Volume 10, Issue 11 | November 2021

You may have already heard my story about what Thanksgiving was like for me when I was a devout atheist, especially during my younger years when I still gathered together with my family of origin.

Thanksgiving was about food, pure and simple. It was an opportunity to indulge in my eating disorder and not stand out from everyone else since this once-a-year day gave everyone license to stuff their faces. And, from the spiritual standpoint… well, there was none! There was no prayer, no saying grace, no going around the table with each person sharing what they were thankful for or who they were thankful to. With that environment, without a higher power, I would think, Who is there to thank?... I’ve been the one to create my life (such as it is), thank you very much. Of course, I appreciated that my parents had provided me with the basic necessities of life, but somehow I knew that Thanksgiving was about something deeper than that.

Well, everything changed when I “came to believe.” Thanksgiving became a sacred day for me personally. Learning how to live life via a 12 Step program, my idea about people, the world, and myself shifted dramatically. Now I had a higher power and life was so much more fulfilling, I was a better person for the world; my eating disorder was a gateway to a new universe. And, not only did I see I’d not run my life solely by my own willpower, but I had had Some Thing to be thankful for and grateful to.

Gathering together for a Thanksgiving meal was not so much about the food anymore, but the people, my family of choice, and truly counting my blessings and expressing gratitude for others and my higher power, Spirit. It was about thanking Spirit that I had found Program; had found a way out of the insanity of my eating disorder; was now cultivating relationships where people really cared about me; and, so much more. There was so very much to be thankful for and grateful to! Also, I learned I could express gratitude through being of service, helping others—gratitude in action—a way to thank Spirit.

I have re-read my November 2020 newsletter, written about eight months into the COVID-19 pandemic and after Thanksgiving Day, but I had still expressed gratitude. In my closing, I stated, “I trust you enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday, one quite different from last year and probably the one to come. 2020 has flown by despite the circumstances we have had to endure, and now we find ourselves on the precipice of a year that was historic in a variety of ways.”

So much for my thinking Thanksgiving 2021 would be quite different from 2020! For me, the holiday is pretty much going to be like last year, alone at home, not surrounded by others. It seems that not much has changed regarding the pandemic as life is still far from being full of socialization in a ‘normal’ manner. Nevertheless, I feel gratitude and feel like celebrating! I do so enjoy my own company(!) and Spirit is always with me, not dependent on Life’s circumstances; for It, I am most grateful.

To be clear, I don't need to wait for a special day to give thanks, and I don't. Gratitude is a way of life, a commitment I make to find the good, the blessings in all circumstances. Throughout the day I keep a mindful eye out for the good, and in the evening I write in a special gratitude journal ten items from the day for which I am grateful. They can be related to people, material things, my emotional state—anything!

I wish you a Thanksgiving holiday, and every day, that is meaningful and in which you can count the many blessings that are always there.
When I first heard the song "May the Light of Love" about 15 years ago, I immediately knew it was music I wanted to incorporate into Thanksgiving gatherings. I’ve not been able to do so as often as I would have liked and I am delighted to get to share it with you now; I hope you enjoy the lyrics and the music, and find it meaningful.
Joyce's signature

The Habit of Being Grateful
Early in her life, Terry Cole learned the value of gratitude through her mother. However, in her twenties, she was ego-driven and easily provoked and offended. It was by looking inward that she committed more and more to change and she evolved. She entered therapy and learned how to meditate. Beginning a regular gratitude practice enabled her to face a serious health challenge, and she came to realize that "Gratitude gives you the power to live without regrets."

Inspiration and Contemplation
This Thanksgiving
People Making a Difference
Life Changing Surprise for Veteran Couple
Thanksgiving is not the only holiday celebrated during the month of November in the USA.

Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on November 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. It occurs on November 11 every year in honor of the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" of 1918 that signaled the end of World War I, known as Armistice Day.

Unlike Memorial Day, Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans—living or dead—but especially gives thanks to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime.

Learn how Mario and Amy Perez were surprised by “Good Morning America” and were thanked for their service, military and community, in a life-altering way.
Joyce's signature

Joyce S. Kaye, MSW
e-newsletter designed, developed, written, and published by Joyce S. Kaye
You, Me, and Spirit

I was a devout atheist until 31 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 and in the corporate world. I strive to be of service and to nurture the human spirit in all environments.