“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” –Thornton Wilder
This is the best thing about Thanksgiving, the giving thanks part. There’s lots of literature out there now about how gratitude is the foundational element of of a peaceful and contented life. And we have a holiday that provides us an opportunity to stop and think about that! I have begun a daily practice that helps me remember to be grateful. I ask myself three questions:
- What are three things that make me feel good about my life?
- What is a recent event that made me unhappy?
- How can I take that event and find good in it?
Invariably, this exercise helps me to be grateful for my many blessings – my health, my wonderful husband, my dear friends and family, my amazing clients, music in the world, the color of the autumn trees, a warm home to live in with abundant food. Contemplating recent events, and what good I can find in them, is humbling. It helps me to see that even in the midst of illness of friends, an unstable political climate, an imperfect world, that I still can find strength to find good in it, and often, do something about it.
On this Thanksgiving, let’s take it up a notch! Let’s be sure to reflect ourselves on the many blessings we have in our lives – our amazing families, colleagues, organizations, communities, homes, neighborhoods, cities, and recommit to finding the good and light in even the darkest situations. Let’s remember the many courageous people who went before us, Pilgrims, Native Americans, immigrants, and seekers alike, who took those steps forward into an unknown world, doing the best they could, sharing what they had, and giving thanks for it. May we be inspired to do the same, in this day and age, one step at a time, with gratitude.