meaning of this day. In 1620 when the Mayflower arrived in Plymouth Rock,
these settlers were met with a severe winter and many of these pilgrims died.
With the help of Native American Indians, the remaining pilgrims survived
and in the spring of 1621, they enjoyed a bountiful harvest together. Abraham
Lincoln in 1863 proclaimed the last Thursday in November as the observance
of Thanksgiving and in 1941, Congress sanctioned it a national holiday.
If we reflect on the meaning of this holiday, ask yourself how you gather in
unity with your family, friends, and others around you? What bountiful harvest
have you created in your life that with an open heart you want to give to those
around you? How will you take this long holiday week and weekend and
offer your "harvest"?
Research suggests that the more we practice gratitude the stronger our immune function, lowering of blood pressure, more positive emotions are experienced such as joy, optimism, happiness, compassion, and the less one will feel lonely and isolated. Also research shows that when we practice gratitude the reward center has a release of dopamine which is a neurotransmitter related to a pleasurable feeling. While this is certainly intuitive, many people are often caught in the throws of negativity, isolation, judgment, and hatred.
Observe this holiday with an open heart and discover and share your bountiful harvest. Practice generosity. Practice appreciation. Practice gratitude. An open heart is a happy heart. Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving. May your life be filled with a bounty of love, peace, and joy.