Through BonneFire I have developed a monthly P-R-P:
Pulse Check – Reflection – Practice.
November’s Inspiring Guidance & Teaching for members is
“PAAATT Yourself and Others for American Thanksgiving”
Enjoy a sample below.
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PAAATT Yourself and Others for American Thanksgiving
“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” – Thornton Wilder
I have written quite a bit about kindness and gratitude since I started blogging the Fall of 2014.
While my messages about gratitude have typically coincided with the American Thanksgiving holiday, I always care to invite my readers to embrace kindness and gratitude in our everyday life as a way of being and a way of living (at home, in our boardrooms, with our teams), and to be aware of how much we have from the get-go, not because of our possessions but the possibilities that we are being afforded.
It is worthwhile to be mindful that gratitude is not expressed just because we get more, that we receive more, but truly because we literally have awe for life in itself, flowing through us, around us and in all the people around us. With that realization, we are grateful for simply and amazingly being alive, inhaling and exhaling, having a heart that beats without any of our doing from the time we have been in the womb of our mothers. This awareness of life should be inherent to us every day and should be perceived as a gift that we should not take for granted. We need not be confronted with health issues or crises to realize how precious our life is.
Thanksgiving is an opportunity to remind ourselves to take the time to acknowledge our loved ones, the people around us, our ancestors, the good that exists in our lives and to be fully cognizant of what others do and to express thanks. Acknowledging is key, while not sufficient. Saying thank you, writing a hand-written note or a thoughtful text or email, is demonstrating gratitude.
So, I am introducing PAAATT, which I have coined as a term to encompass Praise, Acceptance, Acknowledgment, Appreciation, Thankfulness and Thoughtfulness. We all are familiar with the idea of giving “a pat on the back,” which is to show approval. In the spirit of BonneFire, to harmonize with ourselves and others, it is timely for Thanksgiving to invite you to take the time to PAAATT yourself and others.
What’s in it for you to PAAATT yourself and others?
The reality is you need not wait for anyone to PAAATT you. PAAATT yourself. It is a great gift to yourself to not make your happiness dependent on needing a PAAATT from others (or likes on Facebook posts or any social media platforms). While you might think it is nice, supportive, reinforcing, encouraging and possibly giving yourself a boost, a PAAATT from you to you matters.
PAAATT others to demonstrate that you value them. Be intentional about it and feel. Pretty soon you will be smiling, experiencing joy, and in that moment your life will be positive. You will navigate issues, challenges and the unexpected (even the scary stuff), with a positive attitude, as you will feel grateful no matter what.
“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.” – Johanne Bouchard
You can wake up each day feeling depressed, envious and in a bad mood, because you feel that you deserve more. This attitude can lead to wrongdoing, narcissism, egoistical behavior and ungratefulness. You can even be jealous. You can end up feeling miserable.
It is less natural to feel grateful if we don’t value the essence and the basics that life offers.
Do you value your life, regardless of the events that might not be in your control?
Do you value your health?
Do you value the good about yourself?
Do you value your loved ones, and do you show your appreciation for the qualities that you appreciate in them?
Do you value all that is being provided for you by others who are enablers in your everyday life?
Pause for an instant.
Do you know how to PAAATT yourself? Do you do it?
Do you PAAATT others at home and in business?
Do you praise yourself when you know you did and/or said something good? Not egotistically priding yourself, but humbly acknowledging the good within you and about you. Inwardly saying I am ok.
Do you praise others, both at home and in business, when they do something well that warrants recognition, or do you refrain from validating them? Are your insecurities possibly getting in the way of being able to empower others through praise?
Givers are often uneasy when receiving. These individuals must learn that it is an act of kindness to accept with heart something offered to them.
How do you accept in your life?
“Gratitude is to recognize that we humbly depend on others in our lives both at home and in business. We must ! PAAATT others for making our lives what they are, whether they are close to us and whether they are total strangers.” – Johanne Bouchard
Praising needs to be authentic. We don’t praise with the intent to be liked or to manipulate an outcome. We praise to sincerely recognize and endorse someone.
The act of acceptance can make us feel vulnerable, and that is healthy. We are indeed vulnerable as we depend on each other to live our lives every single day. We must recognize what we accept from others every day whether someone is plowing the snow, letting us in on the tram to ski, preparing our martini just as we like it at our favorite bar, picking up our garbage weekly, handing out our ticket to go to a show, taking our pulse at the doctor, running the background server of our internet provider…
We must be aware that we receive and accept daily from strangers who make our lives better and that we reap many benefits from them. In accepting we must feel grateful for these basic needs being met. And, when the opportunity arises, we must be eager to “pay it forward.”
“On this Thanksgiving, feel and express gratitude from yourself to others. Be present to life! PAAATT yourself and others.” – Johanne Bouchard
On American Thanksgiving morning, I invite you to begin your day aware, mindful, present and grateful:
- For at least one thing that you feel good about yourself.
- For the people who are with you in your physical space. Notice how being intentional about being grateful positively affects how you interact with them, how you might be more thoughtful, kinder, more patient and simply appreciative. Decide how you can PAAATT each one at some point in the day.
Select one part of PAAATT and begin applying it to your daily life, both at home and at work. Be intentional about it. As you PAAATT yourself and others, they too will learn from you or be inspired to PAAATT themselves and others.
This Thanksgiving, join me in…
- Praising yourself for the good that you did this past year for yourself and others.
- Praising someone who deserves it with a phone call. Surprise her/him.
Accept recognition and appreciation that comes your way. Humbly.
Be aware of how much you accept from others in your life.
Acknowledge where you embraced change this past year. Only you will ever know what it meant. Let it make you feel good about yourself.
Acknowledge a colleague in the boardroom whom you respect. Drop her/him a note for their positive contribution.
Acknowledge that your world is dependent on others who have been before you, as you might travel to one of your favorite sites. Recognize past efforts to build the beautiful Golden Gate Bridge, the Eiffel Tower, the road winding in the French Alps and let that give you joy on this Thanksgiving for the privileges people have enabled you to experience.
BonneFire is a community dedicated to fostering healthy individuals and healthy organizations. BonneFire is about living our lives loving what we do, being authentic to who we are, to our own unique blueprint. It is about being in harmony with ourselves and caring to be in harmony with others and realizing our individual and collective potential in all sectors of our lives.
BonneFire is in support of being true to ourselves, showing up authentically in roles that we commit to and inviting individuals to be introspective, self-aware, mindful, intentional and purposeful. Together we lead with dignity in alignment on values, governance and strategic priorities, conscious of the impact we can make for future generations. We are in service to each other and all stakeholders.