Sitting here at my computer, trying to recover after a busy but wonderful Thanksgiving weekend, I am left with the lingering sentiment of gratitude. How could I not feel anything but grateful for all the wonderful blessings in my life? Surrounded by cherished loved ones, a cornucopia of good food, shelter and comfort, I have more than I could ever ask for. With my heart and belly as full as tonight’s moon will be, I feel so blessed. 

Living in a country where we have all we could ever need and want at our fingertips, it is sometimes easy to forget how so many others in the world lack even the basic needs. We may even forget to be thankful for the smallest of blessings. Acknowledging all that we have and expressing our gratitude is the best way to honour all the gifts we have, no matter how great or small. Sharing these gifts with others is also important, and in my opinion, blesses us doubly.Expressing gratitude through ritual is common throughout many cultures and I have always been fascinated by the infinite ways there are to give thanks. The Maya express their gratitude to the Hunab Ku the “supreme God” and the Yuumtsilo’ob, all the gods and goddesses and spiritual guardians, with a Taa’jche’, a sacred ceremony of the New Fire. They also make offerings of corn, balché, flowers, sweets, and other special gifts as a way of sharing their blessings and giving thanks. The Inca perform sacred Despacho ceremonies to express gratitude and connect to the energy and spirits of nature. This honouring of Pachamama (Mother Earth) and the Apus, (Nature Spirits) is expressed through special offerings and intentions to show gratitude, love and respect and to also attract more of these blessings in return. In Hawaii, locals take part in a special lei ceremony to show their appreciation and to exchange love and aloha. With the belief that the heads and shoulders are sacred parts of the body, the gifting of beautiful floral garlands is a way to express reverence, honour and respect and to share love and thanks with another. So many other cultures express gratitude in these very special ways and have carried on these important rituals and traditions for thousands of years.

Keeping these sacred traditions in mind, you too can find many ways to try and incorporate them into your life in whatever shape and form you find fitting when you want to express your gratitude. Whether it is sitting around a table with loved ones to share in the bounty of the harvest with laughter and love, sharing gifts and tokens of affection, or writing words and notes of thanks and love, no expression of appreciation is too great or small. As long as we keep in mind all that we are grateful for and honour others with thanks, we can ensure a wonderful life of abundance and blessings for all.

Blessed be to all!

~ Daniela Masaro