3 reminders – 3 values – 33 days left in the year!

When I was 16 years old, my friend Billy showed me a book about animals with chickens in cages right the middle of science class.

It was so graphic, I decided right then and there that I would stop eating meat forever.

It may have been a bit dramatic to boldly announce this news to my entire family at the Thanksgiving table that following week, but as a parent of teens, I no longer question the rebellious mind of a teenage girl.

Plus, other than a few eye rolls about “my phase,” I didn’t suffer! I ate everything else in the spread from the cranberry to the green beans to the pumpkin pie.

There was plenty.

Fast forward 33 years, and I’ve been eating-everything-but-the-turkey for 33 Thanksgivings.

Ah the irony of Thanksgiving as my vegetarian anniversary!

Then, as I thought of writing this to you today, a moment of synchronicity.

I got an email this morning saying there are exactly 33 days left in this year. 2021, a year of growth and change for so many, is coming to a close.

So, in honor of 33, I will share 3 groups that need our continued attention, and share my 3 theories that make up gratitude.

Hoping we hold these close through the remainder of this year.

1. The hungry and the homeless.

I live in Chelsea NYC. I have witnessed an exponential increase in homelessness and in the number of people saying they’re hungry in my neighborhood over the past year. I don’t know the answers, but I do what little I can and believe if we all did a little – from volunteering in shelters and soup kitchens, to contributing to the local food drives – all those littles can add up to a lot.

2. The lonely.

It breaks my heart that there are people who were alone on this weekend of family and friendship. Sadly, loneliness is also a feeling that can occur even with someone right next to you. I invite you to reach out to someone who you think might feel alone…inside or out.

3. Those who have lost someone.

This weekend, I saw a return to normalcy among many of my friends.

A restoration of the sense of connectedness many of us have craved in the disparate corners of our varied Covid experiences.

But in this post-pandemic year, many others sat at tables with an empty seat. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my friends Alison and Tom (who you may remember from a recent email lost their beloved son Blake). There were no amount of prayers I could offer to ease the break in their hearts.

Let’s keep sending our positive energy to those who have lost someone and need our spiritual hand.

I also have 3 theories about gratitude I want to share as reminders to apply them in the next 33 days:

1. Empathy

My first theory about gratitude hinges on having empathy. Empathy is different than people pleasing.

Empathy is an other-orientation, a concern for the emotions of others so that they might find joy and peace, not at the detriment of your own.

2. Perspective

The second element is based on having perspective.

Perspective is like a filter you place over your eyes allowing you to see what you already have, not what you don’t.

Perspective helps you understand what others might be going through too, not to diminish your own situation, but to join in the shared human experience.

3. Appreciation

Love is the best way to express your appreciation for someone. When we recognize and acknowledge someone with respect, we in turn find fulfillment.

And we lift each other up.

Enjoy the final hours of your holiday weekend!! Know that I am sending you 33 days of empathy, perspective and appreciation.

And of course moments of pause and loads of play.

I’m grateful for you!

With fierce love,

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