So far, 2017 has been a very challenging year around the world. There has been a multitude of heartbreaking events, and many people this week will simply be offering Thanksgiving for the gift of being alive. Indeed, we witnessed many expressing their gratitude for surviving recent tragedies, with or without their material belongings, and courageously accepting losses.
Whether or not we have been touched directly by the events that have made national headlines, we must not neglect being grateful for being alive. In the time we stand in line at a coffee shop or sit in our car in bumper-to-bumper traffic, we can often be caught without a smile, looking irritated or texting, not quite willing to just be present to the vibrancy of life around us, savoring the moment, in the moment. Let’s not wait to be shaken by a tragedy to realize that the present moment is a gift– every moment, every single day.
I recently witnessed the bravery of a pure-hearted nine-year-old who travels the U.S. with one key goal in mind: “thank every law-enforcement officer in America, one doughnut at a time.” By the time I heard about Tyler, he had handed out 34,000 donuts to police officers, giving thanks in person to 900,000 cops in 24 States. “My mom used to be a cop and my uncle is a cop,” Tyler said. “I want to thank cops for what they do, because they risk their lives for total strangers.”
Gratitude is innate in Tyler’s heart …as it is in all our hearts. Some of us just don’t let it surface. I believe that Tyler celebrates Thanksgiving every day and is a gift to all he touches. Imagine how he affects change around him and how he literally transforms others’ lives by expressing his sincere, heartfelt appreciation.
When we live in a space of gratitude, we feel abundant by simply waking up and being alive. We don’t need to text, to post and to endlessly share about what we are doing, as we are too busy experiencing our lives. We must be present to the beauty and the stillness of each moment. It is ok to post on social media and to share the joy in our lives, as long as it doesn’t take us away from being mindful of the human beings who are with us, alive.
On this Thanksgiving, feel and express gratitude from yourself to others. Be present to life!
Give love. Give affection.
Grant the opportunity for someone to see you with an open heart. A simple, sincere gesture to say thanks; a giant gesture; giving a real hug to a loved one. You know what I mean about giving the kind of hug that is felt– not preserving a gap between you and them. Give up guilt and resentment and generously give love with your affection.
Receive love and affection.
Graciously accept what is offered by others, being wholly present to their act and to their communication. Avoid rushing away from a hug, and don’t shy away from affection. Resist texting, being on your phone or being evasive while receiving.
Acknowledge by fully engaging.
Remember the games that people used to play? I can hear the laughter and the hours disappearing from having so much fun just being together, engrossed in something as simple as charades.
Thank everyone every time you receive.
Nodding thank you is not like saying thank you. Smiling with a spoken “thank you” warms hearts- theirs and yours.
Initiate the gesture, the act of giving.
Don’t keep track of how often you have to make the first move, and don’t hold back because you are holding a grudge. You are alive, and so are they.
Young people learn from our examples, including how to genuinely be thankful.
Tune in to what truly matters for the people who love you and are around you, and bring your best self to do or say something that is really meant to honor their uniqueness.
Devote your time selflessly.
At this Thanksgiving, what can you do that you normally don’t do, that your partner always does? This time it’s your turn!
Express your thankfulness.
Don’t assume that you don’t need to thank anyone who should be thanked. As you sit around the table, invite everyone to say something about what each of you are sincerely grateful for. Courage is from the word “coeur” in French: heart. While it is innate in us, it often takes courage to say “thank you” with an open heart!
We all can transform to not take anything or anyone for granted. We all can really appreciate the good that life offers when we are present.
Be gracious with the people around you. When we are rude / impatient / intolerant, we are disrespectful. As a result, we are ungrateful for the simple things that life offers.
On this Thanksgiving I am particularly grateful to have observed many acts of greatheartedness this past year.
I have now been a published author and blogger for just over three years. I thank you for reading my words and for your support. I express my sincere gratitude for letting me share from my own heart.
On this Thanksgiving I am grateful for the heroic acts by our firefighters who have fought so many fires this past year and risked their lives for us and for the preservation of the land. I am grateful for the cultural shift and changes that are taking place around us. I am grateful for the inner voices of women guiding them to speak to honor themselves. I am grateful for misconduct being openly addressed so that we have healthier boards and healthier organizations. As a truth finder, your trusted companion for inviting introspection for individuals and the collective, I am grateful for transparency to prevail.
Nature is my friend. I am grateful that I will be skiing with my husband on Thanksgiving on the season’s opening weekend, present to each other and sharing a sport we both love.
I wish you a wonderful thanksgiving!