On Gratitude, Gratefulness & Always Giving Thanks

Gratitude. What does it mean to you?

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.

~ Thornton Wilder

It’s that time of year again!

The time here in the cooling (and beautiful) Northwest when we start thinking about cozy sweaters, warm scarves, pulling on our favorite boots, and about Thanksgiving.

This is the time of year when every corner grocery store stocks tiny mini pumpkins and you can’t take a step without hearing a leaf (or seven) crumble under your well-meaning fuzzy-socked feet.

Happy October everyone!

The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.

~ William James

This week I am particularly thankful for big progress here at what I like to lovingly call world IPOM headquarters (tee hee).

Not So Fast is making progress at a healthy and (mostly) manageable pace. I owe big gratitude to all who are taking part in this creative and amazing labor of love. Your energy and support are the only reason NSF is anything more than just a random passing idea.

I’ve got a giant heart here and it’s all full because of all of you. Yes, you (that is pointed squarely at you too IPOM readers).

Risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.

~ Leo Buscaglia

Not So Fast is hard at work planning a full school year of cooking classes for kids and families living in our fair city’s poorest neighborhood.

We want to not only share simple food with those who are keen to join us, but we hope to (maybe) offer (just a little) hope, confidence & much needed access to eating well into lives that are (likely) much more limited than our own.

A quick visit to our local farmers market drives our mission home for me with motivating intensity each and every time I go.

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.

~ Epictetus

This time of year showcases producers of all types offering up the very height of glory in the fruits of their (hard) labor.

I get goosebumps just thinking of perusing & buying fresh corn, squash, kale, sweet cherry tomatoes, heirloom variety apples, and the last of the summer fruits and berries of all kinds.

It is nothing short of pure vegetable heaven this time of year, and every bit a true food lover’s paradise, no matter what your dietary preferences. You’d have to be inhuman not to get inspired this time of year after a visit to the market.

That is, unless you can’t afford it.

I wrote a few posts back about my visit to the market where I (oh heavens me) happened to find myself with only a meager sum of cash to get me through my visit. That visit where I had to control my desires and my will.

Imagine (just for a second) that you had to do that every day?

Not because (like me) you just weren’t organized, but because you simply didn’t have the dough. I ask this question not to instill guilt, or a sense of anything other than awareness.

Awareness that no matter what your means, there is always someone who has less than you, and always someone who has more.

Those blessings are sweetest that are won with prayer and worn with thanks.

~ Thomas Goodwin

As we prepare here in Canada to celebrate our national celebration of Thanksgiving (we are 3 weeks ahead of our American friends), many of us might be busy planning menus, inviting guests, or maybe just looking forward to our next three-day weekend.

My wish for this coming weekend, and for all the weekends to follow is simple:

My wish is that each day that comes next might be just as good as the day before, and that no matter what life throws at me, I always remember the important things. Like having a healthy loving family, a cozy roof over my head, and two strong legs to walk my sorry a** to the store when I’ve run out of milk (again).

Rest and be thankful.

~ William Wadsworth

I’d love to know what you might be thankful for not just this season, but all year long. I’ve a feeling our needs are not that different from one another, really.

Food, shelter, love.Good people. Good food. A good laugh here and there.

Not too much for ask for I reckon, especially when there is just so much to go around.

I am so happy to have you all here at IPOM to continue to celebrate simple healthy food and the idea of living with (just a little) less.

Many blessings to you, your loved ones, and the communities you live in.

Because the truth is as we move forward in our collective lives is just this: we are all in this together.

I’d love to hear what you might be pondering in preparation for this coming holiday weekend (and for those of you who are looking that far ahead in the US). No matter where you are, thanks for joining us!

I’ve got some recipes coming up that I hope you’ll love 🙂

  • What are you planning for Thanksgiving?
  • How do you give thanks?

Yours in Less (as always),


Filed under Children, Cooking, Fasting, Feeding, Food, Food Insecurity, Going Without, Happiness, Health, Hope, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Non-Profit Organization, Not So Fast, Photography, Recipes, Rejuvenation, Success, Uncategorized, Victory

44 responses to “On Gratitude, Gratefulness & Always Giving Thanks

  1. I love this. I used to teach kids in pretty rough circumstances and they really could have used this kind of project and would certainly have appreciated this kind of effort. Thank you.

    • Thanks! I am happy you can understand…truthfully I am not sure who actually might get more out of it – us or them 🙂 But that is the beauty of it, Thanks for reading! X 🙂

  2. A beautiful post, both words and photos alike.

  3. This year we’re not going to be at home but at the home of friends. It’s close to a beach, a home to which they plan to retire someday but is now rented out when they’re not there. Since my husband couldn’t go on vacation with us this year, he hasn’t had a break (and has also gone through thyroid cancer [and come out on the other side] and had a broken hand). He’s taking a week off and we’re going to the house. Our friends will come for Thanksgiving, picking up our younger daughter from art school on the way there. The only one who probably won’t be able to make it is our older daughter, but she can spend Thanksgiving with her boyfriend and his family. Our meal will be different this year as one of our friends is gluten-intolerant (and I usually fix ravioli) and most of us don’t like turkey. But without a doubt it will be delicious.

    How do I give thanks? Through prayer, verbally to family and friends, via my blog, by sharing what I can with others whenever I can.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Wow, thanks for sharing – and so amazing to hear your husband has come out the other side of cancer, that is indeed something to be thankful for 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving to you! X

  4. Wow Shira, what a beautiful, beautiful post. this is exactly what i needed to hear today. thanks for sharing!

  5. Yes! Shira, so much good to go around! I’m really happy NSF is moving forward so well. Such a beautiful and noble cause.

    I’m planning our first ever plant based Thanksgiving and may possibly have as many as 40 guests. So much to be grateful for over the last year.

    Oh, and your farmer’s market is absolutely glorious! Every stand is like an individual priceless work of art. xx -Somer

    • 40 people! Wow Somer, that is amazing! There is so much to be thankful for indeed – I can’t wait to hear all about your dinner plans 🙂 Happy October!! Thank you as always for your kind words and encouragement! XX

  6. Thanks, Shira, for another thoughtful and thought-provoking post. It’s been wonderful watching your vision grow and succeed. I have no doubt it will continue to do so.

    Especially thankful this year for my family and for my partner, Kel, without whom the trials of the past year would have been too heavy to bear alone. Happy Thanksgiving, Shira. xoxo

  7. Pingback: What’s Up with Our Food??? Local, Organic, Non-GMO | Stir It Up!

  8. Alaine @ My GF & DF Living

    This is a beautiful post. I am new to your blog and what an amazing post to come across first. Very inspiring.

  9. I love this time of the year! Great photos 🙂

  10. Beautiful, thought provoking post. Love this: He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has. love this. realizing and being thankful for the things we have period. I love what you are doing with Not so Fast. Truly inspiring.

    • Thanks for following along Alice – your support is fantastic and you always have kind & positive energy to throw my way 🙂 It is truly appreciated! XX

  11. emmalaw

    God, this is just such a beautiful post x

  12. You are doing an amazing thing, well done. The photos are stunning!

  13. Inspiring post! A perfect read to start my day – I am thankful for that!

  14. So glad to hear to are achieving such amazing success 🙂 Makes me feel all warm inside for you! You are a gem Shira!

  15. What you are doing is so amazing Shira! Congratulations on the success of Not So Fast. 🙂

  16. Oh my gosh I love that Thornton Wilder quote!!! That’s SO cool to hear what Not So Fast is doing!!! 🙂 Congrats!

  17. I love what you are doing Shira!! Not So Fast is an amazing concept – congratulations on your success – it makes me really happy 🙂 and grateful!
    Beautiful post – thank you Shira!

  18. What an important reminder. You’re the best, Shira, I love the work you’re doing!

  19. Frances antoinette

    I give thanks to at least one thing in my life everyday. I didn’t know Canada has a thanksgiving day–neat!

  20. We had an advance Thanksgiving dinner last night because my mom will be in Paris over the holiday – but I am thankful that we had that time together with family and I even got to see a great uncle that I hadn’t seen in several years. This weekend will be another big meal, this time at our place. I do feel lucky to belong to the working class world that can afford food that we want, when we want it. I know being able to grow a lot of our own food is a privilege and am thankful for that, too. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family and friends.

    • Thanks Heidi! I am always a little envious of your lovely country life – it sounds so rewarding, and to be able to grow your own food is amazing! Have a great Thanksgiving weekend and lovely to hear you will get two this year 🙂

  21. Gosh Shira you never cease to amaze and inspire me with your beautiful words – what an amazing program, teaching those less fortunate and providing them with the education to make better choices for their families – we need more people to do just that – educate and lend a little support to those that may simply just not know how to.

    I aboslutely LOVE Thanksgiving – it is the one Holiday that we always spend at home, we have an open invitation to any of our friends and family who would like to join us for a Vegan Thanksgiving 🙂

    • Thank you Heather! I am so happy you stopped by this post – you always take the time to leave such lovely comments, and I am so happy you approve of our little idea! It is sure to grow and we are very excited about it! 🙂
      I’m with you and adore Thanksgiving too….I would love a seat at your table, I am sure your dinner will be amazing! XX

  22. Always refreshing, always inspiring Shira! Love you for doling out such beautiful posts. Good to see your Not So Fast slowly spreading it’s charm. Good wishes to you:)

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