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The Good Life : Abolish Thanksgiving as a holiday?
December 08, 2011 Lisa Betz   

Read more by Lisa Betz

Lisa Betz
Citizen Editor

It may be a little late for this but I read something recently that got me to thinking about how we celebrate Thanksgiving.

Traditionally, we greatly anticipate that day of rest and relaxation,of quality time to spend with family, a feast fit for royalty, a nap, and perhaps some good football.

Some families ritualize the thankful part of the holiday but many do not. For instance, the Thanksgiving I spent this year with cousins in Casper was pretty much like any meal. There was nothing special about it except that we had traditional dishes and we were all together. I missed taking part in that moment when everyone goes round the table and states what it is they are thankful for; however, my orphan Thanksgivings have taught me to accept that when it comes to family holidays, when in Rome…so I went with the flow.

One of my inspirations in life is Neale Donald Walsch, author of the “Conversations with God” trilogy. He, like so many others, offers a bit of wisdom each day on Facebook. He also provides a blog that I sometimes read.

Over the weekend, I read his blog about Thanksgiving. It was the title that caught my eye, "Abolish Thanksgiving as a Holiday." Oh no, I thought, not Neale too. I assumed he was going to talk about how evil the holiday is, how its roots are false, that really, the pilgrims deserved to die because the Native Americans' kindness to them sealed the tragic fate of native peoples in North America. I really admire Walsch's point of view, so I continued reading but with some trepidation.

To my surprise, he suggested that Thanksgiving should cease to be a holiday and be known instead as a "holy" day. I liked the sound of that and kept reading. Walsch urged his readers to consider making Thanksgiving the most holy day on the calendar and rather than being grateful for the good things we have experienced over the past year, to go round the table and verbally express our gratitude for the things coming to us in the future as though we had already experienced them.

I liked that a lot.

I have long been a proponent of the idea that we create our own experiences; that we create our reality through the creative force of our thoughts, words and actions. We create a happy life or not. We create abundance or lack. We create our experiences through the cultivation of our attitude (thoughts), words and actions.

So I like the idea of creating our future with a vocal, public expression of gratitude for what we see coming to us in the future. Now that doesn't mean we have to forget the past or that we should ignore the gratitude we feel for good things in our already experienced year.

I simply think that if we are going to create the life we want, and experience the good things we dream about, why not behave as if they are already here!

It is a subtle shift but easy to make and what’s the harm? Too many people walk around with negative thoughts, such as, "nothing good ever happens to me" (and they’re right!) or "I'm not lucky, I never win anything" (and they’re right!) or "everything good happens to other people, not me" (you get the idea.

If you don’t believe me that people create their own reality, think of that person you know who seems to have a dark cloud hanging over them with calamity after calamity plaguing them. What’s their attitude like?

I issue a challenge to each of you, let's try making Thanksgiving a "holy" day each day and rather than being thankful for what we have already, let's take 10 minutes each morning to look into the future and visualize what we want to experience, then vocalize gratitude "as though it is already here."

You can do it, I know you can. As we say in the theatre world, suspend your disbelief. That means, pretend that it's real, forget the lights, the costumes, the seats of the theatre, everything that reminds you that this is a performance or a show and believe.

You do this every day of your life when you watch television, read a book or tell a story. We all have advanced imaginations developed through media and human interactions, so let's put those skills to work and make 10 minutes of each morning a holy moment to give gratitude for the good things we see in our future.

Here, I'll start: I am thankful for continued prosperity and health. I am thankful for increased readership and support of the Gering Citizen, for outstanding staff and joy in creating the paper each week. I am thankful for the kindnesses bestowed upon me by our community and individuals I've never even met. I am thankful for the beautiful people of Gering, who are inspired and focused on making Gering shine like a beacon on the prairie for arts, culture, beauty and goodness.

That wasn't so hard. And while I typed that, I visualized each thing as here, present and done. And guess what, my vocalization and visualization of these good things created a feeling inside that felt a lot like hopefulness and happiness. I created this and that is what I am experiencing now. And so as I go about my tasks this day, I carry that flame of hope and inspiration with me. It infuses everything I do today with that spirited creative energy.

And that dear readers, is how I truly see this beautiful town of Gering. Enough with the naysayers and the can’ts, won’ts and nevers. How’s that working for you?

Now it's your turn. Are you willing to take 10 minutes out of each morning to create your future as you want to experience it? You’re doing it unconsciously anyway, why not try it consciously? Together we can create a beautiful future collectively and individually.

What reality will you create?
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