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Embracing November: A Season of Gratitude and Mindfulness

a woman enjoying fall leaves, fall gratitude and thanksgiving
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Happy Thanksgiving, TCP Fam! As we find ourselves in the heart of November, there's a certain magic in the air that signals the transition to colder days and cozier evenings. This month, let's take a moment to reflect on the spirit of gratitude and mindfulness, embracing the simple joys that this season brings.

For those of us in The U.S., November is synonymous with Thanksgiving, a time when we come together with loved ones to express gratitude for the blessings in our lives. But what if we extended this spirit of thankfulness beyond the holiday table? In our daily routines this fall, acknowledging the small moments of joy and appreciating the beauty in simplicity can bring a profound sense of gratitude.

As the leaves change hues and the air becomes crisper, it's the perfect time to practice mindfulness. Take a stroll through a park, breathe in the autumn air, and savor the vibrant colors around you. Being present in the moment allows us to connect with nature and find peace in the midst of our busy lives.

While you’re out and about, consider a fall-themed photo challenge centered around gratitude. This is something you can do with your friends and family through a group chat and is an especially nice way to connect if you live far apart from one another. Use your phone to capture and share photos of things you are all thankful for during the season, whether it's a cozy fireplace, a favorite fall beverage, or a scenic autumn landscape. If your chat is competitive, choose a winner each week with a vote, and praise what you liked about their pictures.

If your days are too hectic, a cozy evening ritual where you can spend a few minutes in quiet reflection by candlelight may be just the thing for you. This simple practice can create a serene atmosphere and provide an opportunity to express gratitude for the warmth and comfort of fall. Gaze at the flame while you recall the good things that happened that day, or if your candle is bright enough, you can write a quick entry in a journal.

Perhaps a guided meditation inspired by the fall harvest moon is more your vibe. Find a quiet space, visualize its golden glow, or sit outside on a night when the moon is visible, and reflect on the abundance in your life. Try to express gratitude for the harvest, both metaphorically and literally. What “crops” have you nurtured and grown this year that are ready for you to reap? What actual food are you excited to eat this autumn, that you wouldn’t have without the hard work of farmers and laborers?

Speaking of crops and food, consider incorporating some yummy kimchi into your meals as a unique way to practice mindfulness. This Korean staple, known for its rich flavors and health benefits, adds a burst of excitement to various dishes. Try warming up with a bowl of kimchi stew (김치 찌개). The combination of kimchi, tofu, and vegetables in a savory broth creates a comforting and nourishing experience. Take each spoonful mindfully, savoring the layers of flavor that dance on your palate.

November, with its crisp air and falling leaves, invites us to slow down, express gratitude, and embrace mindfulness. Whether you're savoring a warm bowl of kimchi stew or taking a mindful walk in nature, this month offers countless opportunities to appreciate the beauty of the present moment. As we navigate through the final weeks of the year, let's carry the spirit of gratitude and mindfulness with us, savoring the richness that each day brings. From Our Heart and Our Hands to Your Plate.

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