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Natural Awakenings South Jersey

Letter from Publisher

Oct 30, 2015 01:36PM

November in South Jersey brings the beauties of fall foliage, crisp temperatures, sweatshirts, lots of apples and pumpkins and of course, Thanksgiving. The holiday’s special feasting, family gatherings and celebration of blessings have produced some of my fondest memories.

The lack of commercialism surrounding Thanksgiving is particularly refreshing. I love its core message of gratitude. I’ve been thinking about how most of us acknowledge the value of gratitude and teach our children to say thank you or send thank you notes for gifts received. Maybe we wave our thanks when another motorist extends us a courtesy.  Yet to me, a simple response to another's kindness, however polite or meaningful, isn’t the same as true gratitude.  

I believe greater gratitude comes from a deep place of introspection and connectedness. I try to experience such gratitude every day. Not only at times of abundance, happiness or success, but also in times of difficulty—especially during times of difficulty.

I once read an unattributed conversation that I’ve always remembered: “Why me, why should I suffer dear God?”… “You choose to suffer, I show you love every day and you choose to listen to your pain instead.”  It’s made a profound impression on me because it rings true to my own life.

I’ve seen how so many people tend to listen to their pain more than the beauty all around them. Through many trials and tribulations in my life, including physical illness and injury, I’m grateful that I’ve been enabled to look past the pain and deal with the negative aspects simply as facts that need to be dealt with. I take the actions I’m led to take, and then trust Life to hold me up and deliver me. I’m glad I’ve made it a habit to look for something I'm grateful for in challenging situations and then focus on that. So much of our quality of life comes from the things we choose to put our energy into.

May we all find a blessing to celebrate each day throughout this month of Thanksgiving. It may be restored health, the love of a child or simply life itself. Let’s focus on that, even if just for a little while as we go about our day, and then go on to grow our gratitude each month throughout the year.

All good to you and yours,

Michelle and Pat Vacanti

Pat Vacanti

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