“Gratitude is much more than a verbal expression of thanks. Action expresses more gratitude than speech.”
–Mary Baker Eddy, Science & Health with Key to the Scriptures
We love Thanksgiving – and by Thanksgiving, we don’t JUST mean the Thursday in late November when loved ones gather to eat a traditional holiday meal together (we love THAT too!) We also love the practice of “Thanks-giving” all year around, and strive to integrate gratitude and giving thanks into our daily rituals as well as our holiday celebrations.
This year, we’d love to share our gratitude with you… our habits and traditions of gratitude, as well as the things we are currently giving thanks for (that might enrich your life as well.) We also invite you to share your own gratitude in our comments section below, and/or share this post on Facebook or email to “share the gratitude”!
Some of our favorite Gratitude Practices:
We love to send Thanksgiving cards, rather than Christmas cards. (It kinds of mixes it up – and regardless of your religious affiliation, everyone can celebrate gratitude!)
We start our Thanksgiving meal (and many other meals) with a “positive focus.” We go around the room and everyone shares something they are grateful for. The more specific, the better! We also do this during our team meetings, sharing one business and one personal positive focus, which can be anything good.
I like to silently practice positive focus in mundane moments of waiting. I think about all the good things in my life – not simply “things,” but all of the positive experiences, people, lessons, joys and simple pleasures. This is especially helpful to me when I have to stand in line at the grocery store, not only to keep me from becoming frustrated (grocery shopping is not my favorite thing), but it is so much better than reading the newsstand headlines or listening to complaints that tend to take up much of people’s conversations.
And we LOVE what we call “proactive gratitude,” which is giving thanks (verbally and with action!) with no expectations of receiving anything in return.
At Principia College, my alma mater, and Principia High School where my kids attend, they have “Thank-a-thons” where the kids just call donors to thank them. They don’t solicit or bring up a campaign or anything else, they just call and say thank you, leaving messages all Saturday morning long and speaking with anyone they happen to get on the phone. They simply call to say “thank-you,” and if the person is talkative, they may share what they are doing in school, which helps the donors know the difference their donations have made in the lives of students.
In all things, we aspire to be consistently positive in our own focus, noting the good in others and the good in situations (even if we have to look for the “silver lining” of a challenge.) Focusing on the good in someone or something brings that out, while the not-so-great things we have removed from our focus tend to fall away in time.
Could You Use More Gratitude in Your Life?
We recommend going on a “news diet,” and replacing the bad news with daily gratitude! Instead of reading the paper, write a list of things you are grateful for each day. Then write a list of all the good things you are looking forward to happening that day. Finally, write a thank-you note to one person (or more!) We use SendOut Cards to do this, it makes it easy for anyone to send a physical thank-you card in the mailbox from your computer!
We’ve watched as gratitude seems to literally create miracles, healing physical ailments, relationship challenges, and business problems. Gratitude creates “predictable miracles,” if you will, because as we shift our own focus, our circumstances, our own bodies (how they react to stress, for instance) and even those around us often transform, too.
If you aren’t yet convinced of the power of gratitude, simply practice it, and we predict you will begin to experience these little miracles, too.
Some specific things we are oh-so very GRATEFUL for right now:
Of course, there are the “big things” we hope we NEVER take for granted! We never cease to be grateful for the blessings of our health, our family, and our alpacas (yes, we have alpacas! They provide us with a lot of happiness and joy, as well as warm fiber that I like to crochet into lap blankets and other goodies.)
We give thanks as well for our clients who give us fulfilling, meaningful, and profitable work. We are grateful for our whole team (virtual and local, even including family members) who help us “makes it all happen.”
Additionally, we are celebrating gratitude for:
Our amazing PARTNERS who not only help us succeed, but help our clients succeed!
If you need an accountant, a healthcare consultant, a life or business coach, or someone to help you out of debt quickly and permanently, please see our Partners page. We give thanks for and recommend these Partners whole-heartedly!
Excellent BOOKS that help keep the Spirit of Love, Joy and Gratitude alive all year long:
Right now two of our favorites are:
Happy Stories: Real Life Inspirational Stories from Around the World
by Will Bowen. This book carries the powerful message that it is not our circumstances that make us happy, but the alignment of our thoughts, words and actions to focus on happiness. Wonderful stories of people who have faced hardships and have chosen to achieve happiness through all matters of challenging circumstances.
Love Works: Seven Timeless Principles for Effective Leaders
by Joel Manby, who earned American’s respect on an episode of the feel-good reality show, Undercover Boss. Manby introduces us to the power of agape love in the workplace, based on years of leading thousands of men and women, as well as the compelling thesis that if love builds healthy relationships at home, why not use the same principles to build healthy relationships at work? Manby proves that leading with love is effective, even in business, and challenges leaders to allow integrity and faith to guide their decisions.
What Are You Grateful For? What Are Your Favorite Gratitude Practices?
We invite you to share something you are grateful for in our comments section below, or share a favorite Thanksgiving tradition or Gratitude practice with our readers!
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