November is the month of letting go of what is no longer needed or has fulfilled its purpose, just as trees now release the last season’s leaves. In China, an old proverb speaks to this: “Give away, throw away or move 27 items for nine days and your life will change.” The practice of letting go teaches us about non-attachment. The process of releasing or emptying provides room for new possibilities, opportunities, and blessings to enter our lives. In November we can readily see how much we have to be thankful for compared to our troubles and dissatisfactions. As we extend gratitude for the bounty and goodness that are present in our lives, any pockets of ingratitude that once seemed large in our imaginations become dwarfed- nearly nonexistent.
Angeles Arrien 1940 – 2014, Cultural anthropologist.