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Thanksgiving Wishes - Annual Celebration of a Daily Practice

"Gratitude is riches.  Complaint is poverty." - Doris Day

Our favorite holiday is finally here; hello to all from an unseasonably chilly Brooklyn.  Here is our Thankful List for today; what's yours?

1.  We are so thankful as a small brand we have the chance to connect with real people and have real conversations about their skin.  We have never taken a single one of you for granted.  Is there a way for you to feel this virtual hug as intensely as we are sending it?

2.  We are so lucky to have great family and friends in our lives.  Probably this part of gratitude is the easy part, where you see loving faces around you on this special day.

3.  We are so thankful for our gratitude daily practice, that effort we take in the morning before the day starts to try to connect with our real selves and the positivity and spirit of the universe.

4. We are so thankful for our commitment to encounter different people and different viewpoints from a place of love, and the assumption of goodwill on their part.  Sometimes this is trying, but we have never failed with this approach.

5.  We are so thankful for our failures.  As Ryan Holiday wrote in The Obstacle is the Way, "Your plan and the way things turn out rarely resemble each other."  It is pushing through and learning through our failures that we emerge stronger and readier to do good in the world.

Happy Thanksgiving from Dumbo!  Lots of love...

Ko & Humble

Deliberate Gratitude

The world is a messy place. Our lives are messy too. In the middle of chaos, confusion, heartbreak, sickness, terrorist attacks, and political turmoil, gratitude can so easily feel too far out of reach. Many of us have seasons in our life, maybe even right now, where “(Blank) is all wrong” leaves our lips much more frequently than “I’m thankful for (blank).”

But what if we looked at gratitude not as a reaction when everything is great, but as a necessary response under all circumstances - the good, bad, ugly, sad, and beautiful?

Melody Beattie, author and expert on codependency, writes, “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” She’s not denying the chaos, confusion, lack, smallness, or even fear. She’s simply suggesting that we change our perspective.

Gratitude, then, becomes a choice rather than only a feeling, an outlook on life rather than a momentary whim. Sure, sometimes things are simply marvelous and we deeply feel thankful in that moment. But those other times, when life feels ugly and terrifying, we do not naturally feel like giving thanks. We naturally feel miserable. But this is when must choose gratitude anyway and make it the lens through which we see everything.

Making the decision to give thanks often requires that we step outside of ourselves and outside of the fog to thank the universe for things that may not have crossed our minds before: the warm sun on a cold day, toenails to paint, lungs that breathe even while we’re sleeping, options at a grocery store, or mail that has our name on it proving we have an identity.

This deliberate gratitude translates into a better attitude. We begin to flip the script on our lives. Instead of “I have to,” we can feel thankful that we “get to.” Instead of looking in the world in fear of everything that can go wrong, we can look around us at everything going right. Even if all you can think of is a beautiful sunset or your favorite sweater.

You see, when we choose gratitude, we are actually practicing self-care. We remind ourselves again and again that we are worthy of a good life, so we refuse to be taken down by the mess. We are combatting fear and surrounding our lives with good vibes.

To be clear, this isn’t denial. Thankfulness isn’t about pretending life is not hard sometimes (or a lot of the time.) The poet Jack Gilbert wrote these beautiful words: “We must have the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless furnace of this world.” He knew life is hard and didn’t deny that fact, but he knew we must be stubborn enough to choose gladness, a form of gratitude, anyway. 

In a few days, maybe some of us will sit down with family at a Thanksgiving table, maybe some of us won’t. Maybe Thanksgiving brings the happiest memories, or maybe it’s a ticking bomb of bad memories. No matter the circumstance, we can use this holiday as a reminder: we deserve to live a life that is not bogged down by the mess, but a life that chooses a perspective of deliberate gratitude.

                     

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