Being Grateful for Yourself

(this blog originally appeared in Tama’s “Trusting the Journey Times” newsletter. Do you get the newsletter? It’s free and will free you! www.ThisTimeIDance.com)

Some of you may be celebrating this Thanksgiving with warmth, laughter, hugs, turkey and pumpkin pie. Some of you may feel stranded, like the marble that rolled away from the group, stuck with the dust bunnies in outer space, abandoned under some old furniture. And some of you may feel stranded in broad daylight, surrounded by people, feeling invisible, or worse yet, as visible and broken as a car wreck on the side of the road, strangers gathering to gawk at the shattered glass.

For many, the holidays can bring up discomfort. They can be some weird checkpoint in life–where you find yourself comparing your entire life to the fantasies you have in your head of how your cousin, neighbor, or sister-in-law is pulling it off. Let me tell you something, no one is pulling this off. No one is spared challenge or confusion in this life. Everyone, consciously or not, is seeking to find peace, comfort and communion with their own soul.

Anyway, I don’t know about you, but in holidays past, I’ve had the feeling of standing in some bad, funky, psychodrama, and feeling as though my head is a big pink balloon floating away from my neck and onto the ceiling.  And that’s before I touched the alcohol. There are those easy breezy questions people ask, stuffing celery sticks and chips into their mouth. “So what you doing these days?” they ask, and you stand there paralyzed, thinking to yourself, “Well, if I knew what I was doing, do you really think I’d have 200 self-help books, a coach, a therapist, a Vedic astrologer, and a medium?” Sometimes, I find myself itching to answer these questions with, “Could you be more specific?  When you say, what are you doing these days, do you mean on the astral planes or do you mean in physical time?” Of course if you’re lucky, some celebrity may have died recently and you can pick apart their lives and spare your own.

So whatever your holiday experience might be, this Thanksgiving Day, I’m inviting you to my table. It’s a table of soul, and it’s big. It includes all of us, even those of you around the world, who don’t celebrate this tradition. Thanksgiving is about gratitude, and realizing the bounty all around you. If you’re reading this newsletter, you’re part of my harvest. I am so grateful for you, and everyone around this amazing globe who is walking a new path in the world, consciously exploring what life means to them, and choosing to live with more love and intention than they did before. It’s a big table, I tell you, and there’s a party going on.

Here’s what goes on at the table of soul. You suspend self-judgment for a day, and take in everything wonderful about you. You bask in gratitude for your absolutely gorgeous self. It’s not easy to be creating a joyful, passionate, and inspired life. And it’s even harder to be making choices that lead to an uninspired one. So wherever you find yourself on that spectrum, please take a moment, if not many, to muster up some gratitude for your choices, lessons, and strength this year. Let’s face it, it hasn’t always been easy living in your own skin and daring to honor your instincts, but you’re still trying. And that’s everything.

Let me tell you, just a tiny bit of why I’m grateful for you.

I’m grateful to you for all those times you gave yourself another chance at new life, showed up at a workshop, a network meeting, a party, a blind date, or even another day, when the gray one inside mumbled or hissed, “I don’t feel like it.” I’m grateful for the times you chose kindness over defensiveness, and the times you couldn’t do it, but you wanted to. I’m grateful to you for exploring how to live your dreams, even when you’re not sure what they are on some days– or if you will ever find your own true place in the world. I am grateful to the part of you that  knows you have a throne, garden, or a stadium in the world, and knows you are here to make a difference, and that you embody a light like no other– because you do.

I am grateful to you for the dignity it takes to own your values when you live in a culture that advertises the leg room of the interior of an SUV as freedom, and at the same time makes fun of meditation and personal growth.

I am grateful to you for not giving up on your dreams even when they seem fragile or bruised, silly, or far-fetched, because everything that has ever changed the nature of the world began with something that was sideways and unpredictable.  I am grateful to you for siding with the part of yourself that knows you have love and excellence and still believes, even if you haven’t sold your novel yet, or filled your coaching practice, because “the one who believes” is a conscious steward of your gifts, and is connected to the bigger truth which is still emerging.

I am most grateful to you, for every time you’ve put an arm around your own shoulders and said “Hey, it’s going to be okay. You have aces in your hand you don’t know about. You have another day. You have a loving God that loves you through and through and through, and you have me, and I’m going to try harder than ever before to be on your side more often.”I could go on…but you get the idea.

Remember to be grateful for other people, too. They are making the best choices they know how, and sometimes they are frightened and covering it up with shopping or alcohol or bragging about their daughter. Use your ex-ray loving eyes, if you can, and look past their clever camouflage and beam some love into their tiny frightened hearts. You don’t need them to respond. Just silently invite them to our table, because everybody is welcome here.  Pass the peas please. And pass the peace.

With my love and blessings,

Tama