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Natural Awakenings South Jersey

Giving Thanks

Don Moore, Publisher

“If the only prayer you can ever say in your entire life is thank you… it will be enough.” ~ Meister Eckhart

The pilgrims at Plymouth Plantation knew how important it was to give thanks for present abundance in their lives. These sturdy pioneers often faced desperate times in adapting to the New World, but in 1621 their first fall harvest was plentiful and together with the native Wampanoags they decided to celebrate with a three-day feast of gratitude. In that moment, life was good and the settlers trusted that their ongoing needs would be taken cared for.

By proclaiming a national Day of Thanksgiving in 1863, in the midst of America’s Civil War, the pioneering President Lincoln directed the country’s attention to the vital act of giving thanks. His prayer was for the coming together and healing of a great nation with special remembrances for the plight of widows, orphans and those wounded by the war.

Although George Washington and other U.S. presidents up to that time had made similar proclamations, they had not been embraced with the same fervor by citizens. Now the urgent need to change was paramount to restoration of peace and tranquility. Lincoln understood the power of gratitude in a time of turmoil and how it can spur people to a new way of thinking. Americans responded and Thanksgiving Day became a permanent part of our nation’s history and culture.

Like most Americans, I enjoy this special holiday uniting family and friends in thanks for an abundance of blessings, and am especially grateful for those that invite to the table folks that would otherwise be alone. I also like to give thanks every day.

For example, I am continually grateful for everyone involved in making this magazine possible. The people that help create it are near the top of my list. The monthly collaborating contributions of designers, writers and editors shed love and light across the nation, making Natural Awakenings an extraordinary independent presence in the media world. It is a powerful feeling to know that together we are engaged with nearly 4 million people all discovering new ways to see the world and their personal journey.

Judith Fertig’s November feature article, “Powerful You!” on page 16, examines the choices we have in creating the life we want. I know some things need improving in my own life and am glad to be reminded that the first step is awareness that what makes me feel uncomfortable is in my best interest to eliminate or transform. Changing our perception of anything—especially our self—is no easy task. Adopting a new philosophy or belief puts us outside our comfort zone, but if we keep doing what we are doing now, we will continue getting what we have now.

“Practice Gratitude and Change Your Life”, by April Thompson, on page 30, inspires us anew to the daily practice of thankfulness to shift our thinking and spark positive change. A gratitude journal is a good place to start noticing how our days move from feeling burdened to blessed.


Don Moore, Publisher