a woman filled with gratitude, arms upraisedIf you’re like me, you may be staying home for Thanksgiving – where you are sheltering in place, and not with extended family. You may be totally alone, or just with one or two loved ones. When I was in my 20’s and I didn’t want to fly “home” for the holiday, I would gather with a number of friends who were also alone and celebrate together. This year, that’s not even an option for most folks.

But it doesn’t mean we can’t have a meaningful and fulfilling day of thanks. A day – even several days – of deep connection in a different way. We can create new traditions that awaken this feeling of gratitude and connection.

If this speaks to you, join me in a connecting Thanksgiving practice I’ll be doing all week, that cultivates our inner Oneness with all life, each other, ourselves, and Spirit.

Choose a simple offering for each step of the process. It can be something traditional to your local indigenous culture (such as tobacco or cornmeal here in the North America), or simply some pure water or a bit of food.

Take that offering outside at a place in nature (your own garden or local park will do if available), or create a simple altar in your home with a bowl or dish to place the offering in.

With each step of this connecting Thanksgiving practice, offer a few words of gratitude for that part of life as you give the offering. You can do one per day, or you can do all of them on one special day.

1) 4 Elements – express your gratitude to the Earth, Air, Fire, and Water (you could add a 5th element, Space, if you wish). What have each of them given you and the planet?

2) 4 Plants – give thanks to 4 specific plants: a tree, a bush, a low-growing plant, and a “weed”. I thanked the mushrooms the other day (not technically a plant, but you get it). If you can go outside for this, spend time with each plant. Have a conversation and let them know your appreciation. Listen to them, too. You will feel more connected to each one as you spend time with it.

3) 4 Animals – choose 4 different animals to give thanks to. Yes, they can be your pets, but be sure that at least 2 are wild animals. Again, spend a little time expressing your thanks and also listening to each animal – they have much wisdom to share.

4) 4 Ancestors – what four people have had an impact on your life? Choose at least 2 from your own lineage, but you can also choose other people who have passed on that inspire you. Place the offering, give thanks, and listen with your heart.

5) 4 Loved Ones – make an offering with gratitude to four people currently in your life. You can have an inner conversation with them, or you can call or text them to let them know what they mean to you.

6) 4 Parts of Yourself – your body, heart, mind, and spirit. Express your sincere gratitude for each part of your Self. Spend time feeling these different, unique, and precious aspects of what you call “you”.

7) The Planet – honor the entire Earth, our home. There is so much to be thankful for on this extraordinary planet.

8) The Divine – whatever you call it – God, the Sacred, Spirit, the Universe, etc. – take special time to give an offering and acknowledge this Higher Power in your life. It’s a good moment to sit in meditation and allow your connection to deepen with All That Is.

This Connecting Thanksgiving Practice, if done with sincerity and intent, will open the doors of unity with all life, deepen your relationship with yourself and the Divine, and create a holiday that fills your heart and soul (not just your tummy!). Share it with others and spread the love, gratitude, and connection.


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