This year, Thanksgiving, the holiday, seems to be meandering its way into the world more slowly than any November on record. It seems I awaken everyday thinking to myself that this is Thanksgiving week. It has become so prevalent – this feeling that it is Thanksgiving – that I’ve decided it really is Thanksgiving, regardless of the calendar date.
Now I’m not speaking here of roasting a turkey and yams and cranberries with orange and ginger on the side but this feeling continually surfacing within me of gratitude and the opportunity we as a nation have to focus our collective attention on all we have to be grateful for in our lives.
We are living in one of the most transformative times in the history of our human presence on this planet. As a race, we have evolved through the Stone Age, the Iron Age, the Agricultural Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, the Technological Revolution – each of them with their own challenges and blessings – and we have done our best. Change isn’t as easy to navigate through as it is to speak of and with each new innovation, we find ourselves with a broader and more complex perspective that requires a deeper understanding of who exactly we are.
Today we are living through another revolution and this revolution has the capacity to trump all others that have come before it. A revolution can be defined as a sudden change in the way we work, live, think, and engage with our world that supersedes all ways that have come before it.
Many of us are continually adapting to the emerging effects of a generation born in a world of screens and social media that all but obliterate the public and private interface we once held as inviolate. Some of us are giddy with the possibilities new technologies offer – a new ease of living not unlike that offered by the discovery of fire, the advent of iron tools, the onset of managed agriculture, the inclusion of machines to assist with tasks and obligations. And still others of us are engaged in a deeper revolution that underlay all of these.
The revolution at hand is a Revolution of Consciousness. We are beginning to connect the sacred and the profane, finding the distance between science and religion shorter than we once imagined. The use of technology as an obliterator of borders and boundaries is increasingly allowing us to discover how alike we are, not how different we are.
It is interesting to note that when I openly speak of consciousness with people unfamiliar with the new frontiers of outdated physics and quantum possibilities, they often assume I am talking about conscience. I am not.
Consciousness is the truth underlying all creation. Every physical object, every emotion and thought, every event and opportunity, every discovery is possible and in fact results from ideas arising in consciousness. Consciousness is neither good nor bad. It simply is reflection of how we engage with the cosmos around and within us. It is the malleable substance with which we create our world. Consciousness, as a teacher of mine posits, is the field of all being.
So how, you may ask, does all this apply to my waking up each day thinking it is Thanksgiving? I am thinking it is Thanksgiving because in my heart – the true seat of consciousness – I am profoundly grateful for the opportunity to live another day on earth. Sure, with the day will come its own challenges and opportunities, grit and grind, static and melody. Each day is a revolution in itself. For truly, each day is an opportunity to change the way we work, live, think, and engage with our world that supersedes all the days that have preceded it.
We have the possibility available to us to make of the day what we will, regardless of whether we punch a clock, check our portfolio, spend another day jobless, watch our children, send them off to college and ask ourselves who we are now, sit in a cell somewhere forgotten, or lie in our beds experiencing disease or dementia. In other words, each day brings us an availability to reconstruct ourselves and our world view based on new information we glean from whatever our daily practice s may include – whether reading the Wall Street Journal or sitting in silent meditation.
The call to consciousness is not asking us to give up anything, but to do anything we do with intention and purpose, with mindfulness. For it is with a mindful engagement with life that all our dreams and aspirations coalesce with our will and we begin to see all that we have and in that seeing what we have, we cultivate a sense of gratitude.
Try it. Perhaps, like me, you too will wake up each day thinking it’s Thanksgiving, and live your day seeing – truly seeing – all that we have to be grateful for, and being grateful for it.