During this month of Thanksgiving, I thought it was only fitting to ask the poignant question: For what am I grateful? It is so easy to take many of our gifts and blessings for granted. Thus, I tried to capture a few blessings for which I am grateful. Some are obvious, others are not. I, for one, believe that by deliberately cultivating gratitude, we can increase our well-being and happiness. In addition, grateful thinking—and especially expression of it to others—has been proven to increase levels of energy, optimism, and empathy.
So, for what am I grateful?
- I am grateful for my parents, who are no longer with me here on earth, yet their love, unconditional support, encouragement, and tremendous role modeling laid the foundation on which my life was built.
- I am grateful for my last living relative, my sister, Gretchen. My true-life partner – who pushes, pulls, encourages, and stretches in perfect proportion.
- I am grateful to have had Lulu, my rescue schnauzer. Her time is limited – as by the time this article posts, will probably be with Grammy (momma), Big Foot (daddy) and Cleo (her 4-legged cousin). She was a steady and constant source of unconditional love through the single most challenging time of my life.
- I am grateful for my health, which has been tested (big tested) 3 times in my life and God allowed me to stay in Earth school and continue to enjoy life to its fullest.
- I am grateful to my friends, for their love, generous interest in my life, humor and above all else: their loyalty.
- I am grateful for the many men and women who have served our country over the decades, and in some cases given their lives, to enable our freedom. Coming from a family of veterans, and my father having spent 11 months in a Korean hospital, our freedoms are too often taken for granted. We are indebted to our armed services for the freedoms and safety we experience today.
- I am grateful to mentors and teachers who encourage me to stretch, grow, learn, and apply new tools, techniques, and approaches to life and business.
- I am grateful to my clients and customers for their confidence and for helping me to continue to grow and learn in my profession.
- I am grateful to the sister of my dear friend, who was murdered earlier this year, for locking arms with me as we honor, pay tribute, and remember her precious soul taken far too early.
- I am grateful for the dark night of the soul which illuminated my current professional calling and positioned me for alignment.
- I am grateful for the impermanence of life and the joy of ongoing evolution and change.
- I am grateful for rough seas as they have given me much autobiographical material for rich stories, on which I have based my trilogy of books.
- I am grateful to individuals who shun my help, support, care, and concern – as they serve as ongoing catalysts to remind me the joy is in the giving, not in acknowledgement of my efforts.
- I am grateful for the Harvest Moon, which gloriously displays our incredible universe and the numerous stars and the enchanting quiet of the night.
- I am grateful for those individuals who compare, compete, plagiarize and sometimes marginalize my work in comparison to theirs as this motivates me to define my own definition of success, my authentic individuality, and my contribution to the world.
- I am grateful to the thousands of essential workers – from grocery store clerks to postal workers – who continue to serve and support our lives each and every day through this Covid 19 crisis.
- I am grateful to the beauty of our world and the sounds of nature, the morning bird music, the leaves blowing in the wind, the sound of rain, and even the thunder.
- I am grateful to the critics of my books, my choices, and my ongoing writing – as it encourages me to reach deeper and be true to my own authenticity regardless of their opinions.
- I am grateful for the many challenges of life as they teach valuable lessons of Faith, Hope, and Love.
- I am grateful to our Creator for the beauty of our world, our lives, and the ongoing lessons we experience together as a global community.
These are just a few of the many blessings for which I am grateful. How can we embrace this, not only during Thanksgiving month, but throughout the year? It can be extremely challenging, especially given the past several months of 2020, and the ongoing Covid 19 crisis.
A few thoughts:
- Find pleasure in the simple things and keep a gratitude journal. Nothing fancy – just write down 1-2 things a day. It still amazes me how it transforms our thinking.
- Give at least one compliment a day or send a note to a friend who may need a ‘B12’. This will light a spark of love – of this I am 100% certain. This can be done on FB messenger, a voice mail, a video message, or even snail mail. One thing I know for sure – everyone, EVERYONE, needs love and reassurance right now.
- As we navigate Covid 19 and all that this entails, ask ‘what am I supposed to be learning or teaching through this experience?’
- Find a cause, an organization, or a person which we can serve, as my mom and daddy taught my sister and me – when we focus on others, our challenges will virtually disappear.
- Say THANK YOU early and often and when least expected. Even for the smallest gesture, it makes a HUGE difference.
Blessings to each of you for a Happy Thanksgiving holiday.