What are you most thankful for?


With the US Thanksgiving holiday just days away, I am thinking about all the goodness for which I am deeply grateful, and I expect that you are, too. 

One thing I am endlessly grateful for is the resource of creativity that is available to me and the opportunity to bring it into my life in every situation. So I’m thinking about new ways I can express my gratitude — as well as how I can inspitre the people around me to do that in fresh ways.

If the idea of bringing some creativity to this special time of year appeals to you, I’m happy to share some ideas you may want to try.

They may serve as a jumping off point for you to create your own new ways to inspire and share thanks.

1.  Set aside time to write a short note of appreciation for everyone at your Thanksgiving table. You can hand a note to each person in turn, or use the addressed envelopes as place cards on the table. And, if you’re filled with appreciation for people who live at a distance, mail them notes, too.

2.  Plan something special to say as you sit down to the Thanksgiving meal. It could be a new spin on saying grace, or a statement of love, or a vision of the abundance you foresee in the year ahead, for which to give thanks in advance. 

3.  I love the idea of creating a new tradition for everyone at your gathering. You can plan to bring a dash of surprising humor to the day, and plan to repeat that each year. Perhaps you’ll hand off the honor to someone for next year, to build a new tradition. You might add one new ethnic dish to the table each year. You might have everyone share a statement of gratitude starting with the oldest person and moving to the youngest. The possibilities are endless.

4.  Why not go around the table and ask everyone to recall and share a Thanksgiving memory? Or, you might invite everyone to bring a special dish from a Thanksgiving menu of the past that they recall with fondness. 

5.  You may want to bring a new look to your Thanksgiving. You might choose a color theme for your table settings. and even the choices of foods you serve. Before dinner, you might ask everyone to create a small drawing related to the holiday to adorn each place at the table. 

If you create other ideas, or if you try any of these ideas and want to share them, I would love to hear about the ways you bring creativity — and new ways to share love — to Thanksgiving this year. Add a comment below or email me directly.

I wish you and yours a Thanksgiving holiday filled with gratitude, love, joy and creativity.

With love,

A big holiday calls for a big heart

It’s Thanksgiving week, and posts about the holiday — and gratitude — abound. And, why not? Slowing down to focus on all there is to be grateful for is always important, and this holiday provides a great reminder about the value of gratitude for all of us.

Thanksgiving affords many of us a special and distinctive time to be with family and friends. It enables many of us to be creative and cook new dishes or set a table with a fresh twist, to increase delight. Some of us will spend the day with people we see only once or twice a year.

And, for some of us, Thanksgiving, and tuning in to gratitude, can bring up challenges.

This Thanksgiving, I wish those of you who are missing someone special at your table an abundance of love to fill your heart alongside the sadness. I hope that you can think about and feel grateful for the beauty and goodness in your world, past and present.

I wish those who are struggling with health issues healing and relief from suffering. I know that living with pain can be terribly difficult. I also know that adopting a practice of noting gratitude on a daily basis can ease the journey. I hope that will help you.

I wish those with contentious relationships a willingness to seek common ground. Can you aim for heartfelt communication instead of experiencing stress or conflict? If you are able to exchange thoughts related to love, goodness, and shared interests, you can create shared gratitude. That gratitude can alleviate some of the interpersonal stress.

I wish those who are feeling despair about a host of troubling matters in the media a day to consider the opportunities to have a positive impact on the world. Consider what you can do to make the world a better place as a way of expressing gratitude for all that is good in your life. If each of us works to improve the world in our own way, the combined impact will be huge. 

Start by focusing on the important work you do, and do it with a full heart. Value and appreciate that when all of us do our best work, it has a great impact no matter what else is happening near and far.  

You can also commit to helping people in need, either locally or in places across oceans — or both. You can make financial donations and you can make a commitment to volunteer. 

Your efforts can be focused on political causes that matter to you. You might volunteer or donate for the benefit of people in nearby communities, like helping a food bank or a program for needy children or people in need of access to good healthcare. 

You might volunteer to use your special talents or professional skills on a one-time basis or with a continued effort. There are literally countless ways that each of us can have a positive impact and make the world a better place.

Are you able to focus on gratitude — even if it feels complicated to do so — and use the energy and emotion in your heart to create and spread goodness? Can you even be a catalyst for others to commit to efforts that matter to them, and inspire them to do their good work alongside you?

This is the conversation I intend to bring to the Thanksgiving table this year. I want it to be an important part of the time I spend with my family, as we express gratitude and celebrate the holiday together.

I invite you to join me. 

I want to end by thanking you for being here as I explore and share my big ideas. I am truly grateful for your companionship and for the thoughts and ideas you share with me in return. I am enriched by our connection. 

I’m sending you love and heartfelt gratitude.

If you’re looking for another way to change your year, you can consider having a coach to support you to get clear about the life and work questions on your mind — to live the big life you long for — so that you can set clear objectives and get help to step into your future with intention and commitment. If that’s something you want to explore, I welcome you to set up an Introductory Coaching Call with me. There’s no cost or obligation for us to meet. Simply complete the Coaching Inquiry Form and I’ll be in touch to make a date with you.

Truly thankful, every day

Thanksgiving is a few short days away, and my inbox is already full of messages related to the holiday. I love that this moment on the calendar prompts so many people to say how much they appreciate their clients and friends, and to share good wishes.

Thanksgiving is a lovely time to focus on gratitude, as well as the power of gratitude in our lives. I have learned that when I am mindful of gratitude every day of the year my life is enriched.

Beyond my awareness of how fortunate I am to have a wonderful family, that all of my physical needs met, that I am in good health, have so many dear friends and do work that I love, I have come to appreciate much that I used to miss.

Most of us move at warp speed through our days, rarely slowing down to notice the small wonders around us. We miss so many things that we can savor in our routine lives. When I keep a list of 12 things for which I am grateful on a daily basis, I recall many sweet and special moments that would otherwise go unnoticed. My gratitude list often includes things like someone holding open a door when I am carrying packages, or smiling with warmth while standing in a line, or making a helpful suggestion that enhanced my day. It includes the delight I felt watching a flock of birds soar against the sky, or the taste of an especially delicious cup of tea, or the sound of a little child giggling. When I am aware of and reflect on all of the small things that brighten my day I can hold the memories of those moments. And, the positive emotions help me cope with any challenges I may be facing. No matter what, I treasure the beauty and abundance in my life.

Whatever you have planned for Thanksgiving Day I hope you will have many happy moments to savor. I hope, too, that you will consider developing a gratitude practice of your own, to keep the holiday spirit alive every day. It requires slowing down just a little, but I predict that you’ll get a lot back in return.

Reflections and Gratitude

With Thanksgiving coming up on Thursday, everyone I speak to seams to be hurrying to fit a week’s worth of work into three days. People are cooking and have lots more cooking to do. Many are facing car and air travel that will surely be stressful. Hanukkah shopping and preparation is another challenge for many of us, as that holiday starts so very early this year, overlapping with Thanksgiving. In all of the rushing it’s easy to lose sight of the meaning and importance of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Can we all just push the pause button and refect for a few minutes? Can we give ourselves a short and meaningful break from the hustle and bustle? Try this — I promise it will take one minute and give you lots in return.

Close your eyes, relax your shoulders and lower jaw and slowly draw in a deep, full breath. Then, slowly exhale. Make it a long and complete exhale. Repeat. Open your eyes and smile.

That’s it. A moment for yourself. A gift. A snippet of time to refresh your body and your mind.

And, if you can spare another three to five minutes, make a list of at least 12 things for which you are grateful. Beyond the things that come quickly to mind, see what you find in your heart. Maybe you’ll want to make a new list every day this week and see what comes up for you. You can use these simple practices often to bring light into your life. That's what happens when you take a little time to care for yourself and focus on the truly important things that bring you joy.

As I reflect on the past year and all that fills me with deep gratitude, I wish you a joyous holiday, safe travels, love and abundant creativity.