Thanksgiving is almost upon us! This fact is completely irrelevant to my international readers but gratitude is always a great thing to practice so let’s talk . . . As you know, I am English, so Thanksgiving is not something I had experienced until I moved here to California in 2008. I really didn’t know anything about it other than the fact that it had some slightly dodgy roots. Probably best not to go there . . . However, what I experienced that first Thanksgiving was this lovely tradition of all holding hands around the table and talking about what we are grateful for. I am not sure I had ever heard a group of people counting their blessings out loud before and it resonated with me profoundly.
Gratitude has been linked as a deciding factor in longevity and happiness i.e. people who have a “gratitude practice” are more likely to live happier, and longer lives. “What is a “gratitude practice?”, you ask. Well, before you go to bed each night, you can take note of three things that you are grateful for that day. If you are a journal writer then you would write these things in your journal. If not, just say them out loud or think them to yourself. Ideally they should be the last thoughts in your head before sleep.
"Gratitude opens the door to ... the power, the wisdom, the creativity of the universe." Deepak Chopra
Thanksgiving last year was a real low point for me. I was still recovering from a really debilitating surgery and angry and heartbroken about the break down of my marriage. I was living in a house that represented a childhood that my daughter wouldn’t have and doing a job that I didn’t want to do. I spent the day itself on my own. It felt really bleak. The contrast this year is stark. We are living in a new house that is full of light and happiness, that really suits my daughter and me. I have left corporate life and found purpose and fulfillment in coaching, and I have a wonderful romantic relationship. This Thanksgiving will be full of happiness and new possibilities . . . Last year I couldn’t have imagined in my wildest dreams that these changes would take place within twelve months. Gratitude has had a lot to do with it. The practice has helped me to keep my perspective and stopped me despairing on many a dark night. Coaching has also played a huge part. I wouldn’t be here without my own coach who has been working with me for over a year now.
Thank you to all of you - clients, colleagues, friends and strangers who have supported me with your kind words and commitment over the last year.
What three things are you most thankful for today?
How would your life change if you brought more gratitude into it on a daily basis?
Sending you love and fulfillment,