I Am. You Are. We Are.

I’m stepping away from the computer for the rest of today (and tomorrow) to celebrate Thanksgiving and to devote all of my attention to Dave, Smudge, and the rest of my family. But before I go: a little Thanksgiving present from me to you.

At yoga last week (I know! Another yoga story! It’s what I’ve got right now.), we finished our class with a meditation, and the instructor encouraged us to chant “Satnam” to ourselves as moved our breath in and out of our lungs. She said that one translation of Satnam is  “I am.”

That simple noun+verb blew me away.

We don’t tend to think of “I am.” as a complete sentence. We say, I am… hungry or tired or fat or frustrated or thirsty or happy or excited or confused… or even healthy, positive things like blessed or grateful or strong. But by attaching only one descriptor, we exclude the reality that we are many things at once – and we are, actually, none of those things. Rather than attaching a label to ourselves – sitting in judgment on our experience – what if we simply reveled in the fact that we are. No judgement. No single word to define or constrain us. No expectations beyond the ability to be.

Groovy? Sure. Tempting? Hell, yes.

So today, if you’re with family and beautiful love comes mixed with emotional baggage and button pushing, or if your turkey didn’t crisp quite right, or if you’re eating paleo dessert and you really want that f*cking gluten cake, try this: Close your eyes, inhale through your nose and think “Sat…” (exhale) “…nam.” “Satnam. Satnam. Satnam.” Breathe and repeat, repeat, repeat. Then open your eyes, hug somebody, shrug at the turkey, and eat your paleo dessert with a heart full of gratitude.

You are.

There’s no better reason to be thankful than that.


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  • Ehsa says:

    Thank you so much for this post! A beautiful sentiment, simply but elegantly expressed. And yes, I am taking “satnam” to my nuance-fraught Thanksgiving dinner … I know it will make a huge positive difference!

  • Kelly says:

    Thank you for that. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  • Miss Jane says:

    We don’t do thanksgiving in Australia but I like the idea of having a day where we think about all that we have rather than what we don’t. May your turkey be tasty and your gathering peaceful. X

  • Well said.

    Happy Thanksgiving and rest up.

  • Eve says:

    Thank you. That’s beautiful!

    I am.

  • Lady A says:

    Beautiful post. Sat nam.

  • De23 says:

    Great post! What I think of when I hear “I am” is greatly theological – there is all sorts of interesting thoughts to be thunk about why, when Moses asks God who he should say sent him, He responds, ““I AM WHO I AM.[a] This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

    He is so complex and present and alive that a name can’t hold him – only “I AM” can reflect His character. And we are made in His/Her image, carrying a small piece of that character within us.

  • Stacy Barry says:

    Thank you! I needed the reminder and appreciate the insight although I am not sure I would ever want the gluten free cake… I am more of an apple or pumpkin pie sort of girl. 😉 Hugs to you, Dave and Smudge! 🙂