Spirit of Thanksgiving Revisited

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Thanksgiving gives us time to pause and reflect on the spirit of the season, count our blessings, and meditate on gratitude. As a fellow human, I feel especially thankful for our home, Mother Earth. At times, I have taken Her for granted and I am sorry for it. If it wasn’t for Her presence in our lives, none of us would be here. And if I hadn’t been given the gift of Her presence in my life, my experience here would have been very different, and not as enriching to say the least.

Contemplation on how my life would be different in Earth’s absence yields a plentiful harvest of gain in my appreciation for Her bounty. It also deepens my feelings of gratitude for this lifetime living on this planet. As spiritual beings having human experiences, we are expanding souls so it is natural to desire abundance in its variety of forms. But we miss the boat when we forget to acknowledge our blessings and gratitude for what is.

How might your life be different if Earth had never entered into your lives, or had certain people, places or things not entered into your experiences?

I’ll admit it, I have my moments of heaviness at times. Even though I have been looked upon as a brother from another planet, like the rest of you, I have my fears and worries. It’s so easy to time travel to the past or back to the future, and get lost in those projections. How does one not get stuck in the intersections between the voices of trauma, resentful bitterness, rose colored glasses or nostalgia? Our suffering is in the clinging for one state over another. We wish this misery would be over or this happiness would never end.

Thanksgiving is no exception, as it is a holiday that serves up a feast of mixed messages and conflictual emotional memories. Personally, Thanksgiving is my favorite mainstream holiday. But I don’t deify or demonize the Pilgrims or minimize, gloss over the genocide of Indigenous people, ignore the existence of this land before the current occupation, nor the slavery that existed then or the other forms of oppression that exist today. An authentic look at this holiday and still feeling gratitude for its totality is a lot to digest, and get be both bitter and sweet to the taste, depending on your attitude.

Admittedly, I welcome the relatively less emphasized market driven consumerism of Thanksgiving – at least compared to some others. Specifically, I’m learning to tame my own gluttony at the annual feast without defiance. Every year I walk away from the table pleasantly full even after eating less than the year before. It has taken me a long time to realize that softening the will is not about going hungry or selling out. Thankfully, I’m turning a corner on that front.

Beyond its polarities, Thanksgiving is about the intrinsic spiritual alchemy of being mindful of having an attitude of gratitude for what is and the gift of presence. When we are in this place, we win on the inside and everyone one around us is impacted in a positive light. And yet, this real realm of personal discovery is not without a new world of anxiety because anxiety is a fact of life. When I think of Thanksgiving and Turkey, I think about the spirit of shared blessings that feathers a ripple effect of reciprocity.

In my own experiences with anxiety, I would be lying if I denied that they sometimes ruffle my feathers. These days, my own OCD experiences have evolved (or devolved depending on your perspective ) into being mindful of my breath, and cracking puns – sometimes at oft color times of heightened nervous woodland creature energy. In fact, the puns fall quite autumnatically like acorns during this time of year or rise like the tides on Full Moons especially. Like most people, it’s pretty impossible to not find myself preoccupied with much ado about nothing, if only fleetingly, in the theatre of life. The trick is to not hang out too long in that space or chase thoughts with overly indulgent reactions.

For certain, you could charge me with being guilty of a coyote like subtle (or not so subtle) wry grin on my face, even when I should mirror a more serious affect or otherwise apropos facial expression to match the situation at hand. It’s hard not to be provocative when you are naturally wired for having a propensity for the theatrics or know when to say when during the interplay between wisdom and folly. Tricks that were once treats no longer work anymore. Some call it growing up, while others say they’re younger than that now. Awakening is a process, as is supporting the awakening of others.

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Truth is, it isn’t always easy to differentiate between where con artistry begins and true wizardry ends – whether it’s working with adolescent girls or my own observational self-examination. But that’s OK, communication with Blue Jay reveals a general sense of acceptance and non-judgement in this area of personal growth. Besides, the royal road to authenticity is paved with fool’s gold in footsteps that have a tendency to fake it till you make it. Walking the line isn’t about being perfect. It’s about floundering, making mistakes and failure. These are elements of Growth Mindset. Nature is such a powerful teacher. That’s why psychologists agree that the best laboratory is the naturalistic environment. May we embrace our imperfections.

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These days, it can be more challenging for the Ordinary Joe not to get sucked into his own alternate realities, escapism, carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders or the dramas of others. The dying stages of the systemic patriarchy makes it hard not to do that. You all know about the impact of FOMO, peer pressure, social media profiling, and the garden variety of distractions. Today’s outer distractions have more bells and whistles. But at the end of the day, we have the power to turn the background noise into bells of mindfulness.

Remember that the world is a reflection of art imitating reality. Today, it’s probably easier to play the blame game, considering the myriad of conveniently inconvenient excuses flitting out and about in this world of 10,000 things. We are conditioned to point our fingers at targets of our own suffering. Alas, we shop around at those deeply engrained establishments, fixed ideas notwithstanding!

Learning to be human has never been easy. We all need good strategies.

But in this pandemic, have we forgotten how to be human in the social environment?

Speaking of Target, if you find yourself in a situation where there isn’t a prepackaged box readily available on the shelf, is this an apparent invitation for throwing a public temper tantrum, having a panic attack over the missing object of affection, serial text people to come to your rescue, or perhaps indulging in a private negative self talk episode?

Might these moments otherwise be worth self reflecting on as an attachment to a desired outcome, and could instead become a playground for spiritual growth?

Are they repetitive, unconscious behavioral traps or an awakened state of awareness that are just waiting to come out and play in the sunlight?

The reality is that we have to work at our wellbeing, mental health and social emotional learning. Yeah, you can argue that you have the right to be rude to a grocery store worker because they mixed up your items and placed them in the wrong bags, cite that you are a paying customer, and therefore justified in the attitudinal feast you served up to the grocer. However, that is an entitled position that eats a hearty plate of suffering by being part of the problem rather than part of the solution. Being entitled is a form of victim consciousness. You lose from that perspective because it is a recipe for more suffering.

For example, just look at the profiteering of this nuance in the popular culture and so called alternative media forms. There’s a romantic libertarian defund the police sentiment, a welfare state of dirty energy, liberal greed in the marketplace and conservative fighting over the people’s right to quality healthcare, which includes preventative care, mental health and substance abuse/addictions treatment. There’s a constant slugfest between philosophical differences or belief systems. Whether it’s Critical Race Theory or Civil Rights Team – some people are triggered by the CRT acronym. Take the fight out of it folks. Give inner peace a chance. There is enough and we can all win.

Instead of challenging, connect. We need connection now more than ever on our Planet today. It would be wonderful if Divine Intervention happens. I do believe a faction of extraterrestrial beings and highly spiritually evolved multidimensional beings are concerned about our survival and are doing their part to support our transformation, and probably planning something more exponential as we speak. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if the powers that be are plotting and scheming to counter that with commercials that attempt to hoodwink us into buying into a feigned invasion that fronts as an alien takeover. But in reality, the Military-Industrial Complex’s potential smoke and mirrors campaign will likely be orchestrated and manufactured from our own advanced engineering of foreign technology. We shall see.

What can each of us do in the meantime?

What kind of energy do we want to attract?

Clean energy on the inside is a parallel process to clean energy on the outside. Developing a meditation practice helps bring equanimity into your soul and the collective soul respectively. If you don’t see empathy in the world around you, become the change of empathy you want to see in the world by seeing it in your mind and feeling it in your heart. See it in yourself and see it in others, especially in your so called enemies. Some have to work harder at this than others.

Connect with the animals, nature and your fellow humans. Connect with you Higher Self. Connect with Spirit. Connect with your Spirit Guides. They all want to connect with you, and we all need connection.

We humans cannot afford to take each other for granted anymore or view ourselves as separate from each another. The only real way out of our suffering is through a meditative mindful way of life. It is only through this inner work that we can heal our soul wounds that manifest in our outer world. At the end of the day, everything else is just cosmetic. Easier said than done.

Awareness is the first step. We have to acknowledge whatever it is that needs to change by starting with ourselves. That takes courage because, in doing so, you will experience what psychologists call cognitive dissonance. Through meditation, we can learn to sit with the tension of opposites, or the interplay between what we call preferred and non-preferred experiences.

Remember, we are all mirrors for each other and the signs are there for you to see if you take notice. I have a coworker friend that just bought a new sweatshirt that says, “HEAVILY MEDITATED.” That’s a nice playful, light-hearted mantra to sport on an article of clothing.

Together, may we learn to live in the present moment, regardless of how unknown or uncertain it is. Besides, there are no guarantees, so we might as well come down into our souls and take up residence in the here and now. May we give thanks for that.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone,

Ari

One thought on “Spirit of Thanksgiving Revisited

  1. Ah Ari, you have served up a cornucopia of concepts and perspectives once again. Thank you for this feast of ideas and the recommendation to seek clean energy inside and out. I support your reminder to live in the present moment and meditate on the many blessings it offers us right now. May we be thankful, joyful and awake. Love you Ari.

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