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Thanksgiving Mosh Pit
5m

Thanksgiving Mosh Pit

Feel love and humanity through this tradition.

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- Hi, I'm Justin Schuman, and I wanna talk with you a little bit about Thanksgiving. So here's the thing. The older I get, the more misgivings I have about Thanksgiving. I am actually deeply conflicted about this holiday because I've learned in my adult years that things were not quite so simpatico between the Pilgrims and the Indigenous peoples. I'm gonna step off my soapbox because that's not actually the point of this video. However, I don't think we can have a conversation about Thanksgiving without acknowledging what it actually was. I do think, however, that there is a spirit surrounding Thanksgiving that we don't lean into enough, and it doesn't not have to do with the actual origin story. It's people. Human is a verb. It's something that we do. It's not just something that we are, and if it's something that we do, well, then we have to do it intentionally and purposefully every single day. Okay, so then how does Thanksgiving wrap up in this? Well, if we're gonna zoom in on this holiday, this holiday that we spend with people, hopefully some of our nearest and dearest, and we all come into a room and we look at the year prior, we talk about what we're grateful for, we also have to examine how we humaned over that year. I don't think you can isolate gratitude in a silo without looking at a snapshot of the entire year and going, "Well, what actually happened?" So what if this year we implemented just a bit more mindfulness into the typically mindless act of consumption, which I'm super guilty of. I love cranberry sauce, but probably what I love most about my Thanksgiving tradition is how I actually spend the day. There is so much love. We talk about the year that we've had. We human around each other. We let ourselves be seen. And this one ritual we have that I really, really love, and I wanted to hand it to you, take it or leave it, but if it informs what you may do with your group this year, I wouldn't be mad. So a little after eating, once we've had a moment to digest, we are all handed out an index card, three by five, whatever. I write Justin on the top, and I just write a list of things that I'm grateful for. The room gets very quiet and everyone goes to work, and it's this really interesting thing. I feel like when you're handed a pen and a piece of paper and said, "Write what you're grateful for," you immediately go deeper, 'cause you're not saying it out loud. There's this sort of privacy on the page that you're allowed to lean into. So you go to work, you list it out. Grateful for X, grateful for Y, grateful for Z. Cool. The activity doesn't stop there though. Then somebody goes and collects all the cards, shuffles them, and hands them back out. Now you don't have your own card. Now, we go around and we read them aloud. Can this be awkward? Absolutely, but it's not Thanksgiving if things don't get awkward at least once, right? It is such a visceral experience to hear the list of what you're grateful for be read out loud by someone else. In a way, it gives the list life in a way that just you putting it down on paper did not. And then you also get to give the same gift to someone else when you read their list. It is this one big mosh pit of sharing, of being seen, of being vulnerable, of sharing the things you're grateful for transitively from the mouth of someone else, getting to hear those things back, knowing everyone hears the things you're grateful for, being revealed just a little bit, and also maybe catching something new in your list that you didn't realize was there even when you wrote it down. It's kind of wild. And I only wish that the Pilgrim and the Indigenous folks could have engaged in some sort of conversation like this as well, because I'm sure it was two disparate parties who came together and did not understand one another. They both humaned in such different ways, and had they led with true, honest, genuine gratitude, the thing that we're ostensibly celebrating with this holiday, I can't say how things would've gone different, but just because they didn't doesn't mean we can't. So as you take your mindfulness practice that you do every single day, whether that be breath work, meditation, yoga, prayer, bring it into Thanksgiving with you this year and see how you can funnel that incredibly intentional energy that you use every single day to send to yourself and give it to someone else. Reflect them back on them. Ask them what they're grateful for. Be interested. Listen specifically. That is a gift. That is a version of mindfulness. That is a version of being present with another person. Can you imagine if whatever your Thanksgiving dinner, feast, et cetera, is had a little bit more this in it? It changes the holiday. It's no longer just about stuffing and parades, although I love both of those things. It's about sharing. It's about getting to know yourself and the people around you more deeply, figuring out how you human best by focusing on the things you are most grateful for. That's the Thanksgiving that I wanna celebrate. It was really good to chat with you today. I hope you have a wonderful holiday, and I'll see you back again soon on Skylight.

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