Continuing with the theme of gratitude, which is most appropriate on this Thanksgiving day, let’s consider what happens when we give thanks together.

To begin, I did a good job of taking the advice of my last blog. As an individual, in many moments throughout the week, I cultivated an attitude of gratitude. I found myself happier, calm, and more peaceful. What happens when we give thanks in community?

Moved by reading Parker Palmer and Ken Wilber, and a day-long workshop with Margaret Wheatley, I’ve been thinking about the intersection of community, integral theory, leadership, and practices. I’m convinced about the importance and potential of a group of people sitting together; reclaiming time for conversations.

Although the operative practices of Thanksgiving may have become watching football and eating turkey, I suggest returning to the idea of speaking our gratitude to a gathered assemblage of friends and family.

Prayers of thanks and special thanksgiving ceremonies are common among almost all religions after harvests. Especially for those of us who typically take our abundant food for granted, I believe we can feel joyful appreciation in saying thanks for the bounty and feast.

We said the requisite thanks for the food before our dinner, but later that evening when Netflix stalled, I suggested we go around and say what we are thankful for. It was clear that this was an unfamiliar practice for most of the extended family. It’s a muscle worth building. Happy giving thanks and Happy Thanksgiving.

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