The transformation of the celebration of Thanksgiving is present in many places, and it is so heartening. Thousands of #thankful and #gratefulfor messages fill the social media airwaves. This holiday has always been about celebrating thankfulness, but our frame has now shifted to a larger consideration. We are invited to think beyond family and friends, even beyond our charitable actions, to practice gratefulness for the living systems through which we travel, by which we are sustained.

The invitation is to connect further with that Greater Self, the one beyond the confines of the familiar, and to re-acquaint ourselves with, to identify with and protect, the whole of our living systems, which are under duress.

2017 has been a year of waking up, on many levels and for many, many people. While it may be tempting to stay with the familiar, we know now that things must change in order for all to thrive. And we are realizing that what seemed like a “personal problem,” is as much a sign pointing toward the society we were raised in, and the societal change needed — toward just systems, income equality, peace and well-being, environmental health.

This realization of what is needed may be less fearful and more joyous than we think. Perhaps this identification with and care for the Greater Self has been a wish or a thought or a dream waiting to manifest. We will find our way, individually and together, to connect and heal the separations we feel, so that self-care becomes no other than care for the entire planetary system. Giving thanks for that possibility today.