Last week, my family celebrated Thanksgiving. Since my vocation is to help people find their happiness, part of my work involves observing people's lives, habits, beliefs, and goals. As an immigrant in this country, I still find myself trying to gain a better understanding of the local culture, as it is different from the one I grew up in.
What I always found to be weird about American culture is the fact that people are always so grateful for their loved ones around the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas, but many don't prioritize them in their daily lives. I talk a lot about how Gratitude raises our vibration and attracts many good occurrences to us. Feeling Grateful twice a year just doesn't cut it. How can a family maintain close relationships if the members of the family hardly ever spend quality time together? How can we appreciate the important things in life, when the two major Holidays we celebrate revolve around consumerism? Most of the Thanksgiving long weekend is all about shopping, and most of Christmas is about gifts.
The reputation of Americans around the world is one of people who raise their kids happily, but once they turn 18 and go to college, see them only a few times a year. This is of course a wild generalization, as the US is composed of people from all over the world, each group bringing here their own culture. But still, there is a local trend which consists of people following their personal paths, which often lead them far away from their families- physically and emotionally. As someone who grew up in a huge tight-knit family, I found that very un-natural. In Israel most families get together once a week- either for Friday night dinner, or during the day on Saturday. My father always emphasized the importance of family, and we would always attend the events of my many first and even second degree cousins, even if we had to fly halfway across the world to do so.
What does this have to do with my work as a Hypnotherapist? A lot. I guide people who are not living their best lives, and who are unhappy with some aspect of their lives. To me, it is obvious that a society which focuses on work and on consumerism, over family/community and time/place freedom- is going to be a largely unhappy one. Even though my work as a Hypnotherapist focuses on people's subconscious mind, I find that once people heal their issues from their root, they begin to make conscious changes in their lives to reflect their healed subconscious. Your inner child doesn't believe you should be working so much! But that child received messages from the adults in his/her life, and from society at large. When your higher-self planned on coming down to earth, it didn't have the intention of running in the rat-race, only to "someday" retire and only then start living its best life. Your higher-self knows you can have it all!
As members of this society we are brainwashed to adopt certain values and to view certain behaviors as normal and even favorable. But how is it favorable to have only one or two weeks of vacation a year? Or to work long hours, commute a far distance, and spend little time at home during the week? Women giving birth and then running back to work, leaving their infants in day cares all day, is in no way healthy for the child's development, or for the mother's wellbeing. Children spending hours every day on homework isn't natural. And I can go on and on. You don't have to accept "reality"! You can get in touch with what you believe life should be like. There is a movement these days of people moving to tiny houses, people becoming minimalists, people moving to cheaper countries- because these people decided that how they spend their time (and with who) matters more than money. Time is an invaluable commodity, and our loved ones are treasures.
There are entire societies, such as those of Scandinavian countries, who understand this. These countries boast the highest happiness index in the world. These countries are not turning their people into robots who work all the time, and their children into mini robots that constantly do homework. They make sure mothers and fathers bond properly with their babies. They provide plenty of vacation days so families can spend time together and so people can relax and enjoy themselves. Some countries have short workdays, and some have short work weeks. Societies who value people over money also have universal healthcare, free higher studies, and other features that bestow a sense of security and support. People in those societies have lower rates of anxiety and depression- not surprisingly.
Let's not wait for Thanksgiving to be grateful for our loved ones. Let's make sure that spending time with them is always a priority! And as much as I too love to shop, let's not get caught in the cycle of consuming and then wasting our lives working so we can pay for our possessions. The change begins with the individual, and if we don't fall into the trap of a society that worships money over all else- the laws of the country will change and reflect our own beliefs. Beliefs create reality, and healing the subconscious from all the unhealthy beliefs imposed on it by our surroundings is a big step towards improving our reality!
Wishing you many reasons to be grateful all year round,
Transformational Leader, Hypnotherapist,