You know, with Thanksgiving coming up this week, I have to say. Sometimes the word gratitude just sticks me like a burr under my saddle.
I know, I know, gratitude is the secret to a happy life.
With the day of thanks on the horizon, I feel the walls closing in, pressuring me to express my gratitude and be thankful. Don’t get me wrong, I am an extremely grateful person. But this pressure to write lists about it and flex it like a muscle just doesn’t feel genuine to me. I know I might sound like a spoiled brat, but when I say I am thankful, who am I thanking exactly? My relationship with the Divine is to let it work through me, to feel it in my every cell and act from that spot, letting go of the result. I don’t think there is someone in the sky waiting for me to grovel so they can dole out blessings depending on whether I’ve been naughty or nice.
The point I am trying to get across is that for me, gratitude has become a loaded concept. It doesn’t feel easy, it feels obligatory. It feels like a practice that is un-spontaneous, and that is often done solely as a prescription to feel “better”. Blech!
What feels good to me right now is expressing the things that bring me a sense of wonder. For example, I am spending this Thanksgiving with my best friend and soul sister Vivi La Voix. It is my first Thanksgiving not with my family. Vivi and I are going to dance Qoya, get really dressed up and go to a fabulous restaurant in my Brooklyn neighborhood, and then retire to her heated terrace tent for homemade pumpkin pie with bourbon whipped cream. Just the thought of these activities fills me with a sense of wonder.
|Holidays with Kitty and Vivi. Poetry. Will. Be. Read.|
Wonder is defined as: “The emotion aroused by something awe-inspiring, astounding, or marvelous.” For example, right now I am in wonder at:
- the effervescence of champagne bubbles as they slip past my tongue.
- the caress of foam as I sip cappuccino
- the new friend I just made at my neighborhood restaurant, who I will be seeing on Thanksgiving.
- The chills that run through my body as I take deep breaths in yoga class
- The courage of Eleanor Roosevelt, and how thinking about her legacy inspires me to where I feel like my pants are on fire.
- My Mom finishing her first 5K at 72
- The kindness of strangers
- The beauty of the painting “The Spanish Dancer”
- My family and my friend-family, and how their presence in my life makes me weep with love
And that’s just for starters.
And I feel humble. I feel open.
I feel, sigh.
I feel grateful. :)
PS - Please enjoy this playlist I created called Wonder, great for dancing on Thanksgiving! And on that note, don't miss Qoya Teacher Training in NYC on January 18th &19th. Whether you are a queen of Qoya or brand spankin' new, this training is an initiation into living in a body and a world that is wise, wild and free. Join us!