“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” — Willie Nelson
The first time was when my baby was in intensive care. My husband and I stayed with him all day. His prognosis was still uncertain. That day, the baby in the room next to his died after a terrible illness. We saw the young parents cradle their baby in their arms to say goodbye. My husband and I were so sad and we hadn’t eaten. When we returned home that evening, we found that our neighbors had left generous portions of their home-made Thanksgiving dinners, all wrapped up on our doorstep.
Another time, I was in bed with the flu at Thanksgiving. One of my young coworkers from Hallmark dropped by with her sister to check on me. She brought a plate of food from their family Thanksgiving dinner and I was so touched by her thoughtfulness.
If you know someone who is having difficulties, you’d be surprised how little it takes to brighten their day, and it will make you that more grateful for your blessings.
Here are some ideas for getting in touch with gratitude and the impact of kindness and abundance in your life.
- Compose a list of people and things you are thankful for.
- Write a thank you letter.
- Send Thanksgiving cards to loved ones. Dollar Tree has nice ones, two for a dollar.
- Complete a guided meditation on gratitude.
- Bring or send flowers to thank someone.
- Attend a Thanksgiving Day worship service.
- Say a prayer of thanks before your Thanksgiving meal.
- Pass around a “Gratitude Jar” and share your thoughts.
- Take a walk and reflect on your blessings.
- Make something creative: a collage, some photographs, a drawing or poem.
- Attend a 12-step meeting.
- Volunteer or make a charitable contribution.
- Reach out to someone who is going through a hard time. Even a phone call can help.
Have you found creative or meaningful ways to experience and express gratitude? What do you teach your children, if you have them?