Here in the United States, November brings Thanksgiving, our holiday of giving thanks for our abundant blessings and sharing a hearty meal with our closest friends and family. There is no pressure of gift giving or holiday parties, save a last minute run to the crowded grocery store for some last minute forgotten ingredient for a much beloved recipe....and usually no one notices and the sheer joy of relaxing and chomping on all the glorious foods and desserts of the season usually makes up for any stress.
Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday....and not just for the tradition of the big fat meal....but simply for a day of complete relaxation and being mindful of whatever blessings that I have been afforded. Even at the very lowest times in my life, when there was no family close and I was in the midst of a very painful time in my life, I spent Thanksgiving going through a fast food drive-through and eating my Thanksgiving Dinner of french fries and grease-laden food on a beautiful beach and feeling the wind in my hair and the sand in my toes and watching the waves. There was no turkey or stuffing but there was joy and happiness and I was truly reminded of the moment, of how thankful I was, just then, to be there.
I am constantly reminded daily, of the many blessings in my life, despite any stressfulness or frustrations or sadness. There is just SO. MUCH. GOOD. all the time...and this time of year always reminds me of these things. No matter the circumstance, I can always think about something else when I'm feeling sour, or ornery and think, WOW, what about that!? How amazing is it that I have that in my life right now????
Back in this post in the comments, I mentioned I was reading this book. I've reached a critical chapter for me, one of those chapters (since I read for 15-20 minutes before I go to sleep) that I re-read again the next day and mull it over and perhaps re-read it a third time so it sinks in to my thick noggin.
This chapter has to do with helpful affirmations, creativity, and self-esteem. This is the very first affirmation:
1. I am an artist, and I have chosen a life that will give me pleasure in all of the things I make. I owe others and myself for my good fortune in coming to this life, and I will try to show thanks in my work.
~Peggy Hadden, The Artist's Quest for Inspiration.
How are you showing gratitude in your work?
This month's Art Spark is all about gratitude, have you entered yet?