Create The Good Life - Simple and Slow Living by Design

The Anatomy of Thanks Giving, Gratitude and Forgiveness

Fall Apple

We love everything about this season: nature's show of amber gold and russet red; the earthy smell of moldering leaves; crisp air, crisp apples, and the crowning jewel, a holiday filled with appreciation, loved ones, and delicious food. Stuffing, not stuff—yum!

Anticipating both the gratefulness and good eats to come, we felt into our bodies and noticed we experience thankfulness, gratitude, and forgiveness in different places and in different ways. For example:

Thanks is on the tip of the tongue and pops from the mouth with ease. It's bright and sweet, and a bit caffeinated—thank you, thanks a lot, many thanks. It doesn't take much to inspire a simple thanks, and it's easy to give. The waiter refills a glass—thanks! A friend passes along a fun suggestion—thanks! You made my world better, if even for a moment, and I appreciate it.

Refrigerator with Happy Contents

Gratitude lies deeper in the body and feels more diffuse. It warms the heart and chest, and glows yellow and red. When it flows forth, it feels like molasses, rich and smooth. We feel gratitude not so much for acts of kindness, but for the quality of being-ness over time. We are grateful for our friends, our family, our colleagues and clients, and for all that they are and bring into our lives. We are grateful to all the creatures on the earth, to the businesses and institutions that support us in our lives, and to all the people doing important, meaningful, and impactful work in the world. Recently we have been feeling gratitude toward objects—our diligent computers, the handy refrigerator, our faithful car, and it may be just our imagination, but they seem to be operating just a little sweeter (and less noisily in the case of our fridge!).

Forgiveness is a slow deep hum. Finding it can take a while. Stopping helps. Quiet helps too. Forgiveness takes its own time. But once it is found, forgiveness radiates with a resonance that reaches into the very cells of the body. It feels nourishing like a soup, soaking into every nook and cranny spreading its warmth. I forgive myself, and that spark grows into radiance over time. I forgive you, and gradually the body relaxes and becomes more open. I forgive everyone, and the body merges with everything around it.

Pumpkin Pie

Of course you may experience appreciation differently in your body and in your life. Some of us have gratitude leaping out of our throats and forgiveness emanating from the belly like a happy Buddha. The inward turning of autumn is an opportunity to check in with these emotions and see where and how they are. Taking time to explore them apart from the hustle and bustle—if even for the time it takes to drink a cup of tea—can be a way of aligning with the spirit and energy of the season.

Be in autumn. Feel your appreciation. Eat more pie.


Take a moment to meditate on the season. What do you see, smell, taste, hear, think about Fall? Let the positive and negative impressions wash over you. Write them down if that helps you to focus.


Jizo Bodhisattva

With your next quiet moment, feel into being thankful. What are the qualities of that feeling? Next, or at another time, do the same with gratitude and forgiveness. What are the different qualities and feelings that arise in you? Try some deep breaths and see what that does.

We wish to express our gratitude to all of you who have supported and worked with us over the past year. You make this the most fulfilling work we can imagine and daily help us to create the good life. And we want to give a special call out to Jill Sughrue who is a great friend and our wonderful copy editor.

With deep appreciation to everyone reading this,

Beth and Eric

This monthly slow essay is from Beth Meredith & Eric Storm of Create The Good Life.

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