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November 21, 2003

"I cried because I had no shoes until I saw a man who had no feet."
-- Author Unknown

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am sending the same article and prayer that I sent last year.

I have had so many requests for it, that I felt you could have value by seeing it again. Enjoy!

There will no Coaching Tip of the Week for November 28, 2003,
so that we may enjoy this wonderful holiday with our families.
I hope you will enjoy your holiday and look forward to a new tip
on December 5, 2003.
Gratitude doesn't come easy. Celebration and gratitude for all that we have is one of the central themes in Judaism as we celebrate the Sabbath from sundown on Friday night to Saturday night. We do that because it takes most of us 24 hours to let go of the voices in our heads screaming at us about the things we ought to be doing instead of just relaxing, enjoying and celebrating our lives and the gifts from the universe. The message on Sabbath is this: don't spend this time "getting things together -- just relax and open yourself up to rest and rejuvenation."

It seems to me, Thanksgiving is very similar. Unfortunately, the idea of really slowing down enough to celebrate all that is good in our lives and in the world, doesn't fit with the pace of our daily lives, nor with the internal messages that "you haven't done enough" and that "you are not enough." That's probably why Americans resist making Thanksgiving the spiritually rich holiday it has the potential to be.

Every year we do everything possible to avoid the focus of giving thanks. Instead, we fill our time with parades, football games, preparations for eating and conversation at the table that usually feels too awkward to allow us to immerse ourselves in gratitude. Some courageous ones start the meal by saying "let's go around and say something for which we are grateful." Yet to stay in that mode of gratitude for the whole meal, much less the whole day, is almost unheard of.

What if Thanksgiving started the night before with a ritual of celebrating the evening? What if we took 24 hours to focus our gratitude? What if the day was dedicated to sharing with each other the good things we had experienced all year? What if families made a commitment to invite 3-4 single people, plus other couples to expand the celebration beyond the family dimension? What if all meals shared that day included singing, dancing, poetry reading, story sharing? Could we actually make this happen? Try it and see what happens. Tell me what you did and said, what obstacles you faced and how it worked out.

By Susan Klein, MCC



This day, I thankfully accept all the good things
that are coming my way.

This day is full of excitement, love, energy, health
and prosperity.

This day, people are calling on me to be of service to
them, and I respond by giving my very best.

This day, I think and practice health in my life,
refusing to accept anything less than perfect health.

This day, I focus on the moment and give no thought
to the past or to the future.

This day, I spend in total enjoyment of what I do.

This day, I fill with loving thoughts and actions toward
myself and all other people.

This day, I spend in grateful appreciation of all that is mine.

This day, this hour, this minute, this moment is all that
I have and I will use it in celebration!

During this Thanksgiving time:

1. Be present.
2. Be open.
3. Share and give of yourself.
4. Be grateful.
5. Enjoy!

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