Thank you Tonya for sharing your very special words with us this holiday season.
Five Ways to Make Gratitude a Part of Your Everyday Life
I just love Thanksgiving. It's my favorite holiday. I love thinking about all the things I am blessed to have in my life. I find myself pinching myself. How could I be this blessed! However, I must admit that I am filled with more joy when I participate in a weekly thanksgiving. So I'd like to share my tips.
1) A Gratitude Bowl
Pick a beautiful bowl in a central part of your home that can be used as a receptacle. Cut up small pieces of paper and place near the bowl with a pen. Every time you walk by it, write down something you are grateful for.
It's a snowball effect. The more gratitude you express the more aware of other blessings you will become. Then more blessings will come as you are attracting them with your gratitude vibrations.
When the bowl is full, make an offering if you'd like, by burning them in the fireplace. This way you make room for more blessings.
2) Carry a Tiny Notebook
Jot down any idea, thought, quote or creative spark that comes your way throughout the day. As you open yourself and become receptive to blessings, more and more will come. Give thanks as you write these ideas and thoughts down and acknowledge their presence in your life.
3) Exercise your Creativity
By performing an act of creativity you are expressing gratitude for your gifts and talents. You are welcoming a habit of being creative and giving attention to your genius. Energy flows where attention goes.
4) Weekly Summit (Sunday Summit)
Once a week write down 30 things you are grateful for. They can be tiny or substantial. No matter the week you've had or your doubt, you'll be blown away by how blessed you are after recounting them. This exercise gets easier and easier every week with practice. Plus it gives you 5 or 10 minutes to sit quickly, reflect and meditate on your week.
5) Express your Gratitude Verbally
Every chance you get, tell someone or something (dogs, trees, flowers, etc) how much you are grateful and blessed for them. I stop those in military uniform, I write notes to wait staff, I waive and mouth thanks to the person that lets me into traffic in my car, the person that holds open the door for me, the lady at the post office, etc. It makes it real when you verbalize it. It rubs off on others. My 15 year old is possibly the most polite person I know. Parents and coaches tell me this all the time. We didn't instruct him to say thank you to everyone, he just does it, because we do it. It's infectious.
Join Tonya on Facebook and take the 7-Day Gratitude Challenge. Go to her home page, copy and paste the challenge into your home page and post your gratitude!
I love these facts about Thanksgiving:
102 brave people set out in 1620 to cross treacherous seas for 66 days in search of freedom. (Thank you for being so brave to seek religious freedom)
The pilgrims were befriended, when they needed it most, by Squanto, a Pawtuxet indian, how to cultivate corn, extract sap, catch fish and avoid poisonous plants. (Thank you for reaching out and helping the settlers).
Govenor Bradford wanted to celebrate the pilgrims first corn harvest and invited the Native American allies to join them in a food fest for 3 days
George Washington issued the first Thanksgiving proclamation which was repeated on one or more occasions by other presidents
Sarah Josepha Hale campaigned for a national holiday for 36 years by publishing numerous editorials and letters to govenors, senators, presidents and other politicians (Thank you for your efforts over 36 years and not giving up on this national holiday)
Abraham Lincoln heeded her request and in 1863 made it a national holiday
I realize that there is controversy with every historical accounting. As a native american myself, I understand that this wasn't a rosy picture of pure love and joy between the settlers and natives. However, if it makes us stop and reflect on the things we are grateful for, I'm all for it!