Home values continue to fall, the stock market is volatile and unemployment is at a record high. These are hard times. And life is hectic for all of us - especially around Thanksgiving, when we remember how our families celebrated in years past. Holiday images in the media can be seductive and exaggerated. Before you know it, you're rushing around and trying to conform to unrealistic expectations.
Perhaps you're worried that old family dynamics will surface as soon as you all get together. Will the cousins wonder why your 35-year-old son is moving back home? Or what if your mom's inquisitive nature scares off your daughter's new boyfriend?
Thanksgiving can be lots of fun. But it can also be about confronting old wounds, suffering through conversations with dysfunctional relatives or counting the minutes until it's over. And this can lead to emotional overload.
This year just try to relax and not focus on the negatives. When you have bad feelings, think about gratitude. It's impossible to have incompatible feelings simultaneously. You'll discover that you can't be upset and thankful at the same time. Shifting to gratitude elevates your body and spirit. Your mind and heart can't help but follow.
Sometimes changing toward gratitude can prompt you to feel more of it. In fact, as you're more conscious of appreciation, you become more aware of your blessings. When deciding what to bring to the Thanksgiving table, how about a hearty dish of gratitude?
I'll get the ball rolling - here are a few things I'm thankful for:
My husband's support
The smile of a grandchild
The people I love
My good fortune
Why not share your gratitude when your family and friends gather around the Thanksgiving table and then invite them to join you? Our thanks to you, dear readers - your presence here motivates and inspires us!