Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Human Connection: The Power of Vulnerability


On behalf of the Thanksgiving holiday (for those that celebrate) many health experts are featuring topics about the power of gratitude or providing tips on how to avoid a food coma. Mandala Reflections already focused on gratitude in the Mary Oliver and Maya Angelou post but wanted to provide some more food for thought this week. Unfortunately, Mandala Reflections will not be posting about what foods to avoid this holiday. So you got lucky! Enjoy your meal(s).

What Mandala Reflections will do is challenge you to not avoid something this holiday, and that something would be your feelings and your vulnerabilities. Now before you shut down and disregard this post, because many of us have the tendency to cringe when we have to talk about our feelings,  please do take 20 minutes to watch and enjoy this humorous, smart and thought-provoking TEDtalk video that may change the way you think about your feelings and the way you think about yourself and the world.

The ability to connect with ourselves and others is definitely something we think about during the holidays, and this human connection does truly affect our health and our lives. While you sit on the couch or bar stool this holiday, reflecting or not reflecting, with or without family and friends, this video offers a legitimate challenge for us all, and that message you will just have to wait and find out by watching the video for yourself.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Mary Oliver and Maya Angelou’s thoughts on Gratitude


In honor of  Thanksgiving–Mandala Reflections would like to share a poem by Mary Oliver and a reading by Maya Angelou on gratitude. Instead of posting on Thanksgiving Day, I thought it might be useful to provide these reflections in advance for everyday pondering. Hopefully if anything they can allow for a pause in your day to remember no matter how bad it seems there is likely something you can be thankful for–in fact, maybe you will find enough reasons to create a list and hang it somewhere you see often.

As the light begins to fade in Minnesota, I have found myself to be in a place of deep reflection which at times can lead to less than grateful thoughts. Both the poem and the video help ground me when I find myself falling into habitual patterns of complaining. Both Mary and Maya remind me that part of well-being includes remembering and honoring what is important and practicing gratitude.

Mindful by Mary Oliver

Every day
I see or hear
that more or less

kills me
with delight,
that leaves me
like a needle

in the haystack
of light.
It was what I was born for –
to look, to listen,

to lose myself
inside this soft world –
to instruct myself
over and over

in joy,
and acclamation.
Nor am I talking
about the exceptional,

the fearful, the dreadful,
the very extravagant –
but of the ordinary,
the common, the very drab,

the daily presentations.
Oh, good scholar,
I say to myself,
how can you help

but grow wise
with such teachings
as these –
the untrimmable light

of the world,
the ocean’s shine,
the prayers that are made
out of grass?

One Percent by Maya Angelou