This week we’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving and gratitude will be our primary focus. Gratitude for family, friends, health and community. And yet it seems recently as though our attention has been focused on turmoil rather than thankfulness. It’s possible that is rightfully so, due to what we see currently going on in the world. How can we be thankful when the world seems to be in such turmoil?
I am a firm believer in what you focus on you create more of. When you are focused on love, you often see people in love, read loving stories and hear about loving and kind happenings taking place worldwide. When you are steeped in fear, the same holds true and you are given example after example of challenges in your own life as well as tragedies going on in the world. So when you are focused on love, give thanks. When you are focused on fear, find thanks.
Moving forward, here are some tips on remaining thankful during personal or worldly turmoil by:
Being thankful in your own life. When you are thankful in your life, you add thanks to the world.
Being grateful for the good in your life. Go overboard with thank you’s as you move forward this holiday season. When you see people doing something you like, say ‘thank you, more of this please.’ When you are happy, even for the smallest reasons, say thank you. When someone pays you a compliment, say thank you. Get up in the morning and say thank you. Say thank you before you go to bed at night. Pepper your day with as many thank you’s as you can as it can’t be overused.
Finding thanks in the tragedy. It’s time to dig deep and look closer, but I promise you, if you do, you are bound to find many reasons to be thankful in times of turmoil. Communities come together to support each other during times of tragedy. In Paris, people opened their homes and businesses to offer a safe place when the chaos was happening. Blood banks had long lines of people willing to donate. Many miracle stories came out of such depths of fear and sadness. Now finding thanks during tragedy does not remotely mean you condone the circumstances but it does mean you won’t allow it to define you or the world.
Finding thanks in personal challenges. Each year I start off with a new word as an anchoring word to move through the year with. This year it was EASY? Was 2015 an easy year for me? Well I still have a month left, so the final call hasn’t been made. I do know it was well worth it as the challenges helped me define what I wanted as well as showed me on the other side, things can be just as good or better. I sold my loft that had been home for 11 years that I loved dearly. I didn’t want to sell on one hand while on the other knowing it was time. I didn’t know I’d find something I loved as much and I now live close to the lake and have a rooftop I find magical. A significant working relationship and personal relationship changed for me this year. I wouldn’t say I wanted them to turn out the way they did, but I found in each situation I loved myself more and knew if it wasn’t fulfilling for me, it wasn’t for them either. Hard? Absolutely! Did I want it to turn out that way? No! Worthwhile? Yes! I wouldn’t miss knowing them for anything. I send them love from a distance as I am very thankful for what they brought to my life. This year brought new friends into my life, strengthened old friendships and added great new clients…so many reasons to be thankful.
Knowing the turmoil isn’t the full story. Personal challenges in your life aren’t your full story as you have lots of love and laughter along with the sadness and tears. The events that make headlines in the news are a microcosm of worldly views. The vast majority of people in the world are getting up in the morning, doing their livelihood, taking care of their families and are kind caring people. So while you send love to those in deep pain and anguish, know that even more people are currently simply living a loving life and not making headlines.
Participating with people who lift you up. Surround yourself with people who bring joy, love and laughter to your life. I’m not saying cut people out of your life, but I am saying lessen your time around those who live in a victim rather than victor mentality. Love doesn’t require conditions, but participating with others does.
Mostly, my wish for you is to fully embrace that each moment you say ‘thank you’, a thank you is heard by the world. Each time you say ‘I love you’ the world feels more loved. Each kind thought, word and action you have expands kindness in the world. Open your eyes, heart and arms wide and see the world from a new vantage point, see your life from a new vantage point – kind and courageous.
Until next time, I am so very thankful for you in my life.
Thank You – Thank You – Thank You
Words to Live By
“When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Give thanks for a little and you will find a lot.” ~ Nigerian Proverb
“Be grateful for whatever comes because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.” ~ Rumi
Music to My Ears