Understanding the Spirit of Thanksgiving

True Gratitude is a very Healing Emotion

Winter has arrived with nighttime temperatures up here on the hill, dropping down to 24 and 26 degrees. But then it got warm again and I was convinced it was still fall and not (as I feared) winter and I am left with gratitude. My old bones don’t like the cold weather, is why this winter I am playing snowbird and visiting with my sister in Florida and my son in Texas for the deep winter months.

Right now, though, it is beautiful here, and the weather is mild and the world has a golden glow.

indian-on-boardThe Origins of Thanksgiving

No Americans were more impoverished than the Pilgrims who first celebrated Thanksgiving. It is interesting to contrast their time with our time, for they had far less food, less security and less freedom than we have today.

If we go into a supermarket, or a store like Trader Joe’s, with its tantalizing tastes and smells, we cannot but give thanks for the abundance of our great food choices.

On that very first Thanksgiving celebration in 1621, the celebration was called to acknowledge a good harvest. They were also celebrating that they had made it through a very hard first year in America, where 46 out of the original 102 settlers had died.

At this first Thanksgiving celebration, it was the Colonists and the Indians together, who shared a joyful feast, celebrating the harvest in friendship and accord. Most of the food for the feast was donated by the Indians, (Native Americans) who even brought in five more deer when it seemed the food was running out. There was no “They” and “We” it was all about “Us”; a glorious sharing.

But it didn’t last.

What is it in this world that we find it so hard to live with and treat people of different ethnicity or religion as being bad or inferior?

Today we struggle with the idea that Islam is bad, that Muslims are different and it is true and demonstrable that the aggressive elements in this growing religion, commit ugly acts of violence bringing on our fear. And so we generalize and think of all Muslims as bad. It takes a good heart to develop the habit of NOT descending into a generality, of not getting trapped into hating.

And so it was in those early days when America was beginning that all Indians became bad. It was the “religious” Separatists who called the good Indians, heathens and saw themselves as superior instead of just different. It took but a single generation before their children and grandchildren were killing each other. We can correctly say that Thanksgiving’s early beginnings were decidedly off-color!

Faith and Gratitude

The grateful mind expects good things; and the strong expectation of the good that is to come is closely akin to Faith.

It is a simple truth that one attracts those things on which the mind dwells. It may be a new thought, or it may be something instinctively known, that gratitude brings greater harmony with the creative energies of the universe.

Let’s remember this as we get together with family and give thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving to You!

Young Indians Giving Thanks

American Indian Heritage Month – November

Since 1900, many have sought to recognize the great influence American Indians have had on the history, cultural development, and continuing growth of the U.S. Various dates and weeks were acknowledged until 1976, when Congress authorized a week in October as Native American Awareness Week. Finally, in 1990, the month of November was chosen because it is traditionally a time when many American Indians gather for fall harvest festivals, world-renewal ceremonies, and powwows.

Health Tips for the Month

All about Pumpkins

Did you know?

  • Pumpkins are rich in Vitamin A, which aids your vision. So no need to feel guilty.
  • Pumpkin seeds can help your heart. They can reduce LDL or “bad” cholesterol.
  • Pumpkins have the antioxidant beta-carotene, which plays well in cancer prevention, according to the National Cancer Institute.
  • Similarly, the beta-carotene found in pumpkins helps you to keep your skin wrinkle free.
  • Last, but not least, pumpkin seeds are rich in the amino acid, tryptophan, which produces serotonin, and is a mood enhancer. Is this why we all enjoy our Thanksgiving Dinner with pumpkins so very much?

 

Quote for the Month

We need to take back ownership of our bodies and minds.

Open your heart and soul to the Great Spirit

Give constant thanks to the Great Spirit for each new day.

All life is sacred; treat all beings with respect

Honor your relations

The Earth is our Mother, take care of her

Do what needs to be done for the good of all

Take from the Earth what is needed and nothing more

Speak the truth; but only of the good in others

Follow the rhythms of nature; rise and retire with the sun

Enjoy life’s journey and leave no tracks.

(This poem is known as the Indian Ten Commandments)
(Share with those you love)

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