This is the time of year to show appreciation and be mindful of the things we are thankful for. During the month of November, I wrote one thing I am thankful for each day, up to the day after Thanksgiving, because the number 23 is symbolic to me, and below is the result:
11.1 I am thankful for the desert’s clear blue skies, crisp Autumn air, and bright sun – the desert is seemly magical this time of year.
11.2: I am thankful for mi familia, my family, who without them, without their support and love, I would not be where I am today. Happy and (nearly) free of depression. Depression that I’ve had since I was a young child (10 years old). My dreams are coming true with their love and support.
11.3: I am thankful for my imagination, and where it takes me in my dreams – my nightly inspiration. Without dreams, I would not have inspiration for my creative works, and without my creative work, I’d have no motivation to make internal dreams into an external reality. Thank you, imagination, for providing me beautiful imaginary to perceive the world around me, to understand myself, and to provide strength to carry on through a lonely/depressed state of mind.
11.4: I am thankful for a reliable vehicle that can take me to places I wish to go, when I wish to go, without relying on others. I am thankful for this because it is the first step to independence, an independence I’ve been working towards slowly, hesitantly, but surely.
11.5: I am thankful for friends to spend time with, to have fun with, and to express myself with, and to make memories together.
11.6: I am thankful for my healthy, pain-free body, to which there is no physical limit to what I want it to do. Without this pain-free body, my Yoga asana practice wouldn’t be possible.
11.7: I am thankful for faith because without it I would have stopped believing in myself years ago, and possibly not be on this earth any longer.
11.8: I am thankful for meditation, for it keeps me focused, clear in mind and body, if only for a little while.
11.9: I am thankful for Education because, without it, my career path would not be possible, my path to independence would be harder, and I’d be truly lost.
11.10: I am thankful for my animals. They are my companions and help me feel wanted and appreciated on down days.
11.11: I am thankful for my sister and father, my current most significant support systems, my anchors who keep my ship of sanity stable, although the hard winds have been rocking it lately.
11.12: I am thankful for my Mentors who helped me secure an internship, 1 step closer to career success.
11.13: I am thankful for the freedom the USA offers, even if it is currently unstable. I believe still in this country and the pursuit of happiness.
11.14: I am thankful for my health. With good health, I am able to stay up and enjoy the late Autumn nights, have fun, and explore my body with another (if I choose) without it affecting my functioning the coming morning.
11:15: I am thankful for shelter, a roof over my head, in a safe neighborhood, with functioning plumbing and appliances. I appreciate the safety a good house provides, and I do not take the fact that I have what so many do not – the overlooked society. It is so easy to forget how good many of us have it, when so many of us (including me) has never been without shelter, a safe home, that is fully functioning as it should.
11.16: Voice. I am thankful for my voice, one that is clear and sure. I use to speak very little, even when spoken to, because I didn’t want to say anything stupid. I remember as a child (I was very confused and sensitive, and took in every word said to me to heart, even if my interpretation of it was foggy). I remember, since my father is very practical and straightforward when he speaks (no bullshit, or sugar coated, tell it like it is even to his 5-year-old child). I heard him say that is stupid, to my older brother I believe, I do not remember. I just remember hearing stupid because of what was said. Of course, I was a young kid, barely 5, and I felt if I said anything, or said too much, I could potentially say something wrong or stupid. And my mother, when she was in a low state, or manic state (without her ‘drugs’), she’d become verbally aggressive to my siblings and I, calling us worthless or pigs if our room wasn’t clean (or even if it is), or if we didn’t finish our homework before she got home, basically anything would cause her to verbally attack. Then a few days later she’d be happy go lucky mom again. It was very confusing, so I learned as a young child to not speak. If I did not speak, I would not provoke a retaliation, or show my vulnerability (though I cried a lot, and even then, I learned not to vocalize what I was feeling. Now, it is hard for me to even comprehend what I am feeling, and a mental block does form when someone catches me in an emotional state and asks ‘what is wrong?’). I am learning to be aware of what I am feeling, and accepting what I am feeling, and being ok with my ‘weaknesses’ and grateful for my strengths. Through voice, I have learned to accept myself as I am, through my silent voice (writing), and my verbal voice with others, to identify my emotions, and to begin a rewarding career path, despite my ever-present insecurities.
Thank you voice.
11.17: I am grateful for strength. Strength is a broad term, but I speak of both a physical and spiritual strength. I have great strength in a spirit sense, because I have used my imagination to create worlds that distracted me from my troubling situations in childhood, when I felt alone and confused, unable to relate to others or speak my mind in a clear way, struggling with the logics of school, barely getting by, with my teachers just accepting my emotional reactions and ‘ok’ grades (I still don’t understand how a D is passing, but I am glad I never was held back a grade, though pretty sure I should have in kinder garden or the 6th grade). Through spiritual strength, I found the courage to push through, and obtain the honor roll in high school through college years (made the deans list in my Bachelor studies). My spirit strength deepened with the finding of Meditation. Physical strength I am gaining with the Yoga Asana practice I’ve begun in Jan of 2015, though it started with my long walks along the canal. With physical strength and spirit, strength develops focus and confidence, to clear the foggy thoughts of the mind, to see the direction in clarity of where I am to go in life, who I am presently, and who I will be.
11.18: I am grateful for Yoga Asana practice. Yes, I understand, yoga isn’t asana, but it is a beginning to the deeper levels of Ashtanga, the eight-limbs of YOGA. As mentioned, the Asana practice has given me physical strength, and with that, a discipline to make it a regular practice, despite fatigue, and to finish with meditation, prana, bring a desire to do so intuitively, naturally, it is becoming a part of me. It is special, Yoga Asana, because it brings us into the heart of yoga, to the heart of yoga, a silent path that too many defined, but one can never understand without taking the silent, vulnerable, true dedication of the practice. Past the physical, into the spiritual. In fact, through the physical (asana) into the spiritual (meditation), creating everlasting life (here and beyond).
11.19: I am grateful for Earth, her mountains, rivers and streams. I am grateful I can walk upon her paths along the mountains, along the ocean, into the woods and jungles. I am grateful for her elements, even for her mood swings and the weathering of intense storms. Connecting to Earth brings me back to purpose, instinct, primitive energy of life, beyond the noise of the manmade cities, beyond the noise of thoughts, and into the true Nature of things. Thank you, Earth, for providing me a home to live on, to grow on, and to become even closer to the Source, the Source of life.
11.20: I am thankful for a sound mind. I have strong cognition abilities, I am aware of my actions, reactions, and the consequences of such actions/reactions. I have a keen sense of what is going on inside me, and around me, I do not have a cognitive disability that I have no choice but to struggle with, like so many ‘forgotten ones’ have, the ones people avoid or do not speak of. I am grateful for this sound mind, that is not prone to mental illnesses so severe that it completely destroys my sanity (though I have depression, and it use to be severe, I have learned to manage it, work with it, and not let it control me – without medication). I am thankful for the fact I have this sound mind, I do not need medication or other substances to keep it sound, to keep me here on this earth. I am grateful for my developed cognition, I can use to help myself, and in the future, others. I do not take for granted my strengths any longer, and my abilities that not everyone is fortunate to have. Thank you, sound mind, for guiding me along this winding and at times foggy path of life.
11.21: I am thankful for clean water to drink, water that is not filled with pollution or toxics, water that is so clean and clear I could choose to add flavors to it, to make it that much sweeter, a luxury so many in this world do not have. Water is the vital fluid of life, the substance that makes up our bodies, so important, yet taken for granted because so many in the first world have access to clean water. I am grateful I have access to so much of this clear water, fresh from the springs, to keep me healthy and motivated.
11.22: I am thankful for nutritious food, something I have an abundance of, and something that so many, so many do not have. I have so much of it I at times waste it, forgetting the fact millions, millions go hungry every day – within my own country, and even more so in the world. Yet I can just waste food if I please, knowing there’ll be more tomorrow. I am grateful for nutritious food, and do my best to not waste this precious gift, that keeps me healthy and strong.
11:23: I am thankful for life itself. There is beauty in the so-called ugly, and I have learned to appreciate the darkness and the light. I am partnering with my fears, not to destroy them, but to work through them to better myself and those around me. I am thankful for this life, filled with so many hidden blessings, love, and light with the hint of darkness. The dark cloud no longer hovers above me, but beside me, a partner of mine, an equal, but not one that fights to control me. With this partnership, I can be the true, powerful self, I am meant to be. Thank you, Life, for giving me so many opportunities to see the beauty in the ugly, the light within the dark, and the clear blue skies past the fog.
Take the time each day to find (at least) one thing you are thankful for.
Peace & Love <3
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