Volume 11, Issue 11 | November 2022

Greetings!


This November I find myself having difficulty wishing others “Happy Thanksgiving!”


It’s not because I myself am not thankful and am projecting that attitude outward—I most certainly am grateful and appreciative. But with my increasing awareness about the other story about Thanksgiving not taught to many generations of Americans, myself included, my heart aches over the oppression and injustice heaped upon Native Americans.


The mainstream version of the Thanksgiving story paints a picture of courageous, Christian settlers, braving the perils of the New World and with the help of some friendly Natives, finding a way to make a new life for themselves. But for many Native Americans, Thanksgiving is a day of mourning and protest since it commemorates the arrival of settlers in North America and the centuries of oppression and genocide that followed.


Organized by the United American Indians of New England in 1970, the fourth Thursday in November (Thanksgiving) is recognized as the National Day of Mourning for Native Americans and their allies. It’s a day of remembrance, spiritual connection, and protest against the racism and oppression that Native Americans have suffered and continue to experience today.


While some Native Americans have chosen to reject the Thanksgiving holiday entirely, many embrace the positive messages of the holiday and choose to put aside thoughts about the complex history of this day. This is because the idea of giving thanks is central to Native heritage and culture, and in this way, Thanksgiving is simply a chance to appreciate the good things of life like family, community, and the riches of the land.


It is my prayer that individuals who are fear-based and crying out for love but project their insecurity into acts of racism, oppression, and violence towards a variety of groups (based on race, gender identification, faith tradition, etc.) get the help and love they need—and wake up! We are all humans; we bleed the same red blood, we all yearn for love and appreciation. We are One.


On to the topic of the uplifting attitude of gratitude…


My dear spiritual coach recently noted how she not only feels gratitude, but appreciation as well. She said they felt different but had some difficulty using words trying to explain the difference. It got me thinking, and into research mode. Of course, it was no coincidence that I came upon the following Unity writing in the publication “40 Days of Thankful Living”:


“In investment terms, “appreciate” means to increase in value. We can make an investment in other people by appreciating them. They will feel better about themselves, and they will then look for ways to share their increased value with others. When we appreciate other people, we make an extra effort for them; we try a little harder to help them achieve their goals.”

I am Thankful for the Power of Appreciation, Wednesday, November 9, 2022


Below is a summary of what I found through my research that resonates with me:


  • Appreciation is acknowledging the value and meaning of something: an event, a person, a behavior, an object, and, feeling a positive emotional connection to it. Appreciation involves both cognition and affect.


  • Gratitude is more affective than appreciation. It is being aware of a benefit received (gifts, perceived efforts, sacrifices/actions on one’s behalf) and feeling thankful to someone for it. It is a positive emotion directed to a benefactor for some perceived, intentional benefit.


On this fourth Thursday of November, and every day, I am grateful and express appreciation to all beings and to Spirit for my breath, my life, and my blessings. May you do the same, knowing Love is all there is, and We are One.

_____________________________________


In the song Thankful, we are reminded that even though the world needs so much more, there is still so much to be thankful for. This inspirational song was composed by Carole Bayer Sager, David Foster, and Richard Page, and recorded by Josh Groban in 2007.

Josh Groban, "Thankful"
Blessings,



Inspiration and Contemplation

Words of President John F. Kennedy


The quote below is from John F. Kennedy’s proclamation for Thanksgiving Day, 1963 issued on November 4, designating November 28 as a day of national thanksgiving.


Tragically, President Kennedy was laid to rest before that day.

Spirituality

Three Essential Practices for Gratitude

Deepak Chopra, MD states “Experiencing gratitude is one of the most effective ways of getting in touch with your soul.”


He offers the following essential practices for gratitude.


Keep a Gratitude Journal

One of the earliest advocates of a daily gratitude practice was Dutch philosopher Rabbi Baruch Spinoza. In the seventeenth century, he suggested that each day for a month, we ask ourselves the following three questions:


  • Who or what inspired me today?
  • What brought me happiness today?
  • What brought me comfort and deep peace today?


This practice can help you find more meaning and joy in your life and lead you to experience profound inner transformation.

Write a Thank-You Letter

Make a list of at least five people who have had a profound impact on your life. Choose one and write a thank-you letter expressing gratitude for all the gifts you’ve received from that person.


Often the recipient of the letter has had no idea what an impact he or she had on another person and are deeply touched by the expression of such authentic gratitude.


While you may often thank people verbally, the written word can often be even more powerful because someone has taken the time to write their appreciation. A letter can also be re-read and treasured, creating joy and love that will continue to ripple out into the universe.


Take a Gratitude Walk

This is a particularly useful practice when you’re feeling down or filled with stress and worry. Set aside 20 minutes (or longer if you can).


As you walk, consider the many things for which you are grateful.


Pay attention to your senses—everything you’re seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, and maybe even tasting—and see how many things you can find to feel grateful for. This is a powerful way to shift your mood and open to the flow of abundance that always surrounds you.


To read the full article by Dr. Chopra in Spirituality& Health.

People Making a Difference

Gas Station Chain Dropping Prices for Thanksgiving Week

Sheetz is a family-owned convenience store chain based in Altoona, PA. For more than 60 years, their mission has been to meet the needs of customers on the go; their commitment to their customers, employees, and the communities in which they operate has not changed over these many years. As they expanded the number of stores over time, they also added gasoline pumps. Sheetz has 600+ locations across six states: Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio and North Carolina.


This Thanksgiving week through Monday, November 28, the chain is discounting the price of a gallon of unleaded 88 gas to $1.99. According to tracking by AAA, the national average price is currently $3.66 per gallon. Even the cheapest state for gas, Texas, still has an average of $2.99.


“Sheetz is a family-owned and -operated company, and at the heart of everything we do is giving back to our customers and the communities we reside in,” said Travis Sheetz, president and CEO of the company, in a press release. “We hope this price reduction provides much-needed relief at the pump for our customers as they travel for the Thanksgiving holiday.”


"One of life's gifts is that each of us, no matter how tired and downtrodden, finds reasons for thankfulness." – J. Robert Maskin


"Let the thankful heart sweep through the day, and as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.” – Henry Ward Beecher


Wishing you many days of happy giving of thanks.

Blessings,



Let us not forget!

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Joyce S. Kaye, MSW

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You, Me, and Spirit


I was a devout atheist until 32 years ago when I "came to believe" in a Power greater than myself. Thanks to hearing the novel idea (well, at least it was to me!) that one could choose their own concept of God—and name too (Spirit, The Great Mystery, All That Is, etc.)—and the workings of synchronicity, I embarked on a new way of thinking, a new way of living, a new way of being in the world and with others. It impacted all aspects of my life and relationships.


Since that time of commencing my conscious spiritual journey, I have endeavored to remember The Presence in all that is, all whom I meet, and all that I do—including working with clients in my own business, academia, and the corporate world. I strive to be of service and to nurture the human spirit in all environments.