Aliving, Surviving, and Thriving — Thankful for where you are
There’s usually a choice. It’s usually yours: alive, survive, or thrive.
PRO TIP: Yes, you can have all three.
I have a short presentation this evening and the theme I concocted is Thanksgiving.
Although I no longer live in the U.S., the American holiday is coming up and since I was given free rein on themes, I chose giving thanks, gratitude, and thanksgiving.
My presentation came clearly through me this morning in my meditation and I wanted to get it down here into words before anyone is awake in the house to flesh it out. (Want to know more about how I “get work done” before I’m even standing up?)
The main point I want to make with the quick presentation is that I think we actually don’t “give thanks” enough, certainly not for the basics, the foundation, the simple stuff.
I’m going to write this out like a theater play (yes, because I have written so many theater productions … ).
Survive, Alive, Thrive — and being Thankful for Where You Are
[opening] Good evening members and guests. The theme for tonight’s meeting is Thanksgiving. However, I don’t think we give enough attention to what we have. Ask someone who has stage 4 cancer what they’re thankful for. Ask someone who’s hungry what they’re thankful for.
In order to remind us what we do have, I’m going to take something away from all of us. It will only take a few seconds and, yes, I do need your participation. Are you ready to participate in a thankfulness exercise? [wait for some accord]
OK, here we go.
Please take your left hand and place your thumb and forefinger on your nose. Now squeeze. You shouldn’t be able to breathe. Calm your breath through your mouth. Inhale and exhale through your mouth. Good? [wait for some signs of life … !]
Don’t do it yet, but next we’re going to close our mouth. Now if you’re worried about not being able to breathe it’s a valid concern because, yes, we don’t be able to breathe.
Finally, after we have our nose pinched and our mouth closed, we’re going to close our eyes.
DISCLAIMER: please note that I don’t want anyone to faint or die tonight. No death in Utrecht.
[switch to scene with news reporter, (invisible) microphone in hand, exaggerated nasal reporter voice] Reporting from the Florin café tonight in Utrecht tonight where 23 people were apparently participating in an exercise to, now, let me see if I got this right, were expressing their gratitude for being alive, apparently suffocated while holding their noses and closing their mouths and died around 8 PM this evening. Baffling. Now, back to you, Peter Paul, in the studio.
[switch to another newscaster in the studio]
That’s shocking, Bart, now onto the weather forecast. Tomorrow’s forecast is for air and light.
[back to Bradley in the presentation] Did you catch tomorrow’s forecast? Air and light. Now, let’s get on with the exercise.
I’d like you to now close your mouth and close your eyes. Please, don’t faint. Don’t suffocate. If you can only hold your breath for a few seconds, please breathe. Breathing is important for humans.
Ready? Let’s go.
You hold your breath and close your eyes.
How is it going with thankfulness? Are you still worried about that boss of yours who is kind of a pain? What about that project at work that has been stressing you out for weeks? I bet they’re not on your mind. I bet I can guess what’s on your mind right at this very moment. I can’t read minds, but I’m going to take a big, wild guess. You’d be extremely thankful for some oxygen, some air, some fresh and pure breath into your lungs. Also, a little light would be nice.
Now let go of your nose, open your mouth, and open your eyes.
Take a big breath in [take a big, audible breath in] and let it out [audible breath out].
What are you now thankful for?
We can breathe. We’re alive. How are those other worries? Gone. Why? Because we’re thankful to be alive.
Once we’re thankful to be alive, we can move onto being thankful for surviving, and, here comes the part I’m most excited about: being thankful for thriving.
Because although being alive is great and surviving is good, I want to thrive.
[stand on chair]
I want to rise above, to new heights, and yet not forget where I came from and still be thankful for each breath I take. Then I’m alive. Then I can survive. Then I can thrive.
Thanksgiving. I hope I’ve given you a new meaning and understanding of what it means to be thankful, grateful, and to give thanks.
I thank you for the opportunity to stand here in front of you tonight. Have a great night.
P.S. No, “aliving” is not a word. It also doesn’t really need to be. I want to make sure I’m surviving (food, water, burritos) and then I’m heading straight to thriving.