Myth: Gratitude, amongst the chaos of family gatherings, is an impossible feat.

Fact:  Gratitude amongst chaos can be difficult, yet will reap abundant peace.

Thanksgiving is a time of the year where we gather, whether that is with our tribe at Friendsgiving, a civil, quiet exchange with our parents, or a rambunctious screaming match with a larger than life family. This time of year has a way of reminding us how much families resemble magnets; they will always draw us close, despite our attempts to escape.

I hope that no matter what shape or form your family comes in, they are the type of magnet that pulls you tightly into their loving embrace. I hope you let them.

Thanksgiving creates a space for us to gather, give and reminisce.

We gather. This means to be fully present and show up. It means to drop our phones and our pretenses, and connect with the ones we love. We ought to huddle together like our lives depended on it, because those moments together in this hectic world are so precious and perhaps are life truly does depend on it.

We give ourselves and we give to others. Simply deciding to show up and connect with those we gather with means we give our time, our energy, and above all good things, our love. Thanksgiving is a season of sharing, whether that is as simple as passing the rolls or nuzzling your siblings. It’s sharing moments deeply. Because when the winter months hit, and it feels desolate, those moments we shared with our loved ones may be the only embers in the dark night.

We reminisce. We recount all our blessings by listing them on our hands, toes, and beyond. Because the truth of the matter is, I’ve been fortunate in this life to be given my hands, toes, and beyond. I hope you have too. I cannot thank my lucky stars enough for all that has been provided for me.

Who in your life are you gathering with, dropping the walls in order to let in?

What parts of yourself will you give?

What is your list of gratitudes? All those blessings, big or small, that you reminisce about?

My family has this tradition. We sit at our grand, wooden table devouring our mother’s heavenly made-from-scratch food, and each take a turn describing what we are grateful for. The tradition is simple, but I can assure you, it is not. You see, there is something acutely cathartic that happens when the trifecta of gather, give, and reminisce occurs. The moments move you. The words change you.

Usually in my family of five girls, there is a waterfall effect of shedded tears. One sister cries, then I cry. Then the next sister cries and so forth. You don’t even want to know what happens when the matriarch of our family starts crying! That usually only results in ten splotch eyes and ugly snorting sounds. Where one woman goes in my family, the others will follow.

I guess you can say we have big feelers. It’s not pretty, but it’s a wholesome feeling. It’s a moment where we pause, sitting at that grand, wood table and our hearts say, “Oh yes. This is what matters in this life.” Life is about love, pure and simple.

Create moments this season grounded in the spirit of gathering, sharing, and reminiscing. Tuck the memories deep in your heart. Remember that soft, peaceful feeling of love that starts with the words, I am grateful for...

Today I am grateful for my faith, without that I wouldn’t of been able to know everything would be okay making the biggest yet best career change of my life along with many other things. My husband, who no matter what has supported me, loved me and guided me through so many years (14 wow!). My family, they are the backbone of my life. Without them I don’t know where I would be. My sisters (who I know are family), but they are my best friends and how lucky am I that I get to have 3 best friends! My husbands family! It’s so nice having such a loving second family. My career, it’s something I thought was only just a dream and seemed so far away when I was in college. I don’t take one day of my career for granted. How blessed am I that I get to do what I love everyday?

What about you?

Be well beauties. I give thanks to you.

Shine on.

Shine on.