For those of you who know me, you are aware that I practice gratitude and being thankful daily. It’s not just a Thanksgiving thing. Even in the most difficult of circumstances it is important to find the gratitude. That is not to say that one should walk around faking being happy and ignoring the not so pleasant things in life. Instead I recommend not dwelling in the negative and looking for the lessons or insights that it brings. And yes, I acknowledge this is more difficult some times than others.
Wherever you are in life, whatever is going on, take the time to be thankful for what you do have. And during this Thanksgiving I offer you an idea. Before the activities of your day begin, no matter what they include, take a moment to sit without distraction to thank the most important person in our life…YOU. We often focus our thanks and gratitude outward, and neglect reflecting on ourselves and all that we have accomplished. Maybe you are thankful you took the time to sit and read a book; went to a yoga class; made a delicious meal for yourself; didn’t get upset while waiting on the long line at the grocery store; or just because you got out of bed this morning.
In my Gratitude Workshop we sometimes do an exercise that I find to be a favorite of many. Each person writes a letter to themselves about what they are grateful for about themselves. At the end of the writing, each person seals their letter in an envelope and addresses it to themselves. I collect them and at some undisclosed time I mail them out.
I recently mailed a group of the letters. Each and every person that spoke to me after receiving their own letter asked how I knew it was the right time to send it. The truth is that no matter when it is we all can use a reminder that we are special and that there are things to appreciate about ourselves. One person noted that she knew the topic of the letter when she received it but it was the specific words that were contained in the letter that had not been prepared, but instead flowed from the heart that were impactful.
So whether your choose to write yourself a letter or just sit and acknowledge what you have accomplished, and why you should be thankful of who you are and what you do, gift yourself a gift this Thanksgiving of self-reflection.