At this time of year, there are a million platitudes about being thankful, and how could you be truly authentic, really open your heart, and take it to the next level?
Here in Northern California, we are weeping from the destruction of the Camp Fire, where over 10,000 structures burned, and the shock of all of our displaced citizens, many friends of friends. In Mailbu, people are rebuilding after unimaginable damage. For the last nine days, the thick smoke in the air has been a hazardous reminder of the unexpected.
My advice in these times, when there is something “looming large”– and I don’t need to tell you that this can come in many forms, whether an illness, a family crisis, a teen problem, or whatever– is to go smaller and notice the little things. We can be authentic about the little things. We can get behind something undeniably good, and it’s a wonderful place to start.
For instance, although we have been wearing N95 air filter masks outside for the past nine days, you didn’t find many people complaining about the smoke. If they mention the choking air, they will add, “and I am just heartbroken about those that lost their homes. This is nothing in comparison.” That deep humanity, and a recognition of suffering in others has deeply touched me.
Also, I woke this morning to a sprinkling of rain in Northern California, the first rain we have had in more than 225 days. Two hours later, and it is now down pouring, and I have my sliding door open to my Buddha garden, and what is amazing is the simple sound of the rain in the gutters, and the unbelievable chirping of the birds. Finally, rain, blessed rain.
I am loving this grande coffee from Starbucks, and the smiling team of Millenials that makes it for me every morning. I am loving the Matcha bar from Urban Remedy that I have substituted for breakfast for the last few weeks. I am thankful for my dog peeking at me from her faux fur beanbag, as she does when I write. Sometimes, we need to notice the small things.
On IG this week, high performance coach Brendon Burchard commented that “the ultimate sign of gratitude is using your time well here on this earth. That’s because real gratitude is reverence for LIFE. And if you value life, you value time. You take the time to evaluate your life, to grow, to give and love and matter while you can.”
So for us, can we “matter” today, can we spread a smile or a word of compassion, or a moment of reverence even, for LIFE? I think we can. Happy Thanksgiving, beautiful people.