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Lisa Cypers Kamen, MA Headshot

The Gratitude Manifesto

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In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I present my gratitude manifesto. Before the pumpkin pie satisfies our collective sweet tooth, before the tryptophan in the turkey makes us sleepy, before the world starts counting down the minutes to Black Friday, let's stop to reflect. I hit pause on my increasingly fast-paced life to express thanks. Gratitude. For our bodies, that carry us each day. For our liberty. Our free will. Our ability to live our lives as we want, to change our lives in an instant, to hold our happiness in our hands. I feel the deepest possible gratitude for our troops. For our soldiers and their loved ones, who make the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf, who fight for our well-being, for our freedom. We may not always agree with the crusades they are asked to take on, but even in that there is liberty, in the right to disagree, and that is gratitude-worthy. I was reminded just a few short weeks ago how grateful I am for the right to vote: in an election, in my daily life.

I am eternally grateful for family, friends, colleagues and invisible fans. For the ones who I am privileged enough to hold close, and for the ones I love from a distance. I express thanks for what we consider basic, food and shelter, which Hurricane Sandy again reminded us are not that basic. I am thankful for having enough food, enough shelter, enough gas, enough heat, enough electricity, enough transportation, enough, enough, enough everything.

Let us show gratitude for our love, empathy, compassion, strength of heart and ability to look, listen and hear what is said and that which is unspoken. Now is the time to honor our intuition, our sixth-sense, our moral compass, our inner true North, our souls, our spiritual practice (whatever that looks like). Thank you God - God as a noun, verb, adjective, action, or myth. Because we are lucky to have the right to believe, or not to believe.

Thank you universe, for the universe: the moon, sun, stars, planets and great mysteries of our galaxy and beyond, both seen and unseen. Thank you, feelings of wonderment and awe, for making me feel forever young. Thank you hope, optimism, courage, strength, resilience and belief in all possibilities - you carry us, even in the darkest, most difficult and uncertain of times.

This Thanksgiving, I urge you to take a moment and express your thanks like I just did. Your holiday will feel all the more meaningful when you do.