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  • Writer's pictureFLX Women

Embracing the Contradictions of Thanksgiving (&life).

By Kristen M. Fragnoli

Of course, the Thanksgiving holiday is an opportunity to truly practice gratitude and take stock of the many blessings and privileges we have. Time with family, friends, food and familiar traditions is certainly a gift to be celebrated. At the same time, this is often a season when we grieve the loss or estrangement of loved ones, and when we look around our communities with the realization that there are many who lack basic resources and equitable access to the comforts of a "picturesque holiday scene." It is a day of deep tradition, yet fraught with contradictory historical meaning - not a day of celebration for Native Americans when we think beyond cultural mythology. Our challenge, in my opinion, is to find a compassionate and humane way to hold both of those ideas simultaneously. To reflect on both the beauty and gifts of this tradition on our national day of gratitude while also knowing that we have much work to do in creating a more just world for everyone. Life is like that - good and bad, up and down, stop and start. When we can hold both the pleasure and the pain of our experiences, we connect to a more authentic view of the world; embracing the contradictions and complexity creates new moments to be deeply thankful AND commit to making change and doing good in the world. I hope your Thanksgiving celebration - whatever form it takes - allows you to cherish your blessings and also commit to sharing blessings with the world.

Kristen is a speaker, leadership coach and the Founder of FLX Women. She is a lover of books and mountains who tries to live in "radical connection" to self and others. You can find out more about her on linkedin or at

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