There’s a lot to love about Thanksgiving: the opportunity to spend time with family and friends, the endless meal and its leftovers, football, pumpkin pie, and – in my book – the act of giving thanks. I love that there’s an entire holiday dedicated to this idea!
There are many forms a gratitude practice can take. For me, it’s as simple as listing five things I’m grateful for before going to bed each night. They can be big (the health of my family and friends) or small (getting to turn off my alarm clock the next morning). Either way, it’s a nice way to bookend a day and jar myself out of simple mindless contentment. I highly recommend it.
Now if you really want to get bang for your buck, though, don’t stop there. Move past gratitude to truly giving thanks. What’s the difference, you might ask? A gratitude practice does a wonderful job reminding you how full and fortunate your life is. Giving thanks provides expression to that gratitude. It’s one thing for me to end my day grateful to have a supportive partner, an amazing mentor, generous friends and lovely clients. It’s another thing entirely to share this with them.
It reminds me of that folk song we were taught as children: Love is something if you give it away… you end up having more! The same goes for gratitude. Sure, it can make your life rich to reflect on what you have – and it can make MULTIPLE lives rich by sharing it.
This Thanksgiving, I’m going to focus on truly giving thanks. And I’ll start with you: THANK YOU for reading my posts, for sharing them with friends, and for generally supporting my journey. It means the world to me to know that other people are chewing on the same ideas I am – and are listening to what I have to say. You get me, and I dig it.
What to play along, but not sure where to start? Here we go:
- Who makes your life easier?
- Who always brings a smile to your face?
- Who handles the details you miss?
- Who helps pull you out of the weeds?
- Who challenges you to be your best self?
- Whose shoulder do you know you can cry on?
- Who has seen you at your worst – and stayed?
- Who tells you the truth – even when it hurts?
- Who changed the trajectory of your life?
- Who helps care for your children/pet/parents?
You get the idea. Now go tell them. And Happy Thanksgiving!