• Rachel Milne

An Alternative Menu for a Grateful Day


Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. I even ban Christmas music or decorations in our home until AFTER Thanksgiving. I don't want to skip over the holiday - holy days, in my life.


I don't celebrate a Pilgrim-Native American historical event. I celebrate a harvest, a gathering, an assimilation of the gifts we have received since the planting of our seeds the previous Spring.


And this year, 2020, well it's been one of hidden gifts and looking more deeply for the gems, the blessings.

The gifts are here, I've just had to wade through some grief, some anger, some frustration, some despair, a little confusion and even some disgust.


I used to push away these difficult feelings in search of more comfortable ones: gratitude, happiness, love, and joy. BUT what I'm really learning to embrace this year is that these intense uncomfortable feelings are so much compost for my blessings. They are the cranberries to my pecan pie. They make for fertile ground for gratitude and more, and my life so much richer.

So while 2020 hasn't been the easiest year, it is certainly one of the most fertile. It has continued to teach me about loving myself, my feelings, and all my circumstances. It has brought me closer to the Divine in me, the nature of my Soulful Self, the parts of me that need more light, and the darkness that offers me the greatest of lessons. It has taught me more about compassion for my fellow human, how inter-connected we are, and how the best I can offer is to love even more. To source my thoughts, my words, and my actions from that Divine space in me where love is all there is.

I've fallen down a time or more, in my application. I've let myself down, I've cried, I've yelled, I've spoken words of anger towards others....

And sometimes I recognized what I was doing. And I asked for forgiveness, humbly. And I began again the practice of loving myself, of loving others, of loving what is.


This Thanksgiving I am grateful for this life, this compost, this unprecedented time we are living in. Yes, some days I have to work harder to see, feel, be the love that I am, and to see it in others. And as a dear friend of mine says, 'that's why they call 'life' a practice'. You pick yourself up and begin again. Never getting it right, but continuing to practice. We are always doing the best we can in any moment.

So I give thanks to the opportunities to love more, dig deeper within myself and without for the dark and the light that makes me grow deeper roots.


Over to you: What compost in your life has brought you blessings later?


Please share this awareness with someone. In these days of social distancing, all many of us have are our words and our actions to convey our feelings. Show someone this Thanksgiving week.


And please join me at the Table:


My Thanksgiving Menu, shared with All


I will have large portions of tolerance and sincerity, instead of turkey and stuffing, so we may make room for diversity and honest sharing.

I'm serving mindfulness not mashed potatoes this year, to bring greater awareness of the power of presence in to our lives.


I'm offering receptivity, not roasted vegetables, to all points of view.


I will be serving heaping spoonfuls of radical self-love, not rolls, to help us through all this uncertainty. Because after all, uncertainty always exists and everyone loves bread. :-)

Safety, rather than sweet potatoes will be at my table so regardless of what you believe, who you love, where you grew up, what you look like, you will have a seat and enough to eat.


Generosity with ourselves and with others, will be the new favorite dish, instead of green beans.


I will be skipping the cornbread and sharing the care and compassion.


If brussel sprouts are your favorite, I will be offering up bravery. So that we continue to turn our faces in to the unknown, the challenging, the painful, to mine for the sweet tart of the cranberry, the compost.


And speaking of cranberries, please bring your own to my table. You know what this has been for you this year. Bring it to share with others and notice how sweet and rich and satisfying the other dishes have become as a result.


Instead of pumpkin pie, patience will be served and seconds, and thirds, and fourths if you like.


If you prefer apple pie, please try acceptance: of what is, of who we are, of each other.


And please, pass the pea(ce).


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