Take On The Thanksgiving Day Challenge

holidays-2012I know, I know…it’s been alot. The news, the tweets, the Facebook commentaries and the incessant news soundbites. The political blogosphere has been ramped up since November 8th and I think it would do us all good to step away from the crazy-ness! For just one day, let it go. Here’s my challenge to you if you choose it:

The Thanksgiving Day Challenge

1. Do not check a device or phone more than five times the entire day.

2. Do not watch one news program.

3. Stay off of your computer for the entire day to avoid Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, etc.

Is your heart palpitating? Sweaty palms? It’s just for the day, and I know you can do it. Here are some suggestions to replace the noise:

  1. Give love and thanks for a family member (or members if you’re that lucky) with you today.
  2. If you have difficulty giving thanks for family members, be thankful for a friend or friends that we choose as our family.
  3. Recognize the ongoing safety we feel that we take for granted–in this moment, our country is not experiencing war in the United States–we go to bed feeling relatively calm, safe and protected which is miraculous when you look around at the rest of our world.
  4. Give thanks to our soliders who are all over the world fighting in the name of our people and our country–whether we agree or not, they are risking their lives every day with bravery and courage that is extraordinary.
  5. If you have delicious food prepared and eaten today, be grateful! In Cook County alone, 1 in 6 people – more than 807,000 men, women and children – are food insecure. Food insecure means they don’t know when or where they will receive their next meal. For those of you serving meals to food insecure people on Thanksgiving–thank you for doing the work and being conscious. We can use Thanksgiving as a way to become more aware of how we can help others in need.
  6. If you are reading this now, there’s a strong chance your health is robust. If it is, what a gift!
  7. If you are reading this right now and your health is not good, we can give thanks for this moment. This living, breathable moment is a gift.
  8. Finally, be as absolutely present and conscious on this day; of each step you take, each thought you have and each interaction you make. There is immense joy in living in each moment and being present to what’s in front of you. There is love right here within our reach (and without a device).

A wise woman friend of mine told me she uses Thanksgiving as her New Year–that it can be a beautiful day of reflection and an opportunity to start fresh. I love this. She is a person in my life that I met when I was going through cancer. For sure, she is one of the gifts that came from that big journey.

Difficult times gift us with the opportunity to pare down what’s really important. The photo above is my 2012 Thanksgiving, after being diagnosed a month earlier and already going through a bunch of chemo. As you see, no hair, but lots of love. And equally important–scrumptious homemade pies made by my husband, delicious wine to go with it and a whole lotta kisses and hugs from two little girls.

May you discover something new to give thanks for this Thanksgiving! Maybe it’s as simple as the present moment–a gift that comes from nixing the multi-tasking, ADD-intensifying use of devices,computers and television. Take on The Thanksgiving Day Challenge, encourage other to do the same and let us know how you do.

And may you have a beautiful holiday!


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