Thanksgiving is definitely my favorite holiday of them all! I try to be expressive of how grateful I am for the many blessings in my life on a day-to-day basis, but having an entire day to celebrate and do all things gratitude is just the best!
There are so many things we can all be grateful for. If you're reading this message, for starters, that means you have access to technology that makes that possible. Not only that, you also have eyes to be reading this message!! 👀You likely also have a roof over your head and a warm place to stay sleep tonight, something that is not the case for many people around our country and world. You're probably well-fed and might even be looking forward to a delicious Thanksgiving feast tomorrow! The decision to acknowledge each of these things as immense blessings is exactly that, a decision, a choice. We can choose to wake each day and see our world through eyes full of wonder and appreciation.
I love being immersed in this feeling of overwhelming gratitude for the big and small things in life. I get giddy just thinking about it! I'm so excited to see my family tomorrow, by far the most important part of my life. I am so incredibly grateful to life for my amazing family- words can't explain how much I love them. Each and every one of my family members is oh so special to me and I love them from here to the end of the universe and back! Mom, from you I acquired that insatiable fire in my belly that drives me to keep on keeping and have a level of energy and positivity that's become a family hallmark. Your kindness and all-encompassing love is more than any daughter could have ever wished for. I thank life for you and your love everyday. Dad, from you I learned to always see the good in people, to be fair, forgiving, and to always be my best not because of what others might think, but because I'll have to wake up with me every day. You are my base, my foundation, my north-star. Sister, you've taught me the power of the heart. Your ability to love and open your heart to all is nothing short of amazing. You inspire me everyday. Brother, you are as kind as you are sweet. You are loyal, a team player, strong, funny, and brave. You are my rock. My life is complete because each of you exists. I am grateful for you each and every single day.
This year has been a year of immense personal growth. This year I'm especially grateful for the level of self-love and self-appreciation I've reached. It wasn't always this way, but I realized along the way that the most important relationship I will have in my life is my relationship with myself. Once I got to a place of deep and complete appreciation and love for myself, not a conceited love, but a healthy, confident, supportive, and unyielding love, my relationships with others started changing for the better too! This now makes a lot of sense, I had filled myself up to fullness where I could overflow in gratitude, love and giving to others. This year I'm especially grateful for the growth I've made and the level of complete self-love I've reached. I hope you too share in this beautiful feeling of self-love.
Another thing I am grateful for is my growing ability to contribute, give back, and pay it forward. Growing up, I learned early on that strangers are kind and good. Now that I'm at a place in my life where I can contribute and give-back, contribution has been one of the strongest driving forces moving me forward. Having the ability to lend a hand, lighten-up someone's day, provide a hug or/and smile when needed, sing a song to a senior and bring a smile to their face, or buy a warm meal or clothes for someone in need, has been the biggest reward in itself. I pray that my ability to contribute may only increase exponentially in the coming years.
One last thing I want to highlight this Thanksgiving is technology. Thanks to technology I can learn anything that strikes my fancy. I can listen to any book I could every imagine, I can watch videos to continue my self-development, I can skype with a friend across the world, and can text my mom that I love her. I'm grateful for how technology can bring us together as a family, community, and human race.
What are you grateful for?
Yesterday I lost my grandfather, a truly formidable man who led an epic life. Although I will most definitely miss him and miss him already, these days will not be for mourning but for celebrating and remembering the beautiful life he lived and all the wonderful things he stood for and all the things we loved about him.
My grandfather was a man "fuera de su época", a man "outside of his epoch." My grandfather, an only child, grew his legacy from his own life and impact to the life and impact of his 14 children. He was always so proud of the loving and numerous family that he helped raise and supported. My grandfather was truly a provider, not just for his family for his entire town. He and my grandmother ran the only school in town, he paved the streets and brought electricity to his town, and was in every way a leader for his community.
When he had his children, he went outside the beliefs held by others during his time and was a "feminist," encouraging and supporting his daughters to get an education. Needless to say, all his children, including the women in the family, received some level of education and became teachers. That's where the education family tradition was strengthened (my great grandma and grandpa were also teachers, and so was my grandma).
When my aunts and uncles were young, when my grandpa would visit the big city, Guadalajara,and he would ask his kids what they wanted. My mom wanted an education. When my mom was about 13 years old, an opportunity arose for her to study in Guadalajara. It was unheard of for a girl to leave her family to study, but my grandpa, really being a man outside his epoch, allowed my mom to leave and pursue her studies. There were days the only thing my mom ate was a tortilla with salsa as it was a struggle to fight for her education, but of course she prevailed (where do you think I get it from?). My mom not only finished her schooling but also attended college, and then got her masters in chemistry and physics- a woman outside her epoch.
Mi Papa Juanito, as we all called him, was a funny funny man. One of my favorite memories is taking selfies with him once he was older and him seeing himself and saying "who's that handsome man?" (This is when he wasn't wearing his dentures...). Even in old age, he was lucid and oh so witty. I also loved sharing with him information about the latest advances in technology. Telling him about 3D printers, self-driving cars, and virtual reality among many more things.
I know for sure that he is now in a better place and that he is here with me. He is here with me in witty remarks I make, when I see my hands I see his hands, and when I think of his impact and his resolve to truly live life it inspires me to live a FULL life. One where joy, love, gratitude are recognized and experienced and appreciated on a daily basis.
My grandpa, mi abuelito, not only lived a century, but truly LIVED in the way life is meant to be lived, experienced and enjoyed. Papa Juanito, te quiero con todo mi corazón. Se que esta no es una despedida sino una forma de estar aún más cercanos ya que estas presente en todo lo que hacemos todo el tiempo.
En paz descanses abuelito.
Con mucho amor y cariño,
Working to radically improve the lives of a billion++ people via tech & mindset