Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Giving Thanks

As the holiday approached, I eagerly anticipated this Thanksgiving for it would be a day filled with firsts.  Earlier this year, my first-born had moved out.  This would be his first Thanksgiving waking up in a home of his own, the king of his castle.  It would be our first without him.  He wanted to celebrate and decided to host dinner this year.  His first as host, our first as guests.  It would also be my first time not portraying the "Lady of the House" since his girlfriend was well suited for the role.  My husband and I expressed our feelings of pride. It was a pleasurable experience to watch the maturity and growth of our son.  Personally, of course, it was also my first vegan Thanksgiving.


Leading up to dinner, I had a brief moment of insecurity and fear, flooding myself with questions. I had to remind myself that I would be with immediate family: husband, adult children, and intimate friend each of whom provide truth, encouragement, support and inspiration.  This thought provided the calm needed to overcome the feeling of trepidation.  After exhaling a deep cleansing breath, I relaxed and was able to create a simple meal of staple foods I had previously prepared for myself up to this point.  

Go with Whatcha Know!

I answered each of the questions swirling in my head.  I go with "what I knew", I prepared a bean/veggie patty, accompanied with veggies and made a vegan sweet potato pie to present to the dinner guests.  I packaged my meal and took it with me.  At the dinner table, as I took my seat, I placed my platter on the table.  Since I was not the hostess, I did not sit opposite the head of the table.  I sat in a seat alongside the table, as a guest, next to my husband, across from my baby (also now an adult), at the left of first-born, and at the right of his girlfriend, a wonderful young lady.  I chuckled to myself, at how silly I was at second guessing. I had to once again,  remember to "go with what I knew"  - that with all of this genuine love at the table, how could I question non-acceptance?  

My 1st Vegan Thanksgiving Preparation
Pinto bean patties with collard greens, corn, and sweet potato
After we expressed our gratitude for this gathering of firsts, my adult home-owner son says to me, "That looks good Mommy."  In those few words, my first Vegan Thanksgiving had been summed up.  I had what many seek and sadly do not find:  gratitude.   However you define gratitude doesn't matter for the meaning is germane to each.   For me it is love, life, family, health.  What is important however, is to take the time to give thanks for the small progressions realizing that huge leaps are few and far between.  It is the little steps and tiny increments that secure our footing and lead us to the next big thing.

Remember to identify and express your gratitude.  
Give thanks for the non-tangible
                   Be grateful for non-monetary experiences
                   Be thankful for embrace, warmth 
                             Welcome each opportunity to share
                              Express gratitude for ability to give, to grow, 
                                                   Be humble and eager to learn.

Yoga:  n-a-m-a-s-t-e  
Namaste  is an expression of gratitude.   It means, " the light in me honors and bows to the light in you."  It also means to be humble.  As you quietly say "Namaste",  close your eyes, press your palms together in the middle of your at your heart and lightly bow your head and shoulders, give thanks and be grateful.  

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