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I had not been to my Aunt’s house for the Thanksgiving holiday in almost twenty years. This past Thursday, a congruence of time, space and causation, and her decision to host, brought me back. I could not help but marvel at how her gatherings had grown from five to seven in the 1990s, to twenty seven this year. The artwork and handprints of all five of her grandchildren, girls ranging from four to fourteen, were all over the holiday’s decor. 

At the dinner table, the blank notecards were passed around to each family member and the guests. The “suggestion” was that each of us were to write down “what we were thankful for” over the past year. There was some rolling of eyes, some who hid the notecards under their dinner plates, and even some feigned outrage by the three teenagers. During the break between dinner and dessert, my Aunt, the host, invited those who would like to share to read from their notecards. There was a lot of beautiful sharing, and when it came to the the second youngest of her grandchildren, she was too shy to read. On her Mom’s nudging, she haltingly read out her words in the softest of voices….

I am thankful for the trees, so we can breathe through them together…

There was a hushed silence, and many smiles spread across the room. It had taken one of the youngest in the room to show us the long-term impact of a simple forward-giving act of planting a tree. She had shown us that when we focus  on what we are grateful for, and listen to what others are grateful for, we cannot help but be filled with gratitude. The result of us ‘getting filled’ during Thanksgiving – and I’m not just talking about pecan pie and sweet potatoes – is that it energizes our hearts and hands. It is this renewal of gratitude and giving thanks which gives us new energy  that propels us towards giving forward.

It is perhaps when we give with an attitude of forward giving that we are reminded of our access to the infinite source of energetic wisdom. Sometimes, it speaks to us, it lights up our heart, through the heart of a six year old. Thank you, Layla, for inspiring me to think and work forward in my acts of giving.

It is the lives that we may help today, in any small or big way, we plant the seeds for a healthy society. Our forward giving can create a sustainable forest of trees where we can all breathe love and light. Will you join me? 

Kumud

P.S. Join me and the #SpiritChat community in a weekly gathering of ‘forward giving’. We will meet on Sunday, December 1 at 9amET / 730pm India on twitter. I will bring some tea and cookies to share, and yes, some questions too. Namaste – @AjmaniK

P.P.S. If you would like to engage in ‘forward giving’, I invite you to join me in supporting two of my favorite organizations who create a daily impact in thousands of lives. The first is Mitzvah Circle, founded by my long-time friend (who I met on twitter), Fran Held. Their motto is: “When a family faces a crisis, we are here”. The second is Akshaya Patra, whose mission is to provide midday meals to school-going children across India. Please donate. Let us, the #SpiritChat community, raise a $1000 each for these two organizations in the month of December. Thank you! 

“I am thankful for trees… – Layla”

The Thanksgiving Table…