Navajo pot

Navajo pot

As we come up on Thanksgiving my Facebook feed is starting to fill up with commentary about “The real history of Thanksgiving.”   Most of it is true, and most of it I am familiar with.  America was built on the backs of people who shared their labor and their knowledge.  Rather than responding with gratitude, our white European fore bearers appropriated their gifts and made sure their stories written out of history.

So I want to take some time to be grateful.   I am grateful to be able to live on this bounteous beautiful land.

Pitaloosie Salia - Cape Dorset

Pitaloosie Salia – Cape Dorset

I am grateful for wild rice, and corn, and pumpkins and all the food that is indigenous.  I’m grateful to see tribal people standing up for their land rights against fracking and pipeline building, knowing how destructive those technologies are to the environment.  I’m grateful for the people who share the history not taught in our schools and who tell the stories of the downtrodden.

Ginger jars and bowl

Ginger jars and bowl

I’m grateful for the immigrant cultures that have brought so much variety to my life.  I’m grateful for fried rice and tortillas and collard greens.

Christine Ntakirutimana - Rwanda

Christine Ntakirutimana – Rwanda

I’m grateful for print and color patterns and architectural wonders that were never a part of my European heritage.  I’m grateful for literature with points of view that are different from my own, but which make it easier for me to shift my own perspective.  I’m grateful for the music, the meditation, and the technologies that make my life easier and more pleasant.

Hmong migration story

Hmong migration story

I have been blessed in my life with the opportunity to travel.  I have been in positions to decorate my home with artwork from other cultures.  I have had the opportunity to work and play and truly get to know people whose upbringing was very different from my own.

East Indian blanket

East Indian blanket

I’ve recently started an online meditation series Headspace.  As I move through the meditation lessons they ask me to reflect on who else benefits from my practicing these techniques.  Trying to build a business speaking on spirituality I ask myself, “who do I serve?  Who needs to hear what I have to say?”

I think the cultures and people who supported the development of this country had that attitude.

“How can I help?  Who can I serve?”

I think our culture has an attitude of “What do I get out of it?”   I’d rather live with the former.

Polynesian mask

Polynesian mask

I’m grateful for the opportunity to try.


About lisaspiral

I've been writing and speaking about spirituality to small groups for years and am looking to expand my horizons. Hopefully this blog will inspire you to expand yours as well.

Posted on November 24, 2014, in Bio, daily practice, fall, grattitude, meditation, Pagan, seasonal, spiritual and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. What a beautiful post. I love the idea of thinking about what other cultures have brought into our lives at this time of year. I’m hosting my first Thanksgiving this year. I’m not American but live here and we have Italian friends visiting who know nothing about Thanksgiving so it will be fun to show them some of the traditions while creating some new ones. Happy Thanksgiving to you!

  2. Having to start some new traditions this year, as it is my first Thanksgiving without my mother, who always made the huge meal for everyone. Wow. I love the art pieces you’ve placed in this post. They are beautiful! Happy Thanksgiving.

    • Several of my friends are also without their moms this year. Its got to be hard. I am grateful to still have my parents, although things still are changing. They just can’t keep up like they used to. Thank you on the art. I wasn’t sure my photos did them justice.

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