Gratitude and Thanksgiving

November 26 was Thanksgiving Day in America – that long celebrated annual holiday weekend filled with the quintessential American delights of stuffed turkey, pumpkin pie and enormous parades.

But what’s Thanksgiving Day all about?

As a Kiwi living in London with a fair number of American friends scattered across the globe, I’ve often wondered about the history of Thanksgiving Day.

It turns out that Thanksgiving has a very long history (thanks Wikipedia 🙂), but the original essence of the celebration (dating back to the 17/18th centuries) was to give thanks for a good harvest.

It’s a moment in time when people come together in celebration; in acknowledgement of each other and the beauty of the circle of life.  And it feels good.  It’s a revered holiday in American culture.  People travel far and wide to go ‘home’.  Schools and colleges close.  Families get together in celebration.  The poor get looked after with food baskets, and much more.

Thanksgiving is about Gratitude 

And in my opinion, gratitude is one of the most important and loving values we can hold.

So what’s gratitude?  It’s “the feeling of being thankful and appreciative”.  It’s about to reflecting on all that’s good; all that’s beautiful; all that’s abundant in our world and lives.

Reliable research demonstrates that in experiencing gratitude there’s a positive impact on one’s mental and emotional state.  Quite simply, we become happier….

Practising gratitude is something we can do each day of our lives.  And in doing so, I promise, you will feel different.  More alive.  More passionate. More extraordinary.

Practise Glorious Gratitude

So how about it?  How about setting aside five minutes (or more) per day in the quiet of your mind’s eye, and practising glorious gratitude?

What does that mean?

Well, it’s that moment when you acknowledge all that you’re grateful for – the big and the small, the important and the trivial.

Here are a few of the parts of my life that I’m ABSO-Bloomin’-LUTELY grateful for today:

  • My excellent health and increasing fitness.
  • My glorious family (husband, daughter, stepson) with all their idiosyncrasities.  J
  • The people who are supporting me to achieve the vision I have for myself and my businesses.
  • My love of learning and having the time each week to read stacks of books.
  • The beauty (and chill) of late Autumn in London.
  • Being able to work from a home office and listen to classical music all day while I work.
  • Living in the best city in the world – London.
  • My New Zealand family who ensured my husband and son had a fabulous time there last week.
  • My coaching clients who trust me to support and guide them to achieve their personal and professional goals.
  • My will power in not eating sugar for the past week – yippee!!

My gratitude list is never-ending….

Go on, try it.  How about taking a short walk, or sitting quietly and closing your eyes for a few minutes and reflecting on what you are grateful for.  I’m certain you’ll feel good for the experience.  And it gets even better.   When we make a habit of expressing daily gratitude, it becomes addictive… simply because it makes us feel good.  And I like that. J

Happy Thanksgiving, America.  We hope you had a fabulous day of celebration and gratitude.

ACTION:  What are you most grateful for today?  I’d love to know.  How about sharing in the comments below?

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