics, the fear of gaining weight...and suddenly "Happy Thanksgiving" feels like a lie.
If you are feeling sad, pressured or disappointed this holiday season, I invite you to question your thoughts. Is it true you must visit your mother-in-law? That you don't have enough money for a proper celebration? That holiday foods are fattening and unhealthy?
*Write your most stressful holiday thoughts in the form of a belief statement or "one-liner"—for example, "I don't have enough money." Take yourself through written inquiry—the four questions and turnaround of The Work—using the One-Belief-at-a-Time Worksheet, available for free download at TheWork.com.
*Notice if your thoughts are going to a place of deprivation and lack, and make a list of things you can do for yourself that point to the bounty of the season and of your life. If you're not traveling, can you take time on Thanksgiving Day for nice bubble bath or workout? Do you have any non-perishable food that you can spare to a holiday food drive? If you're going to be alone, can you make new connections while volunteering at a soup kitchen? Can you find reasons why it's the best thing that you "have" to visit or host family?