How I celebrated my first proper Thanksgiving Day in New York?
For many it is another holiday that becomes a big Black Friday shopping day, with special deals and offers in the shops.
It was year 2012 when we had flown in to New York from London to spend that long weekend with our daughter, who was studying at New York University.
My brother in law has been hosting Thanksgiving dinner at his beautiful home in Upper West Side, Manhattan for years. We decided to join them this time.
Initially it was a bit strange for me, to see around 25 family members and close friends stand in a circle. It seemed like a stage set up for strategizing before the game. Clockwise each person took turns to talk about anything they wished to be grateful for, in the year that went by. The awkward energy was released like steam by the authenticity and sincerity of feelings shared. The room’s energy penetrated with openness and intimacy into our bodies. One by one each person spoke about what challenges they faced in the year. How other people in the room or outside the room helped them overcome those challenges. There was gratification and expansion of awareness in the room as eyebrows were raised to express surprises by the givers. Many times, we don’t know what we mean to others and how we unconsciously touch their lives. It was deep connection from one heart speaking directly to another heart. In the fast-paced life, we forget to acknowledge what others bring to our lives, especially when most needed. How our life becomes multi-dimensional with the presence of others. We realize their value only when we miss them and sometimes it is too late. As we moved around the circle we giggled, stuttered, cried and laughed at the same time. We connected with a deep emotional bond and when it came to my turn, it was like a floodgate of emotions opened up. There was hidden acknowledgement, gratitude, love, companionship and compassion flowing for myself and other people for their journey and mine. By the time the circle was complete I felt complete too. This has been a truly transformational experience that allowed me to express and receive without any judgments and barriers.
That is Thanksgiving for me, giving and receiving like a stream flowing, a memory I shall always cherish and feel grateful for.