Forced thankfulness and the real deal

Born and raised in Iceland, the turkey holiday was something I was only vaguely aware of until moving here. Then, spending my first few Thanksgivings at a dropzone surrounded by other foreign skydivers for the most part, I probably got a little distorted view of the whole event. It was kind of given that we were thankful and happy – we were out doing what we loved the most, jumping out of airplanes with friends in sunny Florida.

Nobody counted down the days on Facebook with “I’m blessed for this or thankful for that” status updates, because there was no Facebook or Twitter.  Imagine that.  I can’t put a finger on why those updates annoy me a little. Maybe because they feel obligatory and fake, rather than true thankfulness. Thing is, I have a lot to be grateful for – and I am.  Rather than a 20 second status update or tweet, it’s a feeling that I try to carry with me. It’s that feeling or reservoir that I draw from when I get bumped with a shopping cart at the supermarket and the wench doesn’t say I’m sorry.  Or when some jackass steals the parking spot I’d been so patiently waiting for. Or when one of the million little other things that are a part of this life come my way and try to rattle me. Or when people are being assholes. Or when I’m being one (yeah, that happens).  It’s then that I go within and see my happy jar overflowing with all kinds of blessings, big and small, and it reminds me that in the big scheme of things, it’s not worth getting upset about, and that I should make haste in getting my ass back to balance.

I guess it goes back to the yamas and niyamas, as most everything does. Ahimsa (non-violence), Santosa (contentment) and of course Svadhyaya (self-study) are the tools that year around keep me calm and composed in the midst of the fray, well, for the most part at least.

Namaste to all of you out there. Stay warm and fuzzy on the inside and outside. I hope you all spend the day with someone you cherish. My thoughts today will be with a friend just getting ready to welcome her son into this world. I’m really grateful that she has let me be a part of her journey and hope everything goes amazingly for her and the little one.

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