While it has been a really challenging year, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’m focusing on gratitude for overcoming many of the challenges we’ve faced and the resilience we’ve built.

According to Psychology Today, gratitude is the expression of appreciation for what one has. It is a recognition of value independent of monetary worth. Spontaneously generated from within, it is an affirmation of goodness and warmth. 

Gratitude is a mindset. Even in a time when my resilience is challenged regularly, I remain thankful. I am thankful for my family, thankful for my friends, thankful for my health and for the lessons that hard circumstances have taught.

I’m also thankful for all of the relationships I’ve built through Yellow Parachute Learning Partners. The families with whom we partner and our incredible team members have always helped fill my proverbial cup, lighten my load, and reaffirm why I work so hard doing what I do. I firmly believe that no matter what the circumstances, we always have something to be grateful for

And then, if out of gratitude, we practice actions, they become gifts for others and for ourselves. A few years ago, my family started baking cookies during the holidays and giving them away as a tradition to demonstrate the practice of loving ourselves enough to show our love without expecting any in return. 

You can read more about our family tradition here. It’s a tradition not just of bonding, but of bravery…of walking out into the world with a smile and a box of cookies to say, “Hey, this is what we’ve got.” …and knowing it’s enough

And this bravery leads to more gratitude. In fact, brain scans of people assigned a task that stimulates expression of gratitude show lasting changes in the prefrontal cortex that heighten sensitivity to future experiences of gratitude.

While this year Thanksgiving may not look like what it traditionally has for so many of us, there are many good times to be had. Take the day to relax, reflect, take care of yourself, be cozy, and be brave. 

I wish you and your families all the best this Thanksgiving.

Cara Thorpe
Founder & Visionary
Yellow Parachute Learning Partners