What's On Your Mind for Thanksgiving and the Holidays?


Does it seem like the Christmas Holidays now start right after Halloween? A week ago even our local Trader Joe’s dropped its famed pumpkin display for chocolate Christmas treats wrapped in red ribbons. What happened to Thanksgiving?

Yes, I do “mind” that Thanksgiving is being passed over for the retail glee of Christmas. And I do “mind” that I started hearing Christmas carols a week ago. If the Spirit of Christmas is giving and getting, then the Spirit of Thanksgiving is reflection and gratitude. Thanksgiving may include a night of pumpkin pie and whipped cream but Christmas is days of alcohol and sugar. So, even from a nutrition point of view, I mind glossing over Thanksgiving.

But, as with all things human, the Holidays are all about mind over matter. It takes toughness of mind to be disciplined enough to avoid gaining extra pounds. It takes a calculating mind to avoid the extra padding of your credit cards with new debt in the illusive pursuit of material happiness. It takes a patient mind to refrain from snarling at the extra traffic around shopping malls, and to juggle family obligations and expectations. It takes a quiet mind to be able to sleep easily when there are additional stresses and late nights due to parties and shopping outings.

We are all the Makers of Christmas for those around us, if we decide to be. And it takes a child’s mind viewpoint to keep the real Spirit of Christmas. The magic and joy in life is more about what we keep in “mind” more than anything else.

Even though being “empty minded” is not considered a good thing, being able to eliminate worry, strife, and hate is a very good move for health and well-being. Children have a heart full of love, and their eyes are wide with wonder. They see the world in their mind’s eye as a place full of possibilities, not to mention unicorns and pirates. Magic always starts with a magical frame of mind.

So, for this Thanksgiving holiday I wish for you an open heart, and a fanciful imagination. Eat with love and that might be better even for you than Brussels Sprouts and kale. Health is probably 80 % mental and only 20% physical. Right thinking is not a political stance, but monitoring your thoughts so that you are on the plus side of the mental ledger, insisting on your own happy state of mind regardless of life circumstances. Thomas Jefferson said, “Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits”.

Speaking of Mr. Jefferson, I used to think that the “Pursuit of Happiness” in the Declaration of Independence meant the right to reach for something outward. But I have learned that you pursue happiness in your own bathroom mirror at home. Loving that person we see in that mirror is sometimes the most difficult love of all. But it is the basis of real health, and leads to true abundance around us, beating out all the pumpkin pie (with whipped cream) in the world.

Happy Thanksgiving. I don’t mind telling your that you are one of the best things in my life.