EDITOR’S NOTE: Please welcome our newest Columnist, Heather Ace Adams! Heather’s roots in spiritual work began in 2015 with the planning of a small weekend meditation retreat. This would turn her course from being a stand up comedian and wedding planner to a spiritual healer and retreat planner. She will be contributing her unique thoughts to us via a regular column:
By Heather Ace Adams
Thanksgiving 2020 has proven to be as controversial as one can remember. CDC guidelines are urging extended families to abstain from gathering. Our conflicting perspectives can create tense environments that have everyone walking on eggshells. And, most poignantly, more people are refusing to ignore the painful truth of the atrocities committed against the Native American people and the harm and injustice that lasts to this day.
So then, how can we approach this week in the spirit of peace, growth and healing?
By doing our best to practice gratitude! When we choose to focus on what we’re grateful for instead of what we don’t have we instantly tap into a richer life and honor the lives of those less fortunate. Check out some tips below to plant seeds of gratitude throughout your week:
- Make A List: Grab a pen and paper or your journal and take 5-10 minutes to list things you’re grateful for. Let your list range from the small (I’m thankful for my favorite coffee mug) to the large (I’m thankful I know where my next meal is coming from). Taking the time to spotlight what you’re grateful for makes a lovely morning meditation as well as a nourishing group activity for family & friend gatherings both virtual and in person.
- Look To The Children: Children are rarely weighed down by the physical and emotional aches and pains that each year of life serves. Kids find wonder and humor in the littlest of things, their curiosity never ceases! Take a note from the young ones and stay aware for moments you can revel in a simple joy like licking the spoon while baking, getting caught in the rain, marveling at a mushroom cluster or giggling at a silly joke.
- Spend Time in Nature: As we run around with our busy lives the trees remain unhurried, slowly, reliably changing through the seasons and weathering storms and sunshine. By momentarily detaching from the endless To Do List we find instant calm in the beauty and life lessons that our environment can provide. Look up at a tree, soak in the example of its resilience and take three deep breaths in and out through your nose.
- Say Thank You: Plant seeds of gratitude by saying thank you more often. Scan through the support or kindness you’ve received lately. Is there someone you could bless with a Thank You text, post card or phone call? Next time you’re in the check out line, receiving a package or on the phone with customer service, practice being vocal about your appreciation.
- Give Back: Giving back signals to your mind, body and soul that you have and are enough, providing a deeply sensed calm and stability. Look for ways you can support communities less fortunate than you by volunteering or donating food, clothes or time. Giving back could also look like picking up litter, tipping a little extra and making sure to support your local, small businesses whenever you can.
- Bonus Gratitude Practice: Text your zip code or city and state to 907-312-5085 to learn the name of the tribal lands you live on (offered as a free service by Code for Alaska and the Native Lands Database). By connecting with the ancestry of the original stewards of the land we honor their legacy and can send our heartfelt gratitude and support. In Burien we reside on Coast Salish and Duwamish land.
Heather Ace Adams is a meditation teacher and intuitive healer based in the Pacific Northwest. She was co-host of the popular podcast ‘Semi-Woo’ and has facilitated classes and workshops from small wilderness retreats to corporate conventions.
Find her at www.semiwoo.com or on social media @semi_woo.