Setting some time aside for reflection and self-assessment is important to create a thankful space in your heart.
This blog will focus on a few gratitude rituals that you can practice on your own or as a family to cultivate a good mood and a thankful soul this Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is way more than a good excuse to fill our bellies.
By the way, if you are still unsure on what to cook today and want to avoid the annoying annual bloating, check my Ayurvedic Thanksgiving Tips and Recipes.
But, yes. This is a time we should devote for giving thanks.
For loving people harder.
For not taking anything — especially health and love — for granted.
Ayurveda considers our mindset an important part of our healing process.
If you are feeling like something is lacking, stressed, or apathetic about life, you need to do one — or all — gratitude ritual(s).
Transforming our mindset to one that genuinely feels abundance, prosperity, and exuberance is life-changing. That’s when the magic, real magic, starts to happen.
Dreams and goals materialize at that moment.
Relationships flourish. Just because we stop focusing on people’s shortcomings. And instead, we center our attention, our most powerful currency, in their virtues and talents.
Life simply flows.
These gratitude rituals aim at making us feel complete and whole.
Because we are.
Gratitude Ritual #1
Dream of Thanks
I recommend this ritual to feel blessed and embrace a deeper sense of gratitude towards your loved ones. It can also help you mend relationship issues, first in your mind and then in real life.
We all have that one person we love but, with whom we have trouble getting along.
Every so often, that might be because we are expecting them to be — well, you know, … perfect. A colossal, impossible-to-reach task.
Or maybe it is because we want to be perfect for them. A heavy burden on our shoulders that denies us the opportunity to show them who we truly are. Sadly, even if we don’t recognize it now, restricting our natural tendencies only ends up in fostering resentment.
In both cases, the image of that special person has been distorted in our mind.
Only by seeing them in their true, beautiful colors can we finally let them love us, and we can love them.
- Thoughtfully consider a space in your home, where there is a sense of serenity and beauty. Early in the morning, when everybody is still asleep, is best to avoid any interruptions.
- Grab a blanket and some cushions
- Light an incense that helps calm your mind: Sandalwood, Jasmine, Rose, or Sambrani are wonderful.
- Sit comfortably or lay down
- Think of that special person, but imagine him/her as a 5-year-old.
- Forgive them if they did something to you, or ask for forgiveness if you feel like it. Tell them how much you love them and want to protect them. Feel a growing sensation of gratitude running through your body, in honor to this person. Hug this little kid who is doing his/her best to walk this life with you.
- Rest in that beautiful, positive rejuvenating, and fulfilling sensation.
Gratitude Ritual #2
Internal alchemy is possible with this ritual.
Especially when we feel stuck in life, going through a divorce, still in the process of healing from a disease, or not living our best moment in our careers, feeling grateful for what we have might be more challenging.
This ritual is for those that still find it hard to see the good in the bad.
- Seek a serene place at home and find a journal.
- Sit down comfortably and place your hands on your heart chakra, in the middle of your chest, in a pray position.
- Think of those things you want to change. Those aspects that make you sad and uncomfortable. Now, write them down in your journal.
- It is time to let them go. Set fire to the piece of paper and let those things that trouble you disappear.
- Sit again, with a tall, straight spine, and exhale completely. Inhale slowly through both nostrils, then sharply exhale (again out of your nose) while pulling your navel in toward your spine. The exhalation is short and quick, but very active, while the inhalation is short and passive.
- Think now of what is left in your life and that you love. Your body, your family, and friends, your capacity of transformation…
- Write those things down in your journal, but keep the list close to you going forward on your desk or bed side table.
- Raise your hands to the sky, offering your gratitude as an uplifted prayer. Then bow your head, and give gratitude for your precious life.
- Open your heart. Place your hands on your heart chakra again, and dance freely, letting go what doesn’t serve you anymore and welcoming thankfulness and appreciation.
*Note: Every night before you go to bed, write one to three positive things you are grateful for. Keeping the journal in a visible place will help you remember and establish this healing ritual.
Gratitude Ritual #3
A Thankful Thanksgiving
Try a new experience with your family this thanksgiving by writing each person you will see later today a letter.
It doesn’t have to be super long or anything.
Just make sure that you express how much they mean to you.
- Think of your family and friends and the ways each of them have helped you, loved you, supported you, or just listened to you when you most needed them.
- Write a heart-felt letter to each of them. It could be as short as a note, or as long as you want.
- Read the letter aloud at Thanksgiving dinner, if you feel comfortable, or privately to just that person. Notice their reaction and embrace the positive feelings. They will be positively shocked.
- Reinforce the feelings by telling them how genuine your words were.
- Hug or kiss. Fill your heart with gratitude and love.
*Note: At the dinner table, before having the first sip of wine, encourage everybody to share something they are thankful for in their lives.
Gratitude Ritual #4
Get yourself a beautiful gratitude notebook and journal daily what makes you feel blessed.
Be as specific as possible.
These are some prompts you could use to get started:
- Something I love about myself is …
- I am excited for …
- I loved the weather today because …
- I am very proud of me today because …
- I feel blessed to be home because …
- Something that made me laugh today was …
- I appreciate that my body allowed me to …
- I am thankful to have known …
- My favorite childhood memory is …
- The littlest thing that made me smile today was …
- The most recent thing I noticed that made me the happiest was …
This holiday is a reminder of how fortunate we are.
Take inventory of what is going well and be thankful for that.
Magnify the gratitude feelings, and make it a habit of your heart to feel them.