My first summer at sleep-away camp I broke my leg playing duck-duck-goose. I was 11. After arriving home 24 days earlier than my parents expected (pause for reaction), I spent most of the summer with a leg cast in pink plaster from thigh to toe, sitting on the floor by the glass coffee table in the living room, working on jigsaw puzzle after jigsaw puzzle.
After going up and down the stairs on my butt for eight weeks and muddling my way through middle school hallways on crutches, I will never forget the feeling of getting that cast off. My leg could breathe again! And not much later, after rebuilding the atrophied muscle, walk.
I can only describe that sensation of walking again as deep, authentic, overwhelming GRATITUDE. I looked down at my oddly shaped, uneven thighs and think THANK GOODNESS; a working, walking pair of legs.
GRATITUDE FEELS AMAZING, just like happiness, love, excitement and so many other positive emotions. I can still remember remember it today 27 years later. It's in my memory. Burned on my brain.
This is where we begin.
I'm sharing this meditation with you because we can't just WILL ourselves to be THANKFUL ON THANKSGIVING DAY just like we can't simply be happy or bursting with excitement any time we want. But with a bit of simple work, we can teach our brains to feel thankful more easily, naturally day to day.