Last Friday, I co-hosted a friendsgiving for the new group of incredible Masters students I’ve been been working with at Stanford. Everyone chipped in to help. The Executive Director and I planned the event. The staff organized the turkey and the space. And students brought their favorite dishes and helped transform one of the studios.
(Yes, that’s a Scandinavian fireplace video playing on the screen…)
We took the time to reflect on the celebrations we cherished and the food we enjoyed. We also debriefed the new “Leap” program we’ve been prototyping together. Over and over again, I’ve been challenged and inspired by the staff and students during my first two months on the team. I’m really grateful to be part of their world.
Before we feasted, we read a few words together. It reminded me of the power of pausing before special moments to set the tone. Below, you’ll find the passages we read. I hope these words or something like them will come into play during your time with friends and family this holiday.
Wherever you are this week, the Ei family and I wish you a warm, full, and joyous Thanksgiving.
Thanks for being here with us. We are beyond grateful for you.
This might be used to open your Thanksgiving meal:
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough, and more.
It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.
It can turn a meal into a feast,
a house into a home,
a stranger into a friend.
It turns problems into gifts,
failures into successes,
the unexpected into perfect timing,
and mistakes into important events.
It can turn an existence into a real life,
and disconnected situations into important and beneficial lessons.
Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.
– Melody Beattie
This might be used to close your meal:
May you experience happiness.
May you bring light to someone else’s life.
May you abide in joy.
And may you allow yourself to feel gratitude,
and to multiply that feeling by sharing it with those around you.