I keep thinking I see Philip Seymour Hoffman on the street. I’m just walking around Manhattan and I see him walking toward me and I get a bit excited – I’m not a star struck kind of gal, but I think he’s both a great actor and a cool regular guy (I used to see him at the Chelsea Piers Fitness Center playing basketball with a bunch of guys).
Then of course, I realize that it can’t be him given that he died from a drug overdose last February, and sadness sets in. What a shame!
With Thanksgiving coming up, it made me wonder how his family is doing. How hard it must be for them this holiday season, as well as others who have recently lost a loved one, to experience their first Thanksgiving since.
It got me thinking about what “being thankful” and “gratefulness” really means, and how it’s the little daily things that I have gratitude for. The air I breathe, access to clean drinking water, hot water for my showers, warm bed to sleep in, my loved ones, a healthy body, the ability to order a wide range food delivery any time of day. Imagine what the pilgrims would think about that!
In a world where stores are announcing they’ll be open on Thanksgiving so that people can get a jump on their Christmas shopping (because Black Friday isn’t soon enough -- sigh), let’s remind ourselves about the core meaning of this holiday – to be thankful for the blessing of the harvest. Let’s broaden that to being aware of and acknowledging our many blessings.
I’d like to suggest that this year, you honor those blessing not just with an overstuffed belly and day in front of the TV watching football. Feel free to do those things, but also set aside some time to think about what you are truly grateful and recognize those blessings.
Studies show that those who practice daily gratitude are more positive, happy and have an increased level of energy, optimism and empathy.
Simply focusing on the small things that are going right instead of complaining about the things you think you deserve will improve your overall satisfaction with life.
If that’s not enough for you, consider this: according to the Greater Science Center at Berkley, people who practice gratitude consistently report:
• stronger immune systems and lower blood pressure.
• higher levels of positive emotions.
• more joy, optimism, and happiness.
• Acting with more generosity and compassion.
• Feeling less lonely and isolated.
Just by saying some daily thank yous!
I propose we make every day Thanksgiving! Each morning, before you start your day, think about 5 things you are grateful for from the day prior. You can even capture them in a journal. This will train your mind to focus on the things that are going right for you, and begin your day in a positive more open way.
Please comment below and include 5 things you are grateful for from yesterday.
Here are my five:
- The delicious duck I ate last night at dinner with dear friends
- The lower loop in central park on a surprisingly warm day
- My supportive husband
- The ability to walk up stairs with no problem
- YOU – thank you for being in my world
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and if you know someone having a difficult time, whether it is be regarding a loss or something else, consider expressing to him/her why you’re grateful for him/her. It could be just what they need to turn a challenging time into an encouraging one.
I look forward to reading your responses.
Gracias. Merci. Grazie. Obrigada. Toda. Xie_Xie.
Chief MOJO Maker™