Hanukah – the festival of lights, and yet another celebration of a miracle that didn’t wipe the Jews off the face of the planet. Growing up, I remember marveling at the fact that just about every Jewish holiday was all like – “Yeah! We’re not dead yet!”. I know it’s not that bad, but seemed that way to young bar mitzvah. It’s actually about the miracle of the oil in the temple lasting the full 8 days when it should not have made it that long.
Thanksgiving – a day when our families can hopefully all get together, celebrate a common heritage, and watch football and parades. There are some religious overtones to the holiday in it’s original form, but that is pretty much done now.
Both holidays to me are about Thankfulness – whether it be for family, harvest, good fortune, or the miracles in our lives. And thankfulness is a key part of Emergence. By expressing thankfulness, we take the time to notice the things in our life that we appreciate. Noticing anything puts your attention on it, and I strongly believe that what we put our attention to grows in our life.
Why are successful people successful? They paid attention, and continue to pay attention, to their growth and passions – making them successful.
Why are smart people smart? Again, the find something they love and learn all they can about it – making them smart.
So, what’s the point? The point is that when we start to be thankful, we notice things. Noticing something gives it our attention. We can give attention to just about anything, good or bad, but if the attention starts with thankfulness you can’t help but focus on your loves and passions. So Thankfulness becomes a gateway to your hopes and dreams – your Emergence.
This Hanugiving, make yourself a list of the things you are thankful for. Take the time to sit down and really do it. Read it every day through New Years and take the time to really consider it each time. I can’t tell you what will happen, but I’m sure it will be amazing.
For those interested, my list:
- My family – Wife and Daughter as well as Everyone Else. My family is my support, the group that provides me with unending love and guidance and understanding. That’s not to say they don’t call me on things – they do, and I am thankful even for that.
- My Church Community, our staff and volunteers, and especially my fellow Board Members. This community has opened my eyes to the greater good that is all around me, and to the fact that we are all one. They continue to show me this, and love and accept me when I forget it. I am sure that without this group, I would not be on the path I am on.
- My co-workers at Big Bank. Each of them helps me to get better each and every day. They support me when I need it, applaud me when I need it, and point out areas for improvement when I need it. I have learned, and continue to learn, a tremendous amount from each one of them.
- My friends. You guys rock, and while I don’t see some of you as often as I would like, know that you make a tremendous difference in my life and thinking of you brings a smile to my face.
- Music. Music, for me, is a meditative experience. And I can meditate to just about anything from classical, to electronic, to alternative. Love it.
- Opportunities to use my skills and passions. I get to do this in many situations, and look forward to continuing to practice year.
Be thankful. Enjoy Hanugiving!