Another Thanksgiving is upon us. There’s going to be lots of sumptuous pumpkin and turkey recipes. All lovely. You’re also going to see the familiar what-are-you-thankful prompts and posts. I’m not going to share a food recipe, but I will share what I’m grateful for, why gratitude matters, in the hope that you’ll make it a regular and integral part of your routine because daily gratitude, is helping me nurture my life’s positive trajectories.
This isn’t hyperbole. When I resist change, self sabotage, feel sorry for myself, I invoke gratitude now. It grabs and refocuses my attention more positively and productively.
It is part of my daily mental health routine which consists of meditation, The Artist Way morning pages, accountability and action. Listing what I’m thankful for keeps me grounded and empowered. And I’m thankful for small things – a hot shower, especially when I have a nasty cold, a warm bed with fluffy pillows, my mother’s unconditional love and living in a flawed but culturally energetic city.
When I resist change, self sabotage, feel sorry for myself, I invoke gratitude now. It grabs and refocuses my attention more positively and productively.
I’m going to dig deeper this Thanksgiving. I’ll be thankful for my vulnerability, learning from my mistakes, re-imagining pain, and not giving up on myself and others. Pretty ambitious for me.
What about you? What are you thankful for? Who or what has nurtured you recently? What’s empowered you? Write it down somewhere to give the gratitude more weight and mental imprint. Do this a lot to make it routine. If the person is alive, thank them now. Don’t wait for their birthday. If the person has passed on, thank them now. That reconnecting is comforting.
This week I thought about a beloved professor-mentor that was a father-figure to me and it was wonderful. I’ll always have his words of encouragement.
There’s something primal and innately wise about scheduling gratitude.
That’s why Thanksgiving and holidays like it are so important to our well being as individuals and communities. There’s something primal and innately wise about scheduling gratitude. When I forget how fortunate I am, when I struggle with a challenge or feel resentful, thinking about what I’m thankful for retrains my thinking process and makes it less negative.
Purging negativity and self pity are essential to mental well being. When I’m thankful I’m more calm, trusting, hopeful. This holiday season, as you gather with loved ones around the table, with delicious food, remember some people won’t be as fortunate. I’m not trying to make you feel guilty. I just want you to treasure what you have.
Purging negativity and self pity are essential to mental well being. When I’m thankful I’m more calm, trusting, hopeful.
Between us, you know Thanksgiving isn’t about food; it’s about being with people you care about. How about going around the table and asking people what they are thankful for? Who will have the courage not to censor themselves? If you won’t be at a gathering this holiday, take comfort in reading this. You’re not alone. Think about reaching out to someone less fortunate. For those of you who have someone to spend the holiday with, remember there’s always room at your table for someone else. Share the warmth.