It's that week of Thanksgiving when you might be gathering around with friends and family or escaping friends and family or preparing a vegan roast or admiring your Christmas decorations. It's also an obvious time to be thinking about what you are grateful for. The truth is, practicing gratitude on a daily basis, not yearly, makes you more content with the life you have because it refocuses your brain on what is going well rather than what is going badly. It's that simple. The more your train your brain to do this, the more abundance you will experience. That feels good.
It sounds smart--like so much of positive psychology. The practice is far more challenging because the brain is not designed for this. The brain is designed for survival at all costs. Our ancient ancestors were hyper-alert and relied on clues and connections in their environment to stay one step ahead of predators. We inherited their DNA, and this is why we are always looking to connect the dots, make sense of life's experiences whether there are answers or not--and find reasons because if there are reasons then the brain can finally take a much needed break.
Even twenty one years later, this week reminds me of the worst Thanksgiving of my life when my infant daughter, Natalie, became ill with fever and vomiting--which ended up in an emergency trip to Children's Hospital on an unseasonable 60' day--which ended up with being diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia, which ended up changing our lives forever. I am thankful that is not my life, and I have never been so scared of anything that awful, for a mother, since then.
I remember a chaplain coming to visit me the day after Thanksgiving and asking why--why would this precious little baby have a life threatening diagnosis? I never asked why. Bad things happen. I just knew that I was in the fight of my life, and I never stopped.
No matter what kind of Thanksgiving you are having this year, come back to what you know to be true in your heart. Come back to the people who helped you, shaped you, poured their time, treasure and love into you. Come back to the experiences that changed you. Reflect on the challenges that made you sharper. Acknowledge the missteps that made you clearer. Celebrate the abundance of what your life has become.
I am grateful for you, for reading these blogs, for telling me what you think, for calling me out when I misstep and for trusting me on your journey of becoming who you want to be, how you want to show up. It's our life's purpose figuring these things out. We go together.
Reminder: I am hosting a group coaching series: Not this year, Satan. It's Monday nights at 7PM in November and December. As in--tonight! This is donation based ($15 or $20). This week, the topic is SELF CARE. How to make sure you feel good and don't get stressed when life gets hectic, the grocery store gets full of people looking for where the hidden nutmeg, and there isn't anyone working at the mall to help you check out.
Please use THIS ZOOM LINK for tonight at 7PM. See you there.