Thursday, November 1, 2012

A November of Thanks

Back in September I started reading a book titled A Simple Act Of Gratitude: How Learning To Say Thank You Changed My Life by John Kralik.  I'd been looking for ways to feel grateful for what I have in my life.  I know I live a life of abundance but oftentimes I get so caught up in the stresses of every day life that I forget to be thankful for my blessings.  I also thought that seeking out things that I could be grateful for would help me to heal from my adrenal fatigue (which is caused by many lifestyle factors including high levels of stress).  I loved how John's thank you note project aided in his personal transformation so I decided to follow suit.

I began by writing notes to two people who affected my life in a hugely negative way...but I found things I could still be grateful for in my relationships with them.  I knew this would be a big first step in emotional healing as well as starting this project off with a bang!  As seems to be the case with a lot of things I start, I stalled with my own personal thank you note project after a couple of weeks.  I was feeling tired and run down from my adrenal fatigue.  I was busy with the girls - school, soccer, homework, daily chores & activities.  I was trying to fit in gym time.  You can see I'm pretty good at making excuses for what I do with my time, yes?

With this new month, a month where we celebrate a holiday that reminds us to be thankful for the blessings we have in our lives, I thought that it would be a great time for me to reignite my project.  I pledge to write 30 thank you notes in November.  My notes will serve as a reminder of an event, a person who made a positive difference in my life, a service, a happy moment, a friendship.  Some notes may even be to people that don't even know me.  With each note I write, there's a memory of something that's impacted me...something I'm grateful for.  I will share these bits on my Facebook page Fit & Healthy Mommy each day in November.

I feel very strongly about letting people know when they do something positive, something that made me smile or turned my day around.  It could be something as simple as the first girl who extended her friendship to me when I was the new girl in school twenty years ago.  It could be the few extra minutes my doctor spent with me, listening to my concerns even thought her next patient was waiting for her.  Let's not forget my family's favorite restaurant where they once went out of their way to allow us to sit outside on the patio after they had closed it...just because my girls wanted to dance in the rain.

Last month I sent a letter to friend from high school.  We haven't talked in well over ten years although we connected on Facebook a few years ago.  I explained that while I know we went through some difficult times in our friendship, those times are nothing but a shadow of a memory compared to the vivid, colorful memories I have of all the good times we shared together.  I thanked her for having such a positive impact on the person & mother that I am today.  While I expected nothing back from her, I recently received a note in return.  Her gratitude towards me brought tears to my eyes.  To think that I affected her so positively when I sent my letter...that meant a lot to me.  And I was grateful that she took the time to write her own letter of gratitude back to me.

There's proof right there that giving thanks is healthy for our bodies, minds and souls.  We can help others to embrace a healthier body, mind and soul just by letting them know we are grateful to them.  Why wouldn't we want to do that?

Please join me in giving thanks this November.  You don't have to write thank you notes to show your gratitude.  But, if you would like to share your thoughts, please visit me on my Facebook page.  Each day I will create a post asking what we're thankful for on that day.  You can comment, you can like the post or you can even start your own conversation on my wall.  I'd love to see a huge participation in this month of gratitude.  Let's share with one another what we are grateful for...what we are blessed with...what has made a positive impact in our lives on that given day.  It can be something as simple as, "My husband emptied the dishwasher and put everything away for me" or "There was no traffic in the school car pool line today so I made it to my doctor's appointment with time to spare" or "I'm blessed to have an aunt who has devoted her time to volunteer at a local food pantry on Thursdays".  Anything at all!

Are you in?  Hop on over to my page and let's be thankful!!  Share this with your friends and invite them to be grateful in November too!
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