What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ernest Mark
This season can often be filled with chaos and a hurried energy that leaves us feeling like we've missed the opportunity to really enjoy the presence of those we care about. Our trasformative mind-body practice here at ACRJ, reminds us to stay in a Forward Stance with 180 degree awareness as we appreciate the company of our friends and families this season. We encourage you to hold steadfast to your Forward Stance and relish the opportunities for caring, love and laughter as the year comes to close.

This post was originally posted on The International Coaches Federation site.

I love Thanksgiving Weekend. I love the spaciousness and the time to share and enjoy good food, to be with loved ones, to relax with leftovers, to unwind and be thankful. In the regular bustle of life, I often feel I’m just rushing through my days, i.e. getting the kids to school, rushing to work, bouncing between meetings and then rushing to pick up the kids and getting through the night routine. Phew, it’s exhausting thinking about it… and there is so little time to smell the roses.

This week I get to experience both the bustle of the preparation and the space to smell the roses, or in this case, the food, wine and good company. I love cooking and typically throw myself into Thanksgiving preparations, it’s my vehicle for expressing love for my family and friends. Our dinner is a potluck, so it’s a collective sharing of food, love and mutual appreciation for each other. When the meal begins, there’s usually a quiet moment as everyone settles into exploring the landscape of their plates. Then the conversation comes back and time seems to slow down to match our need to take it down a notch and enjoy each other. And in the spaciousness of this holiday, there is gratitude.

In the spirit of the holiday, I’ve been thinking about gratitude and spaciousness this week and noticing the possibilities of experiencing it. When I pause, I notice the bustle slows down, my breath gets a little deeper and my heart softens. I feel the possibility opens up for me to be more present, patient and loving with my family and others around me. And in the pause, I am taking a moment to be kind to myself which creates the possibility to be truly open and gracious with others.

As we wind up 2011 and head into the holiday season, what are you thankful for? What do you notice when you take a moment to pause and feel gratitude? Who would you like to share that with?

Ernest Mark is a coach and consultant working in the non-profit social justice sector. He works with a broad cross section of leaders and organizations across the sector and brings an approach that is fiercely culturally relevant and community led. Ernest lives in Oakland, California with his wife, Mimi, and daughters, Olive and Juniper. Ernest can be reached via email at ernest@ernestmark.com.

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